Seventeenth Summer

( 196 )


A summer to remember…

Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they’ll ...

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Seventeenth Summer

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A summer to remember…

Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they’ll never forget.

Seventeen-year-old Angie, living with her family in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, finds herself in love for the first time the summer after high school graduation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
College-bound Angie Morrow falls in love for the first time in the perennially popular Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (1942), written while the author was still in college herself. Diary-like entries depict the trials and tribulations of adolescent amour. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416994633
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 236,165
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 1130L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Maureen Daly, still in college when she wrote Seventeenth Summer, recaptured with extraordinary freshness and sensitivity an experience that because of its very nature no older author can touch. Seventeenth Summer was chosen unanimously as the first winner of the Intercollegiate Literacy Fellowship.

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Read an Excerpt

from JUNE

I don't know just why I'm telling you all this. Maybe you'll think I'm being silly. But I'm not, really, because this is important. You see, it was different! It wasn't just because it was Jack and I either -- it was something much more than that. It wasn't as it's written in magazine stories or as in morning radio serials where the boy's family always tease him about liking a girl and he gets embarrassed and stutters. And it wasn't silly, like sometimes, when girls sit in school and write a fellow's name all over the margin of their papers. I never even wrote Jack's name at all till I sent him a postcard that weekend I went up to Minaqua. And it wasn't puppy love or infatuation or love at first sight or anything that people always talk about and laugh. Maybe you don't know just what I mean. I can't really explain it -- it's so hard to put in words but -- well, it was just something I'd never felt before. Something I'd never even known. People can't tell you about things like that, you have to find them out for yourself. That's why it is so important. It was something I'll always remember because I just couldn't forget -- it's a thing like that.

It happened this way. At the very beginning of the summer I met Jack -- right after graduation. He had gone to the public high school and I went to the Academy just outside of town which is for girls only. I had heard of him often because he played guard on the high school basketball team and he sometimes dated Jane Rady who sat next to me in history class. That night (the night when things first began) I drove down to the post office with my father to mail a letter and because it was ratherlate Dad pulled up in front of McKnight's drugstore and said, "I'll just stop here and keep the motor running while you run in and get a stamp." McKnight's is where all the fellows and girls in Fond du Lac get together and I really would rather not have gone in alone -- especially on a Friday night when most girls have dates -- but I didn't want to tell my father that.

I remember just how it was. I was standing by the drug counter waiting for the clerk. The sides of the booths in McKnight's are rather high and in one, near the back, I could just see the top of someone's head with a short crew cut sticking up. He must have been having a Coke, for he tore the wrapping off the end of his straws and blew in them so that the paper covering shot over the side of the booth. Then he stood up to see where it had landed. It was Jack. He looked over at me, smiled, and then sat down again.

Of course I didn't know him yet, he just smiled to be friendly, but I waited for a few minutes looking at magazines in the rack near the front door, hoping he might stand up again or walk up to the soda fountain or something, but he didn't. So I just left. "You certainly took long enough," my father said gruffly, "I might have been arrested for parking double like this."

The next night my sister Lorraine came in from Chicago on the 2:40 A.M. train. She has been going to college for two years and wears her hair long, almost to her shoulders, and puts her lipstick on with a brush. We drove to meet her, Dad and I. It was raining a little then and the lights from the station shone on the wet bricks. The two-wheeled baggage carts were standing in a line, their long handles tipped up into the air. We waited while the train came out of the darkness, feeling its way with the long, yellow headlight beam. When it stopped, a man jumped out and ran into the station with a package under his arm. A conductor swung onto the platform and stood waving a lantern while the train waited, the engine panting out steam from between its wheels. Dad and I walked along, peering up at the windows. A boy at one of them woke up and waved to me sleepily.

Then we saw Lorraine half stumble down the steps with two suitcases and a black wool ram under her arm. "I fell asleep and almost forgot to get off," she said. Her hair was mussed up and her cheek was all crisscrossed red where she had been leaning on the rough upholstery. "One of the girls had this goat in her room and didn't want to pack it so I brought it home for Kitty. (Kitty is my sister who is ten but still likes toys.) You've got to hold it up straight or the rubber horns fall out." Lorraine laughed. "I'm glad I'm home -- this should be a good summer, don't you think, Angie?" Dad kissed her gingerly -- because of so much lipstick -- and I took one bag to the car and he took the other and we went home.

That was Saturday. Monday was the day summer vacation really began.

