“The Summer I Turned Pretty” author Jenny Han is now a showrunner for a new Prime Video series based on her best-selling young adult trilogy.
Not only did she contribute to the show’s conception, but she also worked on the show’s smashing soundtrack, which features songs by Cardi B, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and many more.
Swift’s music has inspired her songs, she told CBS Mornings. She’s been a Swift fan for years, and she constantly listens to her music while writing. Taylor Swift’s music helped her reach the feelings she needed to write. Han feels that Taylor Swift understands young femininity in addition to love stories.
When asked what her New York Times bestseller, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” was about, Han replied that it’s about “girlhood in general”. She said it symbolized a person’s maturity and emerging into their own authority.
Han also discussed the necessity of Asian representation, saying that publishers told her years ago that no one would read about Asian Americans or Asian American families. She’s so matter-of-fact about it that she doesn’t feel wounded.
In the book series, Belly was depicted as a white woman on the book’s original cover but in the show, she is a mixed-race teen with a Korean mother and white father. Han mentioned she had attempted to sell that featured an Asian main character, but people were not interested.
Han claims that once she gained her audience’s trust, she was able to freely explore character backstories. From the start, she aimed to boost Asian representation.
Her debut book’s back cover included a portrait of her. Because it wasn’t common, she hoped that other young Asian women would be inspired by her example.