Review: Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

SYNOPSIS:

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.

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REVIEW

date read: Apr 21st, 2012

Oh boy, this book was really charming.

It was like a spell taking me back in time, remembering how it felt to be in love for the very first time. But more than that it reminded me of the last time I fell in love, and it was both scary and exciting to see my memories brought somehow back to life.

You see, I believe in love at first sight.. Off course it takes a lot more than that to get to the point of actually being in love, but that journey is the one that counts, that makes your heart flutter, that makes you giggle like a kid on Christmas Eve.

It’s getting embracing – having this huge smile on my face while reading these cute stories in public, with all those people looking at me like I‘m the crazy one, and not them for not returning my huge beautiful smile. Still, I can’t get enough of them (the stories not the boring, unsmiling people), I have no cure: I love love-stories and I will as long as I live.

So this being said, I loved to read about Anna and her summer love.
Through most of the story I had this big grin on my face, laughing and giggling like a schoolgirl, enjoying Anna’s insecurities and wittiness and loving every word, every scene, every moment.
It’s not like the rest of the story wasn’t as good, it’s just that some parts were funnier and I’ve always loved the idea and the feeling of falling in love. I simply can’t compare it with anything else.

“A perfect person is easy to love. But when somebody likes all your imperfections, well, that’s when you know they really mean it.”

The book has 3 stages: falling in love, being in love, and fearing the moment when you might need to fall out of love.It differs from person to person, but for me it felt as realistic as it can get.

On the ‘falling in love stage’, there was this dizziness and happiness while Anna tried to decide if the boy she liked was returning her feelings.
There were awkward silences between them and they managed to say all the wrong things to each other; there was a lot of both shyness and boldness that filled their conversations; there was this insecurity in every step they took and Anna’s sarcasm gave away her emotions so well.

Then, there was the realization that something was growing and Anna started to fear that all the happiness that was starting to fill her heart will leave her empty at the end of the summer; she started to fear that all the happy moments they shared will haunt her lonely nights and rainy days when autumn comes; she feared that all the things they did and all the places they went will break her heart remembering that one summer she had it all, because summer love is like borrowed happiness, as it stays with you just for one beautiful summer.
… So tell me Anna, would you rather love and lose or not love at all?

“I loved being so consumed by Will. Adored it. But I kind of hated it too, because I felt like a huge part of myself had been wrested from my control. I mean, sometimes you just want to make a peanut butter sandwich without being overcome by your own passion, you know?”

But hey, this is not a sad story; this is a happy one, full of love and hope and dreams. It will take you to a place of fluttering feelings and dorky smiles and happy sighs and it will give you the only thing you can reach for when you pick up a romantic book to read: joy!

Even though Anna is the one telling her story, we also find a bit about her best friends and their love story.
It was nice because we got to see unfold another kind of love: one between two best friends.. They were also confused, trying to adjust to the new status, not knowing how to act, fearing not to break their friendship with the new born romance. They made me smile because I realized that we sometimes forget that when we already have someone, we don’t need to impress that person any longer – we have the love, we don’t need to win it just to keep it.

So, yes.. This is one of the cutest stories with the cutest characters (I know, I said the same thing about all my beloved characters from romantic comedies, but I love them all the same) and if you won’t enjoy it at least a tiny bit, then you have a very cold heart my friend (but I can hardly imagine anyone not loving being in love or loving for the first time)

PS: If after reading the book you will fell this urge to go buy a lot if ice-cream, don’t worry, you are not the only one; only pray to be the only one reading this book the day you do or you won’t find ice-cream anywhere :p

Happy midnight reading!

Favorite quote:

But, don't let me do all the talking. I want to know what you think of this as well.

  • Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    Ahh, I loved this review, especially your beautiful pictures that you used to illustrate. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction but this is one I want to read now based on your review. Sounds like it covers the full gamut of emotions felt while in love and you mentioned ice cream…ok adding to TBR…why do I have to play with the light switch everytime I am here?

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      Oh, from time to time I love to read a good contemporary romance, and this one was perfect for me. Anna reminds me of my younger self in so many ways (she is so cute and silly when being in love).. I really hope you will like this story too :)
      And you can play with the light switch as much as you like, I do that too every now and then, LOL!

  • http://veganyanerds.blogspot.com/ VeganYANerds

    This was such a lovely review to read and look at, I love the photos you included, gorgeous! This sounds like a fun book to read, thanks for making me aware of it!

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      It was really cute. A beautiful summer story about falling in love for the first time :)

  • http://twocupsofinspiration.blogspot.com/ Dianna

    Oh,I loved reading this review. I can’t wait to read this book and reading what you think just makes me want it more. Great job! :)
    PS. I LOVE the photos you’ve used and everything! <3

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      Thanks and I hope you will love it as well, and yeah, summer love pictures are always great, or maybe it is just the romantic side of me thinking this ;)))

  • SecretSwindle

    I loved this book. It’s inspirational, and heart-warming.