With The Summer I Turned Pretty, Prime Video is delivering the saddest version of your high school fantasy. Based on the novel of the same name by Jenny Han, the romance drama follows a young woman who gets swept up in a love triangle between two boys she’s known her entire life. It’s exactly the sort of story to make most teen girls swoon.
But between the inevitable will-they, won’t-they, there’s a sadder question lurking in the corners of this series. What exactly happens to Susannah, Conrad and Jeremiah’s mom and Laurel’s best friend? Here’s what happens in the series as well as the books.
Does Susannah Die in The Summer I Turned Pretty?
Thankfully, she doesn’t die in the series. But her future doesn’t look too bright. In the middle of Belly’s (Lola Tung) debutant debut, Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) took his mother’s phone on a hunch. That’s how he learned that Susannah’s (Rachel Blanchard) cancer had returned and that she had been hiding it from her family.
Jeremiah’s absence forced his brother Conrad (Christopher Briney) to take his place as Belly’s dance partner. But when Jeremiah returned, they got into a fight over a woman. No, not over Belly. Jeremiah punched his brother once he realized that Conrad knew about their mom’s diagnosis this whole time but neglected to tell him. You know how Conrad was moody the entire summer? That’s why.
After the debutante ball, Susannah came clean to her sons about her cancer. That’s when she dropped another bomb: She didn’t want to go through chemotherapy again. Jeremiah and Conrad convinced her to change her mind to everyone’s relief, especially Laurel’s (Jackie Chung). That’s where The Summer I Turned Pretty‘s first season ended. Susannah is still alive, but there’s a very real chance this lovable ray of sunshine may be extinguished.
Does Susannah Die in the Books?
Sadly, she does. In Jenny Han’s original trilogy, Susannah dies between The Summer I Turned Pretty and It’s Not Summer Without You, the second novel that takes place roughly a year after Book 1. It’s too early to know if Prime Video plans to follow Han’s original plan or if this series adaptation will spend more time with Susannah during her final days.
How Does The Summer I Turned Pretty End?
After everyone learns about Susannah’s cancer, Belly and Conrad have a honest conversation on the beach. Conrad apologizes for acting weird all summer, and Belly forgives him, noting how hard it must have been for him to hide knowing about his mom’s diagnosis. Conrad tells Belly that he needs her, but she tells him that isn’t enough. He needs to both need and want her. He assures Belly that he wants her, and the two kiss as Taylor Swift’s “This Love” plays.
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