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Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
'Swept Away' is a perfect summer read for fans of YA contemporary romance. The story follows our main character - Mandy Sullivan - as she faces a long and boring summer alone with her best friend away at camp and her brother staying at college. To help the time go by faster, Mandy takes a job at the local lighthouse. Imagine her surprise when a cute guy requests a private tour on her first day. Mandy and Oliver instantly click, and then proceed to spend more and more time together doing things they both enjoy - like biking through the woods and going to the local festivals. Mandy's doing her best to channel Cynthia's (her best friend) confidence and flirtatious personality, but as the summer progresses and Mandy's feelings for Oliver continue to grow - she'll find herself battling insecurities and trying to keep her heart and mind open to a possible relationship with someone who's only going to be in town for the summer.
Although the story is pretty predictable and you basically know what's going to happen before you even open the cover - this book turned out to be a quick and sweet summer romance that had me smiling until the end. Mandy is a great main character for the story. She's kind, smart, down to earth, and a devoted daughter and friend. She has flaws like everyone else though - she's incredibly insecure (especially when it comes to guys) and lacks confidence. She starts out expecting another boring summer filled with the same routine and the same people she's known for the majority of her life. When her best friends, Sam and Cynthia, start dating, Mandy just doesn't get how they feel. She's never felt that way about anyone and now she's starting to feel like the third wheel. Then Cynthia takes off for camp and her older brother decides he's not coming home from college, Mandy's summer keeps looking dimmer and dimmer. That's when everything in the book turns around. Mandy meets Oliver - and something between them just clicks. She doesn't really know how to act around him, so she relies on how her best friend usually is around guys to help her navigate these new feelings. Mandy can feel herself falling for Oliver - but she's afraid that her heart will get broken when he leaves at the end of summer. We definitely see a lot of character growth throughout the book with Mandy's character. She starts out as a clueless girl who has never been in love, and during the story we see her grow and change in ways she never imagined. I loved watching Mandy and Oliver as they became friends and then so much more. It was sweet and honest, which made it feel incredibly realistic.
The story is told from Mandy's point of view, which is perfect for the novel. We get to experience everything that happens through her eyes while getting an inside look at who she really is. We learn her hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, and her inner thoughts and dialogue as the story goes on. By the end of the book, I felt like I really knew Mandy - which (again) made the story feel all the more authentic. Since the novel is told from the first person point of view, the pace felt effortless and the flow was completely natural. It wasn't too fast or too slow - it maintained the perfect speed for readers to know what's going on, to feel what the characters felt, and to identify and empathize with Mandy. Reading this book was like reading a journal entry from when I was a teenager in a situation like hers, which brought back a lot of different memories during the story. It also felt like Mandy was telling me personally what was going on - it was very conversational in tone, which was also a factor in immersing me into the story. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the plot is not unique or original, but rather predictable. The author sets it apart from the other books in the genre by having a realistic main character/narrator who pulls you inside of the story right away. I think of it kind of like watching a romantic comedy - it's obvious what the ending will be, but the reason you watch it anyways is because you want to see the events and story line that lead up to that ending. This book, along with many others in the genre, are the same as those movies - at least for me. Overall, it was a sweet YA romance that will make the perfect summer read. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre along with those who enjoy chick lit and contemporary fiction as well.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Surprisingly, I've actually read all of the Sixteenth Summer series. It's those cute summer reads about romance and the amazing life of a sixteenth year old. What I'll give to go to a beach like those girls and just meet cute boys. I mean, I live in California and everything, but I don't live that close to a boardwalk.
The cover is also super cute. Just got to comment on that. I wonder if Simon Pulse actually gets real people to model just for this cover.
The Characters/My Opinion:
Okay, so moving onto the contents inside the book.
Mandy Sullivan - The main character of the book was enjoyable. Her clumsy personality was cute. Although I really didn't notice her trying to change herself into someone she thinks Oliver will like until she brought it up, that doesn't seem like a healthy relationship and I'm glad everyone urged her to just be herself in the end.
Oliver Framingham - For a long time, or actually just the beginning, I thought his last name was Farmingham. Okay. Random. I think it's because his name is spelled different in the blurb compared to the book. Oliver was more of a cute, nerdy summer guy. Nope, no glasses. But according to Mandy, super cute.
To me, this is definitely more like a summer read. A summer fling. I don't feel the long lasting romance between myself and the book or the characters. And there's nothing wrong with that because a summer fling is cute and all.
The synopsis does make the book seem like it's more about the romance than anything else, but I feel like it's more about Mandy's character building. Her semi-okay relationship with her mom definitely got better. Although there were some fights with her best friend, Cynthia, they learn to accommodate and solve the problem. Mandy's initial belief that she has to be someone different for a person to like her is changed by everyone.
I did find that both Mandy and Oliver got mad at each other quite too easily. One thing I would like to be added in this novel is an epilogue. It ended with a great deal of character improvement on Mandy's side, but I feel like Mandy's and Oliver's relationship to be explained further. Hope that didn't spoil anything.
The Rating: (1-10): 8.5
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Swept Away is a summer romance story that is cute.Read more
I’ve been to Maine but never to a touristy area like where the book revolves around.Read more
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