Lyndsey's Reviews > Sixteenth Summer

Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
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Jun 28, 11

bookshelves: reviewed-2011, 1st-person, pov-primarily-female, about-summertime, reviewed-3-stars, genre-chick-lit, genre-young-adult, galley-grab
Recommended for: Teeny boppers looking for a summer romance without the fairytale or fairy tails.
Read in May, 2011

Summer . It doesn't always have to be about mermaids and unicorns.

Sometimes, it just about a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him not to smash her sandcastle. And sometimes, that boy smashes it anyway.

But not in this book - in this one, they frikkin build sandcastles. One of them: a replica of the Sydney Opera House. Damn right.

In her small beach town, Anna meets and falls fast head over heels for Will, the boy from the city. She gets wrapped up in the magic of spending summer with her new squeeze and nearly forgets that he will be leaving by the end of the season. But he will leave. She knows she will have to deal with that and starts to pull away from him. Somehow, Will manages to win her over with his wiley charms, anyway.

The love interest's name is Will Cooper, which of course made me think of Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson Will Grayson. If there are any "regular people" fictional characters out there that I loved, it's them. So then I got all nostalgic and junk.

Sixteenth Summer is fairly basic, not a lot of melodrama, but it evokes the feel of summer and perfectly captures the mind of a teenager during the season of short-lived-sappy romances. At one point in the book, the MC spent about 5 pages talking about a bathing suit wrap to wear to the beach, but with the voice she used, she managed to make it at least slightly interesting, or at least not as outright boring as it could have been. So that, in and of itself, is a feat. Especially coming from me, who has zero interest in fashion. A graphic tee and jeans for me, please.

Sixteenth Summer is perfect for those out there that go giddy and googly-eyed over the sap. This was sappy as Pooh's honey tree.

There are longing stares over campfire, scoops of ice cream galore, and a LOT of happy love thoughts. This felt too much like a generic relationship. Girl sees boy across the way. Boy meets girl's eyes. A few days later they see each other again. Boy asks girl out. Boy and girl get to know each other. I guess I am just more of a fan of slow developing relationships: Anti-generic relationships, best friends that become lovers, or a love-hate relationship. Not like-at-first-sight romances.

The one thing that I really liked was the fact this book told a clean, angst-free summer romance. The truth is that not all relationship are Dr Phil-worthy. And not all teens only think about to who and when they are going to lose their virginity or dwell constantly on the fact that they are virgins. In fact, I don't think this book ever mentioned sex. It may be rare, yes. But it is entirely possible.

Sometimes, relationships are just about learning to be. Or learning to be together. That's what this book is. It isn't fantastical or epic or even highly dramatic. It's just simply about a connection between two people.

What I didn't like

• A little too perfect until the last 50 pages or so
• Too much lovey-dovey, not enough grit
• Generic summer romance

What I liked

• Little baby sea turtles hatching and venturing into the ocean
• Möbius strip bracelet
• Nearly angst free
• Strong female with her own separate life and sense of purpose

All in all, it was just too perfect. If you are looking for a perky and uppity summer romance with very little angst, then I really think you would love this. Very cute. Liked it, didn't love it.

This is a perfect book for younger teen girls, I think. If you constantly find yourself singing, "Huh. Tell me more, tell me more. Was it love at first sight?" and wishing that Danny Zuko was a good boy and that Grease was about the summer before Sandy transferred to Ridell High, then this book would be your let's-go-for-a-midnight-roll-in-the-sand-while-giggling-and-watching-sea-turtles-babies-run-free DREAM.

(Thanks to S&S for letting me read this as an ARC!)
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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The UHQ Nasanta "Sometimes, it just about a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him not to smash her sandcastle. And sometimes, that boy smashes it anyway." Love this line. :D Great review.


Wendy Darling This was sappy as Pooh's honey tree. Hah, too true! But I loved it anyway. :)


Lyndsey Thanks, niquae! Notting Hill is one of those cheesy movies that I really do love, so I just had to "borrow" from it. ;-)

Wendy, I didn't dislike it at all, which if I had known just how sappy it would be, I would have expected to hate it. But I really did like it a lot. It just doesn't rank up there as a favorite.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

There is no giff on this review. I don't even know what to do with myself


The UHQ Nasanta Haven't seen Notting Hill. Will have to now. :)


Lyndsey I know, Kate! What can say? I'm evolving... Or devolving. I'm not sure.

Jillian - we should totally co-author a book called "The Summer of Smashing Sandcastles". It would rock!


message 7: by Lyndsey (last edited May 23, 2011 02:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lyndsey Really, niquae? The actual line from the movie is: I'm also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.

Funnily enough, the main girl in both Notting Hill and this book are named Anna. And in both, the guy is named: Will. No freaking way. I just realized that. Weeeeeird.


The UHQ Nasanta haha. Yeah, it is weird. Perhaps that was the inspiration for the book?


Lyndsey Probably just a crazy coincidence. Just weirded me out. LOL.


message 10: by Chichipio (new)

Chichipio This sounds like one of those books that would be totally awesome with a few zombies in the mix. For starters, the issues about what you didn't like would be automatically resolved.


Lyndsey Speaking of zombies! I think I'm going to start Feed, soon. Go zombies, go zombies, GO!!

And zombies could totally rock a teen summer romance. Totally in the realm of possibility.


message 12: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly I'm surprised to see you read this book Lyndsey! Not surprised you gave it a 3! Love the review! Try Daniel Water's zombie books. They're all about zombies in luurve!!!


Lyndsey Milly, I've been meaning to read those! I do love my zombies.

And I totally read contemporary YA... sometimes. It's not all about spaceships and dinosaurs with me. OOOOH! I haven't read a dinosaur book in a LONG time. ;-)


message 14: by Darkfallen (new)

Darkfallen Yea yea I loved Daniel Waters zombies but....the last book makes you think there is going to be another one and then.....there isnt. What's up with that?


message 15: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Awesome review Lyndsey!! Thanks for reminding me of the Grease "Summer Love" song! LOL!!


message 16: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly Darkfallen wrote: "Yea yea I loved Daniel Waters zombies but....the last book makes you think there is going to be another one and then.....there isnt. What's up with that?"

Oh there isn't? Didn't know that. I've been waiting for nothing. :(


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Aww to little baby sea turtles. It always crushes me when the voiceover reminds us 90% of them die in the first three days of being out in the ocean. Great review!


message 18: by Lyndsey (last edited Jun 06, 2011 07:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lyndsey Thanks, Moss!

It "crush"es you about the sea turtles, lol. Crush!! He is my all time favorite sea turle (from Finding Nemo)! Please tell me they have Finding Nemo in New Zealand.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Heh. Yep, we've got Nemo.


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