I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
Until the summer before college, Angie Morrow didn't really date. Her mother didin'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. (source)
This book was assigned to me for the Resources for Young Adults course that I'm taking during the spring semester. I'd heard of it before, but had never read it. I highly doubt that this is popular with many teens today, but this is considered to be the first young adult literature novel and so it's a classic. Unlike many other classics, however, I don't think that this book has anything to merit its exalted status aside from its being the first of its kind.
I read this book the day after Christmas on our way back to our hometown to visit my family and my husband's dad for the holidays. I'm convinced that Seventeenth Summer's sole positive quality is that it's brief enough to finish in a three-and-a-half-hour drive. However, there were many points that I wanted to throw it out the window onto the side of the road (thankfully, Dan was there to remind me that it was a library book and if I were to satisfy this impulse, I'd have to actually pay money for this awful piece of literature). This was one of the most boring books that I've ever read. The main character, Angie, is horribly naive. Her romance with Jack completely lacks passion - I think that the main thing that she liked about him was that he liked her. And God only knows why he did. Jack, I think, had the potential to be an interesting character - if the author had chosen to develop him. Sadly, she didn't. The other potentially interesting character was Angie's older sister Lorraine, who's a college student and professes herself to be more interested in culture than boys. However, her behavior suggests otherwise, since she allowed herself to be strung along by her summer boyfriend, a newcomer to her hometown who basically dated Lorraine only because he didn't know anyone else - and admitted that to her. And she continued to date him anyway. Ughhhh this book. So on top of being boring, the characters were hopelessly stupid - hence why I wanted to throw it out the window of a moving vehicle.
So, to sum everything up, I hated this book, I never want to read it again, I absolutely do not recommend reading it unless you want a book to make fun of, and I am so, so grateful that young adult literature has made such great progress since this book was published. There are definitely poorly written YA novels out there, but there are some truly wonderful ones, too, and the genre as a whole has come a long way since its conception with Seventeenth Summer.