Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: April 27, 2010 (Originally published in 1942)
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A summer to remember…Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they’ll never forget."

Angie is a traditional girl that doesn't think much about high school crushes. It's the summer before her freshman year of college and she doesn't have big plans.  That is until she meets Jack and can't deny her attraction to him.  Her summer takes a complete turn for the better and she stars spending a lot of time with Jack.  It quickly becomes the most romantic summer of her life, but in the back of her mind, she is constantly thinking about fall and what it inevitably brings.  Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly is a glimpse into an American summer in the 1950's before relationships and life were confused by the Internet, electronics and of course, cell phones.  It's a refreshing summer tale of first love that is never forgotten.

Angie is the quintessential good girl. She listens to her parents, she does what she's told, she never talks back, and never questions authority.  Unfortunately, most young adult today are the polar opposite, whether that's good or bad, that's up to you to decide, but I found it intriguing. It was so foreign to me to have the main character, who is going to college soon, ask her mom if she could go for a walk, etc. Most teenagers would be out the door in their car without a second thought! So for me, this was like a step back into another world and I found it delightful.  

Angie and Jack's relationship was cute and of course, she was nervous and second guessing everything.  Thankfully, there's no Facebook, Twitter, or texting to confuse Angie even further.  She just had to wait for Jack's call!  Could you imagine! (Ha!) But in all honestly, it just seemed so uncomplicated.

Daly really captured a first summer love; it was magical, but the whole time Angie is worried about fall since she leaves for college.  Perhaps it was fresh in Daly's mind as she wrote this novel before she turned twenty, which is an impressive feat.  Additionally, I found this novel to be similar to Sixteenth Summer  by Michelle Dalton.  It was interesting to compare the two novels; obviously, Dalton was inspired by this tale of summer love with a September deadline.  On a side note, I must share this one interesting fact I came across. Seventeenth Summer is one of the first novels to target young adults--how cool!

I think adults would like Seventeenth Summer as well since I'm sure it could be viewed as a walk down memory lane, but I am not sure many young adults could appreciate this different way of life as this book isn't edgy at all.  For example, they say thinks like "gee" and "gosh" a lot, they go for a Coke at the local restaurant, etc, and I'm sure my students would laugh hysterically at this.  I love the 50's and 60's, so I could appreciate the time period, but others may find this simple life quite boring.  

All in all, if you are looking for a sentimental tale of first love, you must pick up Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. It was originally written in 1942, so one thing is for sure--no matter the time period, summer love is unforgettable.

*Read an excerpt


  1. Ah, I can finally comment!

    I'd never heard of this book, but it sounds like a great summer read. You are the best at finding these romantic coming of age summer reads!

  2. I love that it's written in 1942. Why can't we find young adult books from the fiftees? It would be so much fun. :) Thanx for telling me about this book.

  3. Leanna- Sorry you had problems commenting. How annoying! Thanks for the kind thoughts! :)

    Nina- I agree- how fun would that be? Thanks for visiting, Nina!

  4. My book of the time was a novel called "Trish". Did you ever hear of it? I read it during late 1950's. No luck findig it anywhere. Irene L.

  5. I read this book in about 1947 when I was a freshman in high school and it and "Men Are Like Streetcars" were the only two books I read at that age that I call favorites. When I saw it offered in my "Library to Go" I just had to listen to it again to see if I would still enjoy it at my age, 79. It was such nostalgia for me, I loved it again. However, I doubt my grandchildren would feel the same. Thanks for the great review.

  6. people say im so young to know about love but for some reason (13 years old) i understand this so much and i love the book! One of my favorites!

  7. best book i have read in a long time!


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