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steven in the summer i turned pretty season 2
steven in the summer i turned pretty season 2
Erika Doss/Prime Video
Culture > Entertainment

Who Does Steven End Up With In ‘TSITP’? The Books Differ From the Show

I firmly believe that Steven Conklin is the most underrated character in The Summer I Turned Pretty. Well, the TV show adaptation of it, at least. Steven doesn’t play too big of a role in Jenny Han’s novels, giving Sean Kaufman and the TSITP screenwriters a lot of wiggle room in terms of his storyline. Show Steven is witty, sarcastic, clearly intelligent (he was his high school’s valedictorian and got into Princeton), and a genuinely good person at heart. Show Steven is a catch, TBH — and the writers know it. So who does Steven end up with? Spoiler warning: Spoilers for The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 follow.

The only female characters Steven interacts with in the book series are Belly and his mom, Laurel. Since we’re in Cousins Beach and not King’s Landing, the show had to come up with new characters to act as Steven’s love interests. He dated Cousins’ resident summer it-girl, Shayla Wang, in Season 1. However, in the Season 2 premiere, he announced during his valedictorian speech that Shayla broke up with him at the end of the summer. 

Fans were shocked that one of their favorite ships had been cut off so soon. But with Han being the mastermind she is, Shayla’s exit was for a good cause: one of the most realistic slow burn romances I’ve seen in TV-14 entertainment.

So, who does Steven end up with in Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty? None other than Belly’s best friend, Taylor Jewel.

The second season builds Steven and Taylor’s relationship from frenemies to lovers. At the beginning of the season, the pair can’t seem to stand one another. Taylor doesn’t like the way Steven treats Belly at his graduation party; Steven thinks Taylor can do way better than her “Machine Gun Kelly wannabe” boyfriend (he kind of ate Milo up with that comparison, NGL). 

The turning point in their friendship is their heart-to-heart at the gas station on their way to Cousins in Episode 3. There must be something in the Cousins Beach water that sparks summer romances, because Steven and Taylor’s slow dance to “Moon River” at the country club in Episode 5 and their kiss at the retro party in Episode 6 are what teenage dreams are made of. 

The pairing isn’t totally unexpected; the two shared a kiss in Season 1. What was a surprise was learning that they’ve had crushes on each other for years. The show makes it clear that Taylor and Steven feel very deeply for each other, but their mini-fight at the pizza place in Episode 8 reminds them (and viewers) that they’re only just starting to navigate unfamiliar territory. We’ll have to wait for Season 3 to see how long Staylor stays together.

Fabiana Beuses is a senior at Florida State University double majoring in Media/Communication Studies and English (Editing, Writing, and Media). She is the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at FSU. She previously served as Her Campus' Summer 2023 Entertainment & Culture Intern and is currently a National Culture Writer, where she profiles celebrities and professionally fangirls over pop culture phenomena. When she's not polishing her latest article, you can find her browsing bookstore aisles, taste testing vanilla lattes around town, or rewatching the Harry Potter series for the millionth time.