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 more than a crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack were filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out of their love is forever, or just a summer they'll never forget.
I've never heard about this book before I bought it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this book is widely considered as the first book to target young adults as an audience. I was even more excited when I further discovered that Seventeenth Summer was written during the forties, and was written by author Maureen Daly when she was only seventeen, thus making me believe that the thoughts and emotions showcased by the book's heroine would be authentic in nature. To top it off, the book is set during summer, and I simply adore books that tell the tales of summer romances. All in all, I should have enjoyed this book, and though I tried my hardest, I simply didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
First and foremost, I felt nothing while reading about Angie and Jack's relationship. They never really talked - they went on dates and hung out a lot, yes - but they never seem to just talk. Moreover, while reading, I got the feeling that Angie was only interested in Jack for the sake of dating, and I found it immensely difficult to believe that she loved him, even though she hints at it a few times during the course of the book. (She was so mindblowingly disgusted at Jack because he clicked his spoon with his teeth - that doesn't spell love to me!) Meanwhile, though I honestly believed that Jack loved Angie, I couldn't quite understand just how it is he came to love her. She never seemed to express herself when she was with him, she never talked, she mostly just sat with him... I just couldn't make myself believe that Jack and Angie were in love no matter what I did.
Second, the pacing of the book was ridiculously slow. I had to read pages and pages of overwhelmingly detailed and flowery descriptions of the weather, the dresses Angie wore, how her hair was styled and so on and so forth before I could get a glimpse of how Jack and Angie's relationship was coasting along. As much as I loved reading about Angie's world, the writing wore me out halfway through the book. Also, nothing really happens with Jack and Angie - they just go out every night, sit beside each other, talk a little, and that's it. I really don't think that that's the way people in love are supposed to act, even in the forties.
As a matter of fact, the only reason I kept reading the book was because Angie kept on hinting that something big was going to happen with her sister Lorraine who ended up heartbroken by the end of the book. As Lorraine was the only character in the book that had, well, character, I really wanted to know what happened to her. Let me tell you now - we don't find out.
Seventeenth Summer isn't a horrible book, but it simply wasn't for me. I couldn't get into into the plot and the characters no matter how much I tried. While the ending did have me feeling a little wistful, this is one of those books that I really don't consider a must-read.
Rating: 3 Stars