Summer has officially started! The summer solstice has passed, the days are longer, the nights are warmer- I think that we can all officially agree that summer has begun. And, since it is the start of summer, I thought it would only be fitting to review a summer book. So, as you may have guessed from the title, this review is of Fifteenth Summer written by Michelle Dalton.
I read this entire book on a plane to Texas, so it is definitely a short read. I’d say it was probably meant for ages 13-17, and primarily targeted for girls as it is a YA* Romance/ Realistic Fiction novel. There is a bit of comedy in the story, but mainly it is romance and drama- definitely not a romcom.
On first glance, the cover was great. It definitely stuck out on the shelf, and pulled me in, exactly what it was meant to do. I would say that, unfortunately, I was a bit too old for the book. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I would have if I had read it at sixteen. I think another reason I didn’t enjoy it that much is that it was out of my reading comfort zone. It is good to travel around genres and read about but, as someone who cringes very easily, romance probably isn’t a genre I will ever be hooked to. I just don’t enjoy it that much. The book was good though. I did like that the main character read a lot, and wrote a bit, as I found that it made me able to relate with the character a bit more.
Now for the technical (there will be spoilers in this section). The plot of the book ran smoothly, though after finishing I questioned what was achieved from the plot. It seemed as if very few things had changed, making me wonder what the purpose of this story was, and if any part of the story was actually necessary. Chelsea, who is the main character, needed more character development. The only changes that she went through is that she gets a boyfriend and falls in love, and (because of him) she stops hating her hair. One could argue that she also gets over the death of her grandma (Granly) but it isn’t written into the story very much, it just kind of pops up here and there- it almost felt as if that whole portion of the book was a filler. Chelsea is very like-able though, especially since the book is written through her point of view in the first person. Then there is Josh, Chelsea’s boyfriend. It was weird, as he wasn’t the main character, yet he had better character development throughout the story than Chelsea had. The background characters were good, and did just what they were meant to as background characters. There was a lot of telling** through out the story and not a lot of showing. I would have likes to see more showing in the story, as it would have made the writing a lot stronger. The plot also was a bit predictable. It was a classic boy and girl meet, get together, fall in love, break up, and get back together again. Now, this is fine, and it sells… but there are other ways to do it that would have stuck out more and aren’t as popular or cliché. Lastly, there were also a few grammatical errors in the book but they didn’t stick out too much.
All in all, I would probably give it a six out of ten. It was good but I’m not sure if I’d ever read it again. I’d also only recommend this book to a young teenager that likes romance and realistic fiction.
*YA= young adult
**telling vs. showing is a common editing remark- it points out that instead of the reader being shown what is happening through descriptive words and imagery it is just plainly said.
Whenever I find a good book, I just want to push it onto people. Literally, I feel like shoving these amazing books under everybody’s noses. But I’m sure that if I did that, that I would probably get slapped. Multiple times. Each day. Then I question if the book would be worth the pain, to share something you love, a little bit of freedom and happiness.
So, that is the main reason for me setting up this blog. I want to share with you these amazing books I read, and the not-so-amazing ones.
Now, I know what you are thinking. What gives you the right to judge if a book is good or not? If you weren’t thinking that before then you are now. So, let me answer your question. I study creative and professional writing at the University of Nottingham. It’s a pretty good school, a global top 100, and my program is very specialized. I have learned the elements of good writing and what makes a book good, and what doesn’t. So yes, part of this blog will be my opinion, as it is MY blog. But a large part of each post, each book review, will be the technicalities. Is it a good book or not, who is it aimed for, etc. Put my opinion (as a reader) and the technical stuff (as an editor/ writer/ book reviewer) together and you will get a mega-review!
So now, I invite you to stick around. Well, that’s me being a little formal. I’d honestly love it if you stuck around, and if I could, I’d get on my knees and beg you- although I’m not sure if you would like that or not, so I won’t.
If you want me to read and review a certain book stick something in my SUBMISSIONS box. You can also send me short stories through the same box if you want me to read/ edit/ review them on here. And I honestly hope that you enjoy this blog, that you stick around, and that my posts are helpful to you!