Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

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Seventeenth Summer, written and published in 1942 while author, Maureen Daly, was in college, is a teenage love story taken place in Wisconsin Angie, a seventeen year-old girl who never dated until this summer when she met Jack Duluth, is the main character in the story. This book is almost a classic because of the time period it was written in and the setting of the story. The plot also contributes to it's over all outward appearance. With the original story line of a girl falling in love for the first time, there are many parts of the book that I like and do not like.
Although Seventeenth Summer has many different themes or main ideas, I believe one theme sticks out the most. Don’t give up on what you love most. It is a simple message in life has showed up in many books before. As in, if you want something really bad, if you try your hardest, and you put all your heart into it, then you are going to get. Just don’t give up if it means so much to you. Which is a message that shows up a lot in all genres of books.
Daly’s book is definitely a romance but in a broader category, I would classify this novel as realistic-fiction. It could also fit into historical fiction too though because it was written around half a century ago and uses some different slang, lingo, words, and some phrases that people today might not use or even understand. Even with the different language use back then, I liked many parts of this book.
I enjoyed reading this novel because of its simple, easy to follow plot. Its body included many of the usual elements of a love story: the first kiss, problems in the relationship, and a fairy-tale ending. Which I enjoyed but would have preferred more "spice" t the plot, maybe a more "page-turning-conflict".
There were some parts in the book that I didn't really like. The setting and events of the life of Angie was just too normal. There was not much conflict in the story. Everyday she would wake up to, "All the windows were wide open and the sun lay in bright patches on the living-room rug and the hollyhocks grew straight and high around the back door and everywhere there was a feeling of warmth and oneness- as if there was no difference between inside the house and outside." There was just not that much originality in the story. Mornings in the family just seemed too ordinary, perfect, even unrealistic. There were just many things that I disliked about this novel.
After I finished the book, I have come to a conclusion: Seventeenth Summer is a simple, easy read, but a slow one because of its redundant events. I liked the classic plot of a first love but I would have enjoyed it more if there was more action or conflict, something to keep the reader interested while not giving away the climax; it would’ve kept me or any other reader on the edge of their seat. All in all, I do not recommend this book to teens who are looking for a page-turner. This novel is not all that captivating although it has its good parts too. Try it out for yourself, but don’t waste your time.





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bmariee said...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 12:47 am
This is one of my two favorite books on the planet. You really feel the chemistry between the two main characters and the time period its placed in is perfect for the over all story. It's a must must must read you any teenager into teenage romance novels(:
 
M'n'M123 said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm
I personally loved the book! I'm a teen and i couldn't put the book down. I'm really into the romantic books and this one was probably my favorite! <333
 
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