Sunday, June 2, 2024

Fifteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

by Michelle Dalton
Simon & Schuster
YA Romance
256 pages

A teen unexpectedly finds love during a summer vacation at a lake town in this tender romance in the spirit of The Summer I Turned Pretty —now with a beautiful new look!

Chelsea isn’t looking forward to her summer at the lake. It’s the first time her family has been there since her grandmother died, and she can’t break out of her funk. But her summer takes a turn for the better when she meets a boy who works in the bookstore. Josh is cute, sweet, funny…and best of all, seems to like her as much as she likes him. As the days pass by in a blur of boat rides, picnics, and stolen kisses, she can’t believe how lucky she is. No one has ever made her feel so special, or so beautiful.

But Chelsea knows her days with Josh are numbered. She’ll be heading home at the end of the summer—and he’ll be staying behind. Will this be Chelsea’s summer of love? Or will it be the summer of her broken heart?



Summer dreams of romance take a super sweet turn along with just enough small-town excitement to make the heart smile.

Summer vacation to Granny’s cabin won’t be the same now that she’s passed away, but Chelsea, like the rest of her family, is determined to pull it through and enjoy. Her older sisters already are focused on their main goal: finding the ideal summer romance. Now fifteen, Chelsea admits that’s not an awful idea but is pretty sure no one will take interest in her anyway, especially since her sisters are so awesome and she’s a walking case of awkward. Her odd red hair doesn’t help matters. At Granny’s everything feels weird—it’s the same as before yet different. Each family member does their best to handle the grief and continue having fun, but it adds some stress. At least, Chelsea’s sisters seem to be getting their wishes and are sinking into romance. Deciding to drift away to her favorite activity, reading, Chelsea discovers a new, super cute bookstore, but when she steps inside, the books aren’t what catches her attention. Suddenly, summer romance might just be a possibility even for her.

Fans of summer romance are going to sink into this one and enjoy. Chelsea is a sweet person, who doesn’t have tons of self-confidence but isn’t ready for a pity-party, either. She surprises, at times, with her sudden bursts of courage, and this also makes her a fun character to follow. The mix with her family adds a nice foundation. It isn’t always perfect, but the concern and care are always present. The relationships gain extra depth as the members each try to deal with the absence of Granny in their own ways. Plus, the oldest sister is about to head to college and leave them for the first time, adding another emotional dimension to bite into.

The romance does carry the main theme and is super sweet with friendship ranking high. While there is a bit of instant attraction, it works very well and stays subtle with natural flair. What works very well in this read, though, is that the romance weaves right along with Chelsea’s other problems, keeping the subplots from being buried. It creates a balanced read with life spice, familiar moments, and tons of heart.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't usually read romances, but this sounds like a sweet, fun story for summer. And it's not too long.