TIME TO UPDATE MY READINGS FOR MY YA LIT CLASS!
(I’m actually really enjoying the class, but that was kinda to be expected. So yay 😊
The second novel we read for the class was Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. I was pretty excited to start this one, not only because it was one of the first young adult novels that took a realistic look at teens and relationships, but also because I’m a sucker for coming of age novels.
Until the summer before college, Angie Morrow didn’t really date. Her mother didn’t like her to go out much. But no one — not even Angie’s mother — can resist the charm of strikingly handsome Jack Duluth. His good looks grab Angies’s attention from the moment in June when Jack throws Angie a smile at McKight’s drugstore. And on their first date sailing under the stars — when Jack leans in and whispers to Angie, You look nice with the wind in your hair, the strange new feeling s begin. Tingles, prickles, warmth: the tell-tale signs of romance. It’s the beginning of an unforgettable summer for Angie, full of wonder, warmth, tears, challenge, and love.Maureen Daly had created a love story so honest that it has withstood the test of time, winning new fans for more than six decades. Today, this classic is enjoyed by many who think of it as the quintessential love story, and as a glimpse of love in the 1940’s; a refreshing alternative to modern love stories, reflecting the beauty and innocence of new love. -goodreads.com summary
Now that I’ve finished the novel, what were my thoughts? I really enjoyed it! Seventeenth Summer is in no way the deepest or most impactful novel I’ve read, but it was quick and entertaining. Throughout the novel, I began to really love some of these characters and wanting to know more about them. My favorite parts were always the smaller character moments when I got to know more about my favorites. The best thing about the writing is how the teenage characters actually ACT LIKE TEENS! (who would’ve thought that was possible). Angie isn’t always the most mature in the room, she get upset at Jack over small issues but eventually learns to get over that.
In addition to the characters, the romance was adorable! I would almost even consider this fluff, but unlike most fluff you’ll see today, Angie and Jack’s relationship isn’t always perfect. The two have their bumps and issues, but they tend to find their way back to each other. Seeing them grow closer throughout the novel was lovely.
And finally, there’s the ending. Without giving anything away, I’ll say it is very bittersweet and borderline anti-climactic; however, I don’t really mind that. I can appreciate novels that don’t need some big show of an ending, but just kinda let things end.
SO! Do I recommend Seventeenth Summer? If you can’t already tell, YES! It’s a slower read, and some cultural ideas around dating are a bit outdated, but I think it’s still worth picking up, especially if you are interested in the history of Young Adult Literature.
Have you read The Seventeenth Summer? What did you think? Are there any pre2000s young adult novels that you love? What pre2000s Young Adult novels do you think I should read?