Book: Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
Genre: Young Adult
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Ebook & Paperback
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2011How Did I Get This Book: From Simon & Schuester Galley GrabPreview Book: Preview on Google BooksDescription: Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love. But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking…
I am not usually one for these summer romance books, but Sixteenth Summer somehow struck a chord with me. The character of Anna, is incredibly easy to relate to; she embodies the image of the "girl next door". She is kind, yet willful and has an easy confidence, but is still unsure of who she is, or who she wants to become. She definitely has her flaws and she has a great deal of growing up to do. Watching her navigate her relationship with Will or the course of the summer is simply refreshing.
Obviously, the center point of this story is the romance between Will and Anna. However, I do not feel like it was overdone; which is often the case in these sort of books. The story is so undeniably realistic that it almost feels like you are reading about your own past. There were a number of parts that I was able to easily place myself inside the character of Anna, having experienced some similar situation.
It is easy to see why Anna falls for Will, because he pretty much embodies every boy I ever crushed on during those years. He is a bit awkward, a tad shy, rather sensitive and undeniably charming. He accepts and loves Anna for her quirks - isn't that what we all want?
The tone of the book presents you with a bit of a conundrum - it is both fluffy and depressing at the same time. Honestly this book embodies the term "bittersweet". It has one of those endings that you don't necessarily want, but yet, it needs to be that way.
Sixteenth Summer isn't a deep thought-provoking work, but it's entertaining, easy to relate to and charming. It's realistic story, one that traps into the bittersweet nature of life. Dalton transports you back to your own sixteenth summer, when possibilities were endless and love was around the corner.
“it was like his was the face I’d always been looking for. It was foreign and familiar, both in the best way.”
“instantly I felt like I had to know what color his eyes were. I wanted to hear what his voice sounded like. I needed to know his name.”
“I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. Sometimes I wanted to dance and laugh with my friends until midnight, and sometimes I wanted to screen all calls and hide away with a tragic novel and a bag of candy. Sometimes I spent an hour trying to pretty myself up, and sometimes I could barely be bothered to comb the knots out of my hair before I left the house.”
“he was wearing faded red swim trunks and an almost-transparent gray T-shirt. I wanted to reach over the ice cream case and touch it. Luckily, that would have involved some not-terribly-subtle climbing up on the counter, so it wasn’t too hard to restrain myself.”
“Will looked at me. His expression was something I’d never quite seen before. Call it a meeting of delight and nausea. Which was pretty much exactly how I’d been feeling ever since our date.”