Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Laura Nicosia

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka

Committee Member

Alex Lykidis


This essay seeks to explore and analyze the novel The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. The novel’s ability to maintain relevance as a piece of popular YA literature despite its release over ten years ago makes it an interesting title to study because it demonstrates the concept of a “formulaic text,” which is defined as having, “...simple syntax, frequent repetition, and explicit authorial interpretations” (Smith 31). Additionally, Han’s novel displays the commercialization of femininity and enforces the common heteronormative relationship narrative displayed in this strain of romantic fiction. This essay aims to explore these social phenomena and how they are displayed in Han’s novel and television show adaptation that was released this past summer. The questions that this essay aims to answer pertain to how the television adaptation differs from the show and how the novel adheres to the concept of a formulaic text. This essay will also mention the traditional stereotypes concerning gender and romance that appear in the novel, while also diving into Han’s fictional parental figures such as mothers Susannah and Laurel. The objective of this essay is to understand how this novel has stood the test of time amongst other popular romantic fiction titles and how the genre can be further improved, challenged, and understood for future young adult readers.

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