It was just after nine o'clock and I was in the garden picking small round radishes and pulling the new green onions for dinner at noon. I remember it was a warm day with a blue and white sky. The garden was still wet with last night's rain and the black earth was steaming in the sun, while between my toes the ground was soft and squishy -- I had taken off my shoes and left them on the garden path so they wouldn't get caked with mud -- and I remember thinking how much fun it would be to go barefoot all the time. The little tomato plants were laid flat against the ground from last night's downfall and there were puddles like blue glass in the hollows. A breeze, soft with a damp, fishy smell, blew in from Lake Winnebago about three blocks away. I was so busy thinking about the weather, the warm sun, and the sleek little onions that I didn't even hear Jack come up the back sidewalk.

"Any baked goods today?" he called.

"I don't know," I answered, turning. "You'd better ring the back doorbell and ask my mother." I sidled over a little and stood in the thick quack grass beside the garden path. I don't like to have people see me in my bare feet.

"Why don't you ask her for me?" he called. "You know her better than I do." I stood still for a moment hoping he wouldn't notice my feet. "Come on, hurry," he said. "I don't care if you haven't any shoes on."

Now, it wasn't that I was shy or anything, but it's awkward when a boy has on a clean shirt and his hair combed and your hands are all muddy and you're in your bare feet. I tried to wipe off the mud on the quack grass before I went down the garden path.

"What were you doing," he asked, "picking radishes?" (I still had the bunch of radishes in my hand.) "That's kind of silly, isn't it?" he added laughing. "It's just my salesman's personality coming out -- anything to start a conversation. Twice already this morning I caught myself saying to customers, 'What's it going to do -- rain?' I've got to be careful not to get into a rut." He laughed again and I laughed too. It was such a warm, bright morning.

We talked together for a while and I told him I didn't know he worked for a bakery, and he said he hadn't until school let out and that he was going to drive one of the trucks for his father during the summer, and when I remarked that I didn't even know his father owned a bakery, he said, "You don't know much about me at all, do you?"

"I know your name," I answered.

"What?" he asked.

"Jack Duluth. I remember reading it in the paper when you made that long shot from the center of the floor in the basketball game with Oshkosh this winter."

"Good for you -- just another one of my fans." He laughed. "What's your name -- as if I didn't find out after I saw you in McKnight's the other night. Angie Morrow, short for Angeline, isn't it?"

I was glad he had asked about me, but for some reason it was embarrassing and I tried to change the subject. "I remember when you used to go with Jane Rady," I ventured. "She used to sit next to me in history class. She talked about you a lot. She told me about the time you drove to the city dump -- "

"Forget it," Jack said sharply. "Forget all about it, see. All that is down the drain by now." For a moment I thought he was angry. "Go ask your mother if she needs any bread or doughnuts or anything, will you?" He sat down on the cement doorstep and I opened the door to go inside. All of a sudden he turned and said slowly, with a thought in his voice, "Say, Angie, you don't go steady or anything, do you?"

My heart jumped a little. "No, I don't," I answered and then added quickly, "My mother doesn't like me to go out much." It wouldn't do to say that I wasn't often asked, either. I waited a moment. "Do you, Jack?"

He laughed. "Of course not. None of the fellows I go around with do. Silly to tie yourself down to one girl. But, say, seeing you don't -- how about going sailboating with me tonight? Me and Swede Vincent have got a little boat we bought last fall. Do you know Swede? He's a good guy. He'll come with us and sail it and you and I can just -- ah -- well, just sit. How about it?"

I didn't know, I told him. I would have to ask my mother first.

"Go ask her now," he urged, "when you ask her if she needs any bread. I'll wait."

"Oh, I can't do that!" I could hear my mother upstairs running the vacuum cleaner noisily over the rugs and I remembered I hadn't tidied up my bedroom yet. "Now's not such a good time to ask but I'll tell you by one o'clock," I promised, trying not to be too eager. "I'll try to fix it and if you'll call me then I can let you know."

"I'll call you at one then and let's skip the bakery goods for today. Please try to go," he added. "No girl has ever been out in our boat before so you'll be the first one. Something kind of special."

That was the first time I ever really talked to Jack. When I went back into the garden to get my shoes I noticed how the little tomato plants seemed to be straightening in the sun. And there were small paper-thin blossoms on the new pea plants.

My mother always lies down in the afternoon -- at least, she has for the past three years, anyway. Right after lunch she went upstairs as always, turned down the chenille bedspread and drew the shades. Out on the side lawn in the shade of the house Kitty was sewing doll clothes and talking to herself in a quiet, little-girl singsong. From Callahan's, across the back garden, I could hear the drone of the baseball game on the radio. All the little children were in taking their naps and already our street had settled into the quiet of afternoon. I'd have to ask my mother soon for I knew that in a few moments she would be asleep.

Outside her bedroom door I paused. "Maybe I'd better count up to seventeen first," I thought. "Seventeen and then I'll ask her." So I counted slowly, deliberately, being careful not to skip. When I was younger I used to count up to fifteen while trying to decide things, then it was sixteen, and now it was seventeen -- one count for each year. But when I got to seventeen I still hadn't figured out in my mind how I should say it. "Better count up to eighteen," I decided. "Eighteen because that's how old Jack is. After that I'll go in for sure."

