The Summer I Turned Pretty is a universal coming-of-age story — and one that depicts what happens when a girl finds herself caught between two brothers.
The teen drama, which debuted in June 2022 and is based the book series of the same name, follows Belly Conklin (Lola Tung) as she navigates growing up — and figuring out her relationships with Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah Fisher (Gavin Casalegno). The three-book series features the siblings fighting for Belly’s attention, with Belly exploring her feelings for both boys before making a final decision in the third novel.
While season 1 and season 2 of the Prime series — which premiered in July 2023 – loosely follow the narrative of the books, Casalegno revealed that Jenny Han, who wrote the novels and is showrunner of the TV adaptation, may choose to change how things play out on screen.
“I do feel like there’s a strong chance that that’s a possibility,” the actor exclusively told Us Weekly, adding that he doesn’t think too hard about what the future of his character looks like while filming.
“I try to keep it as real as possible in that regard. Obviously, I know where he ends up going and what ends up happening. But I don’t emphasize … that. Because I think Jenny [Han] writes it so well that I’m able to kind of get there naturally without having to force it a certain direction,” Casalegno told Us. “So even though I know where he is going, I try to play it day by day because that’s all we can do. [We can] just live in the moment and make the most of our time right.”
For Han, it was about looking at her own novels through the eyes of her fans.
“I approached it like, what do I think are the most important elements of the story to keep? And what do the fans care the most about? I am able to pull from all the emails, letters, and comments I’ve seen over the years from fans, so that’s how we looked at this adaptation,” she told Collider in June 2022. “What do the original fans care most about? And then, also for me, what’s going to be most like fun and exciting to explore?”
As for where Briney and Casalegno stand, they both have unwavering loyalty to their own characters — no matter what. “I’m Team Conrad, bro. I might be biased, but I have to be,” Briney told J-14 in June 2022. Casalegno, meanwhile, admitted that it’s that a “tough situation” when picking sides, but he would “have to be Team Jeremiah” at the end of the day.
Tung, however, has a different approach to the situation altogether — putting female empowerment above all else. “I will forever be Team Belly,” she told the outlet at the time. “I believe in her finding herself and going on this journey.”
Keep scrolling for a complete breakdown of The Summer I Turned Pretty love triangle:
Belly’s All Grown Up
When Belly arrives at Cousins during the pilot, both Conrad and Jeremiah are taken aback by how grown up she looks – and sparks immediately fly for both brothers.
A New and Unexpected Tension
While Belly has an easy and light-hearted dynamic with Jeremiah, there is a heaviness between her and Conrad in the first few episodes of season 1.
Skirting around how they really feel, the twosome end up displaying serious jealousy. Belly throws shade at Conrad’s girlfriend, Nicole, at a beach bonfire, while Conrad teases Belly by showing up on her date with Cam Cameron (David Iacono) at the drive-in movie theater. Belly later explodes at Conrad, claiming he gives her a hard time about dating because he has feelings for her.
Fireworks and a Close Call
Jeremiah shows his own jealous streak in season 1 episode 4 when he catches Belly and Conrad about to kiss on the deck and almost shoots a firework at them. He later manipulates a situation with Nicole by suggesting she invite Conrad to go out of town for a concert — which would leave him alone with Belly.
A Big Blowout
After their almost-kiss, Belly breaks up with Cam for Conrad. When Conrad still refuses to be with her despite the fact he “thinks about” her often, she decides to let him go and stop waiting for him.
A Surprise Confession
Realizing that Belly and Conrad aren’t going to be together, Jeremiah confesses his feelings to her and they kiss in the pool during season 1 episode 5. They later play together in a volleyball tournament, but Conrad ends up subbing in for Jeremiah after they start to lose. Seeing Conrad and Belly win their match and embrace, Jeremiah starts to wonder if Belly still has feelings for his brother.
Picking a Disaster Date
Belly decides to take Jeremiah to the summer debutante ball as her date. However, he goes MIA when he finds out his mom, Susannah (Rachel Blanchard), has cancer again. Conrad takes his place during the final dance, reigniting sparks between himself and Belly. “I’m glad it was me,” he tells her afterward.
A Love Returns
Despite casually dating Jeremiah, Belly and Conrad confess their feelings for each other in the final scene of season 1. Conrad tells her that he “needs” and “wants” her and the pair finally share a kiss.
During the season 2 premiere, Belly tells Jeremiah she wants to be with Conrad. Angry, he warns her that Conrad will only “break her heart.” Belly decides that being with Conrad while Susannah is sick — and Jeremiah is so hurt — will only do more damage. With summer ending, they decide to take some space from each other.
A Long-Distance Reconnection
Belly and Conrad start talking on the phone as “friends.” He eventually shows up at her house, telling her he could “never get over” her.
An Invisible String Tied Together
Belly and Conrad share a night together in Cousins at Christmas in the second episode of season 2 and have sex for the first time.
A Punctuated Prom Night
Belly and Conrad continue to date until spring of Belly’s junior year of high school. A flashback during season 2 episode 3 reveals Conrad takes Belly to the prom, but breaks up with her during the dance, leaving her heartbroken.
A Hard Goodbye
Following Susannah’s death in season 2 episode 3, Belly attempts to be there for Jeremiah at the funeral but ends up getting distracted by Conrad, who she finds lying down with a mystery girl. She tells Conrad she “hates” him and never wants to see him again.
Belly calls Jeremiah at the end of season 2 episode 3 because she misses him. While he answers the phone, it’s because Conrad has disappeared from college. The pair then head off to find Conrad and end up having a blowout fight on the side of the road. Jeremiah confesses he wasn’t OK with Belly and Conrad being together and she apologizes for hurting them. The twosome make up and start to repair their friendship.
You Can’t Go Back
Jeremiah and Belly find out Conrad is in Cousins. When they arrive, Conrad is upset Belly is there — and reveals Susannah’s sister is selling the family’s house.
A Brotherly Bond
Jeremiah and Conrad, who have been slightly estranged since Conrad began dating Belly, apologize to each other and promise to work together to save their summer home.
An Unexpected Spark
After holding hands while riding the Tower of Terror together in season 4 episode 4, sparks begin to fly between Belly and Jeremiah. While Belly admits to Taylor (Rain Spencer) that there might be something building between them, Jeremiah, for his part, is hesitant.
The twosome seemingly almost kiss while sharing a soda in season 2 episode 5, but Jeremiah ultimately turns down the chance to kiss Belly during Truth or Dare later that night. When she asks why he doesn’t want to lock lips, Jeremiah replies, “Because if I kissed you I don’t know that I could ever stop.” When Belly asks him to explain, Jeremiah tells her, “It’s complicated.”
Flashbacks from Jeremiah’s point of view later in the episode reveal how hurt he was seeing Belly and Conrad together, despite telling them it was OK that they dated.
A Heart Divided
As Belly continues to grow closer to Jeremiah in season 2 episode 6 — the pair almost kiss twice including while in the pool, a callback to their season 1 makeout — she also finds herself having difficult conversations with Conrad.
While shopping for party supplies, Belly apologies for treating Conrad poorly at his mother’s funeral. Conrad, for his part, confesses he was with his ex-girlfriend because she found him during a panic attack — but says he wishes Belly had found him instead. The twosome then have a drunken moment on the beach where Belly tells Conrad she would have fought for him if she knew how much he cared.
“I thought we loved other,” she says through tears. After he answers, “We did,” she replies, “I guess not enough.”
At the end of the episode, Belly finds herself between both brothers — literally and figuratively. As the party rages around them, she stands in the middle of the room while Jeremiah and Conrad stare at her, but she’s unable to move one way or the other.