‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is a young adult romantic drama series that follows a summer love triangle. Isabel “Belly” Conklin finds herself the center of attention between two brothers, making her annual summer vacation at Cousin’s Beach quite interesting. The story follows young love and the inevitable heartbreak that ensues through a breezy narrative.
Based on the first book of a trilogy of young adult romance novels written by Jenny Han, the show has all the trappings of a binge-worthy teen romance series. If you enjoyed watching Belly’s story of young love, here are a few more shows that will leave you feeling equally warm and fuzzy. You can find most of these TV shows similar to ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Carrie Diaries (2013-2014)
‘The Carrie Diaries’ follow Carrie Bradshaw, an intrepid high school junior in Manhattan who slowly begins learning the complexities of love, friendship, and sex. The comedy-drama show has a healthy dose of soupy romance that fans of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ will appreciate. The story also folds in Carrie’s relationship with her family, and the 1980s setting of the show makes things all the more quaint.
6. Dash and Lily (2020)
‘Dash and Lily‘ is a romantic comedy series that follows the titular teenagers in New York, who begin trading dares and messages through a shared notebook. As is inevitably the case, a budding romance between the two develops over Christmas. Despite being canceled after one season, this 8-episode show is a lovely little escape into a poetic romance. Like ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty,’ this series also draws from a young adult novel series authored (in this case) by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.
5. Looking for Alaska (2019)
The teen drama series ‘Looking for Alaska’ follows Miles “Pudge” Halter, who arrives at a dreary boarding school in Alabama, only to fall for Alaska Young. The budding relationship between the two has many a hurdle, and the target of Pudge’s attentions also has her own demons to deal with. Fans of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ will enjoy the precarious romance in ‘Looking for Alaska’ that is equally poetic and fragile. Incidentally, this series is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by John Green.
4. Never Have I Ever (2020-)
Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher and loosely based on the former’s childhood, ‘Never Have I Ever‘ centers around 15-year-old Indian-American Devi Vishwakumar as she navigates the complexities of high school. Burdened by her father’s untimely death, Devi harbors a host of insecurities that make her budding romance with high school idol Paxton all the more entertaining. Though the coming-of-age show has a definite comedic tilt, it still encompasses much of the “butterfly-in-your-stomach” feelings of young romance found in ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty.’
3. Sex Education (2019-)
One of Netflix’s most popular teen shows, and paradoxically, one of the streaming platform’s most eclectic, ‘Sex Education,’ takes an all-encompassing look at teen romances. Otis’ mother is a sex therapist, making him an unlikely source of sexual knowledge for his high school peers.
However, this leads to the awkward teenager getting entangled with the school’s smoldering outcast, Maeve, and thus, hilarity, heartbreak, and a dazzling bevy of colorful antics ensue. The comedy-drama show further features several other relationships that explore a variety of sexual orientations, showing us how romance and sex are perpetually complicated, irrespective of who’s involved.
2. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
The long-running classic that was possibly airing while many of its audience were having their own teenage romances, ‘One Tree Hill‘ is all about complex young adult dynamics. Set in the fictional town of Tree Hill, the story follows the wildly competitive half-brothers, Lucas Scott and Nathan Scott.
Nonetheless, much of the show’s interest stems from the two high schoolers’ romances and the inevitable heartbreak that ensues. If you’re craving some true high school romance and drama after ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty,’ then ‘One Tree Hill’ will give you all you want. Since the drama show ran for so long, later seasons center on the collegiate and grown-up versions of the characters.
1. Heartstopper (2022-)
‘Heartstopper‘ follows the unlikely romance between Nick and Charlie, who seem like opposites but make a pair more remarkable than the sum of its parts. Based on the graphic novel by Alice Oseman, the story follows a delicate relationship that slowly emerges between the central duo, starting as a friendship and growing tantalizingly romantic.
The romantic comedy show does a fabulous job exploring its themes of coming-of-age and new romance, much like ‘The Summer I Fell in Love.’ The fact that it centers on a pair of LGBTQ+ teens and explores their love without weighing it down with preachy social commentary also puts this show head and shoulders above many others that try to do the same thing.
Read More: Where is The Summer I Turned Pretty Filmed?