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12 Ways The Summer I Turned Pretty Is Different From The Book It's Based On

From new characters to added drama, there were a lot of changes.

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Curious how the hit series The Summer I Turned Pretty deviates from the source material — Jenny Han’s 2009 YA romance novel? Read on to find out some of the major updates. Spoilers to follow.

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Belly’s Ethnicity

Belly (Lola Tung) was not half Korean in the book. With the success of the To All the Boys I Loved Before film adaptations, author and co-showrunner Jenny Han was able to portray her characters the way she originally envisioned.

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Romantic Plots For The Moms

We learn Laurel (Jackie Chung) is a writer and Susannah (Rachel Blanchard) paints portraits, in the show only. Only in the series does Susannah leave her husband because of his infidelity. Both moms find romance that was not a part of the books.

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The Debutante Ball

Susannah’s interest in this Southern high society rite of passage for Belly, the glamour and pressure to choose a date, did not exist in the book. This added finale event infused social intrigue and style — hello, fascinators! — into this beach romance.

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Susannah’s Cancer

In the book, both Jeremiah and Conrad (Christopher Briney) figure out their mom’s cancer diagnosis earlier. In the show only, Susannah agrees to receive further treatment at the urging of her sons.

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Cam’s Character

How adorable and earnest is Cam-Cameron (David Iacono) in the show? Well, his character is still a stand-up guy in the books but he wisely detects Belly’s lack of true interest in him earlier and ends things.

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Alcohol & Drug Use

From being caught drinking at the bonfire party, the 4th of July debacle, to the moms’ ongoing use of marijuana due to Susannah’s cancer, alcohol and drugs were big plot devices in the series that were largely absent in the book.

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The Role Of Steven

Steven’s character (Sean Kaufman), his charisma, love life, and job at the country club were consistent scene-stealers in the series. His role in the book is less significant.

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Introducing Shayla

Shayla (Minnie Mills) is another captivating newcomer on The Summer I Turned Pretty show. The character was written solely for the show and does not appear in the books. Shayla’s fashion-forward style and British accent add a sophisticated flair.

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Belly & Taylor’s Friendship

Taylor (Rain Spencer) and Belly’s friendship is given more dimension and complexity in the show. Their growth, how much they care about each other, and the true-to-life theme that friendships last longer than relationships, are welcomed updates.

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Belly & Jeremiah’s Relationship

Belly and Jeremiah share an adorable first kiss while they were kids in the book but do not date like they do in the show — their kiss was definitely not the passionate affair depicted on-screen.

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Jeremiah’s Sexuality

In the show, Jeremiah’s proud queerness was refreshing. Played to perfection by Gavin Casalegno, the character openly dates boys and girls — and it’s not contentious. Meanwhile, Jeremiah only dated girls in the novel and his sexuality was not explored.

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Conrad & Belly

Find it weird that Conrad moves in on Belly right after her date with Jeremiah? Well, this doesn’t happen in the books as there wasn’t a relationship between Jeremiah and Belly at this point in the story — so there was certainly no steamy kiss on the beach.