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The Summer I Turned Pretty: season 1 ending explained

The Summer I Turned Pretty
The Summer I Turned Pretty: what happened in the season 1 ending? (Image credit: Prime Video)

Jenny Han, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Summer I Turned Pretty series, created the series for television.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is “a multigenerational drama that hinges on a love triangle between one girl and two brothers, the ever-evolving relationship between mothers and their children, and the enduring power of strong female friendship. It is a coming-of-age story about first love, first heartbreak, and the magic of that one perfect summer.”

The cast includes Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno, Sean Kaufman, Alfredo Narciso, Minnie Mills, Colin Ferguson, and Tom Everett Scott. 

All episodes are currently streaming on Prime Video.

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The Summer I Turned Pretty season 1 ending explained

Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah: On the morning of the Debutante Ball, Conrad tells Belly that she made the right choice by picking his brother, but Belly makes it clear that she isn’t doubting her decision. Arriving at the ball, Jeremiah finally begins to notice something is wrong with his mom, Susannah. Naturally, he tries to push past it and give Belly her magical night, but after overhearing Laurel and John, he is forced to face the truth. He asks Steven, who is in the dark as well, before looking at his mother’s phone, which has the email about her cancer’s return. 

Seeing Belly, alone on the dance floor after Jeremiah never shows, Conrad doesn’t hesitate to step up as his brother’s replacement. As she then dances with Conrad, it’s impossible to ignore Laurel's comment about how Conrad is the sun for Belly, making all the other stars disappear. 

At the end, he admits that he’s glad it was him that shared this moment with her. Jeremiah walks back in to find Belly dancing with his brother, making his way over to his mother but staying silent so his girlfriend can have her moment, even if it's not with him. When everything is finished, he approaches Conrad but quickly realizes that his brother already knows about his mother’s illness. This sets him off and the two get into a fight, only for their mother to have to break it up. Belly is then filled in and we see a heartbreaking moment between her and Laurel, which Steven later joins. 

Before the episode ends, we see Belly and Conrad together on the beach. Conrad apologies for his behavior this summer and Belly expresses how she wishes he told her what was going on. She tries to cut the conversation when Conrad says there are so many things he wants to say to her, not wanting to take advantage, but he doesn’t let her and says that he wants her. The two kiss, leaving audiences on the edge of their seat until season 2.

Steven and Shayla: Despite what could be considered a rough start with Steven not being able to afford a tux due to losing all of his money, the two attend the Debutante Ball together. Shayla finally confronts Steven about what’s going on, leading him to admit his insecurities about not being good enough. Shayla takes the opportunity to assure him that she chose him for a reason, setting the scene for their first “I love you.”

Laurel: Unable to stay strong any longer, Laurel finally breaks down to John about Susannah’s secret. Cleveland asks her to come with him on his book tour, but she turns him down for Susannah, not realizing that Cleveland already knows the situation from Conrad.

Susannah: With everyone finally knowing the truth, she has to discuss the situation with her boys, who beg her to do the trial. At first, she says she can’t go through it again, but her sons tell her that they need her and she agrees to try for them. 

The series has already been renewed for a second season, here’s what might happen next…

First, we need to look at the officially summary for the second book in the series, It's Not Summer Without You:

“It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach.”

It’s unclear how closely the second season will follow the second book as, of course, there are always some differences.

Now, we must take a look at all of the episode’s big cliffhangers:

There’s no doubt that the kiss between Conrad and Belly will come into play next season. Are she and Jeremiah still together? Did they break up after the kiss? Does Jeremiah know about the kiss? Is she now with Conrad? 

What’s the outcome of Susannah’s trial? Is Laurel there with her and the boys to help as she mentioned?

What is Steven’s relationship with Shayla? Are they doing long-distance? Will they still be together for the second season?

Sophia Soto has a passion for all things entertainment. She currently writes for What To Watch, The Nerds of Color, Remezcla, Looper and Den of Geek, with bylines in Young Hollywood. Some of her favorite shows include Grey’s Anatomy, The Goldbergs, Riverdale and Roswell, New Mexico. She is also a complete Marvel nerd!