Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer)
by Michelle Dalton
May 5th 2015
by Michelle Dalton
May 5th 2015
Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.
Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.
Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?
All of Swept Away - the characters, the romance, even Rocky Point, the small, beachfront town where Mandy lives and the story takes place - does a fantastic job being cute without being cutesy.
Mandy is sure she's about to have one of the dullest summers of her life. Her best friend is going away to camp, her brother is staying at college to take summer courses, and her mother has roped her into volunteering at the light house.
She isn't expecting Oliver. When she first sees him, Mandy knows he's not a local nor his he one of the vacation regulars, he's someone she's never sen before. And someone she can't get out of her head.
I liked that while the story stayed cute and sweet - Oliver and Mandy were pretty adorable and the town provided some great events and activities for them - it wasn't all fluff, either. From the drama surrounding Oliver's family, Mandy's relationship with her mother, he struggles with getting everything with Oliver right, even her missing Cynthia, there were also some more complex issues at play.
I enjoyed that those more complicated aspects of the characters and their relationships were not neglected. Rocky Point was still a place I wouldn't mind escaping to for a while but the characters and the plot also felt real. There was some substance there and it balanced with the swoony moments really well.
Anna Popplewell as Mandy
Oliver James as Oliver
Claudia Lee as Cynthia
G. Hannelius (with red hair) as Lexi
Willie Nelson as Freaky Farmingham
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Michelle Dalton is one of the many names Carla Jablonski uses when writing. Her two YAs written as Carla Jablonski (published by Razorbill/Penguin), Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes, were included on the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and her graphic novel trilogy Resistance (illustrated by Leland Purvis, published by :01 Books) has won several awards, including the Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. In addition to writing novels she is an actor, playwright, and former trapeze artist. A native New Yorker, she is eternally grateful to her friends who invite her to their beach houses.
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