Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly is one of the first coming-of-age young adult novels published. It encompasses a three month period in which main character Angie Morrow dates local hunk, Jack Duluth. Don’t get excited, however! While it is a relatively realistic depiction of teenage dating in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin in the 1940s, it seriously lacks in character development. While Angie has some redeeming qualities, her personality is flat and transparent. She often has no personality unless she is in direct presence of her “summer love.”
However, anyone interested in this time period would probably find the differences in both language and daily life informative. For those wanting a “spicier” teen romance novel, I would suggest falling back on Judy Blume’s classic, Forever.
Daly writes well, and keeps up a good flow during the novel, but the content of the story is lacking. Unless you are interested in either the time period or the rise of young adult literature, take a pass!
If you liked Seventeenth Summer, try:
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
For something a LITTLE different, try:
The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen
Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley
For something REALLY different, try:
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Review by Carlen