Based on the beloved book series of the same name by Jenny Han, ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is a teen drama that focuses on the burgeoning romance life of a sixteen-year-old girl. The first season of the show introduces us to the characters, giving us a general sense of their relationship and where they stand with each other. It takes a lot of liberties from its source material and adds a lot of new characters and plot devices to deliver a swoon-worthy watch.
The main conflict of the story hinges on Belly’s love life. She has three boys who are in love with her. While she considers her prospects with each of them, she also has to come face to face with the changes that have happened in others around her. In the end, it all boils down to her choice. Who will she choose? Will she go with Conrad, whom she has loved since she was ten? Or will she choose Jeremiah, who has been the more considerate and kinder person and who treats her like a queen? Here we analyze the ending of Season 1 and deduce what it means for Belly’s future.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 Recap
‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ follows the story of Belly Conklin. On the cusp of sixteen, she wishes to begin her love story with Conrad Fisher this summer. However, when she arrives at the beach house, where Belly and Conrad’s families spend the summer together, she discovers that Conrad has changed. He is not his usual sweet self. Instead, he is detached and aloof, and, at times, rude. After having pined for him for so long, Belly decides to move on. This is when she finds Cam. But things get complicated when Conrad’s brother, Jeremiah, tells her that he wants more from their friendship. All this time, Belly is still in love with Conrad.
Meanwhile, Susannah, Conrad’s mother, has convinced Belly to participate in the debutante ball. It opens her to the society of Cousins Beach, something she had been aloof from till now. As she meets new people and makes new friends, she finds out more about the way Conrad and Jeremiah are with other people. While Belly navigates these changes, her mother, Laurel, struggles with her new novel and meets a writer with whom she develops a bond. Belly’s brother Steven falls in love with a rich girl named Shayla, but a brief fling with Taylor, Belly’s best friend, lands him in trouble.
Susannah, who has been diagnosed with cancer, tries to make this last summer perfect for everyone, but the crumbling relationship with her husband threatens to spoil everything. As the day of the deb ball and the end of the summer inches closer, everyone tries to keep close the things they hold dear. But when Susannah’s secret is revealed, everything goes haywire, and Belly realizes that she had been focusing on the wrong things all along. With both Jeremiah and Conrad vying to be with her, she has to decide who she will be with before the summer ends and she leaves Cousins Beach, not to return until next year.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Ending: Who Does Belly End up With?
Belly enters the summer with the hopes of finding love with Conrad. When she feels that Conrad doesn’t see her that way, she decides to let go of her crush and move on. By the time the summer ends, three boys fall for her. While she breaks up with Cam, she finds herself sandwiched between affections from Conrad and Jeremiah. At the end of the season, however, we see her with Conrad. But does that mean we will see them together in the next season? Most probably, yes.
While Belly had feelings for Conrad, she decided not to wait around for him if he wasn’t going to express his love for her completely. When she kisses Jeremiah and chooses to be with him, she starts to rebuff all of Conrad’s advances. She makes sure that Conrad knows that she is with Jeremiah now, and no matter if he wins the volleyball tournament with her or gets her muffins in the morning, she is not going to come running back into his arms.
Later, on discovering Susannah’s illness, she understands why Conrad had been acting so distant all summer. She empathizes with him, but when she realizes that he needs someone he can lean on to cope with the grief, she makes it clear that she shouldn’t be that person. She knows the complications it will bring for her relationship with Jeremiah, and should Conrad continue to be his distant self, it wouldn’t be fair for anyone if she indulges Conrad any further. She lets him know that he can’t take her for granted anymore. If he wants to be with her, he has to commit fully.
It turns out that Conrad too wants to be committed to her. He had been holding back his feelings all summer, staying away not only from Belly but also from Jeremiah and Steven. His ex-girlfriend Nicole, too, suffered through his erratic behavior. But all of that was because no one knew about Susannah. Conrad’s grief had been eating him inside, and there was no one he could talk to about it. But all of that changes after the debutante ball.
Now that Belly knows about it as well, Conrad feels free to be himself and talk about his feelings with her. He is ready to open himself and be with her. When he agrees to all of it, Belly, too, takes a step forward. In the end, they have their first kiss and summer comes to an end. It looks like Belly got her wish, and she and Conrad are together now.
Why Does Belly Choose Conrad?
It is clear from the beginning of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ that Belly will always choose Conrad. He is her first love and they have always shared a close relationship. Even though she tries to forget him, even when she tries to move on from him, she never completely lets go of him. Even when she is with Cam, all she thinks about is going on dates and spending time with Conrad.
When Jeremiah confesses his feelings for her, she kisses him. While she loves Jeremiah and he is her best friend, we can’t help but feel that her decision has something to do with her contempt for Conrad. After almost kissing her, Conrad refuses to come clean about his feelings for Belly. He keeps pushing her away, which frustrates Belly immensely. She tells him she is not going to wait around for him, but her feelings for him do influence her decisions.
With Jeremiah, it feels like she instantly jumped into a relationship to get Conrad out of her mind. But there is still something between them, which becomes clear during the deb ball when they dance with each other. At the end, when all misunderstandings have been cleared and all is said and done, Belly goes back to her first love. She likes Jeremiah, but there is more of a close friend’s love between them. She never saw him that way, and even when she decides to be with him, she is not there with all of her heart. So, in the end, when she kisses Conrad, it only seems like it had been long overdue, but also inevitable.
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