My mother was almost asleep when I pushed open the door gently, lying on top of the blankets with my old blue flannel bathrobe thrown over her. Sunlight filtered through the drawn shades in a brownish-yellow glow and the crocheted circle used to pull them down twirled in the breeze. I swallowed hard and it made a noise in the quietness of the room.

"Mom," I ventured, "a boy asked me for a date tonight." She opened her eyes. "It will be all right and I'll be home early," I assured her hastily. "He'll come over first and you can meet him and make sure it's all right. They're nice people -- he plays basketball and his father owns the DeLuxe bakery." I rushed the words after each other without stopping, before she could say no.

Rolling over toward the wall and nuzzling her head into the pillow she asked sleepily, "What's his name? I don't think I ever heard you mention him, did I?"

"Jack Duluth," I answered and waited. The room was quiet except for the sound of the window shade flapping in the breeze.

"Duluth as in Minnesota?" Lorraine called out. She was in her own room down the hall taking the curlers out of her hair. She keeps them in all the time except when she's going out. Lorraine wears her hair very long with just a little fluffy curl on the end like they all do in college. But already my mother was breathing lightly as if she were asleep.

"Mom," I said quietly, trying to keep the impatience out of my voice -- my mother doesn't like it if we tease, "can I go or can't I? It will be all right -- really it will."

"See what your sister thinks," she answered. "I suppose it's all right if you're home early. And see if you can fix that window shade so it doesn't flap so -- put a book on the cord or something."

It had been as easy as that and my heart was beating fast as I closed the door softly behind me while downstairs the telephone rang. It was Jack.

We walked out to the lake, he and I. It was about half-past seven in the evening and the sky was still brushed red with the sun. "Looks like ostrich feathers on fire," Jack had said. We had cut through our back garden and through two empty lots and then crossed the highway between our house and the lake. Jack had held the barbed wire of the fence apart for me to crawl through and we went into the field behind the boathouses. "This is my own special short cut," I remembered him saying. "I like it better this way than walking through the park."

Along the path by the fence was a row of wild plum trees with hard green knobs of fruit hidden in the leaves. Little sparrows twittered excitedly and fluttered among the branches as we passed. Not many people came by this way. Just past the last fence was a row of whispering willow trees lined along the ditch by the railroad track. Water from the spring rains still gurgled and ran in ribbons between the swamp grass. "You'll have to jump," said Jack. "It's marshy here. Step first on that flat stone and then over onto the sewer top." There was a round cement sewer with a heavy, knobbed iron lid padlocked shut and almost hidden in the weeds. "Let me go first," he said, "then I'll catch your hand and help you across." The ground was marshy beneath my feet and I almost lost my balance on the smooth stone. Jack caught me and I remember his hand was tight and warm.

We hit a flat grassy spot a little farther on -- just on this side of the tracks. "This is Hobo's Hollow," Jack told me. "Lots of times I come through here and see the fellows who have jumped the trains lying here sleeping. Sometimes there are four or five of them and they make a fire and cook things. I saw a man dead drunk here one day lying right in the sun with flies on him and a bottle in his hand and the next day he was gone. They never talk to me when I go by at all. Just sit and look."

I shivered a little. It was weird there with the air half gray-green from the thick trees and lush weeds and the coming night. There were bits of charred wood and old rusted cans sticking up in the grass. The wind sighed a little as it wove its way through the long line of willows. Jack pulled my hand suddenly and we scrambled up the cinder embankment of the railroad track. Directly beyond was a broad gravel drive and then the gray and white boathouses.

It was early in the season and many of the houses were still padlocked shut from the winter. Between them the little waves slop-slopped against the heavy wooden piles. "Swede said he'd have the boat out by the steps of the Big Hole," Jack told me. "He came out to clean her up a bit before you came. We had a sort of picnic in it last week and it's still all full of old sandwiches and stuff." The Big Hole was built by the city a few years ago to harbor small boats against the sudden vicious squalls that come up so quickly on Lake Winnebago. It's bordered on one side by the boathouses, on the other by a shrub-edged drive and on a third by the Point with a tall, white lighthouse on the end. Over on the right the water sloshes into a mass of treacherous water reeds and thick seaweeds. Beyond this is bare red clay scattered with water pipes and heaps of black dirt -- an uncompleted WPA project.

I saw Swede bending over in the boat arranging canvas. Jack whistled at him shrilly through his teeth and Swede straightened and waved. "You'll like Swede," Jack told me. "Some girls think he's kind of fast but I told him to be nice to you." Swede was rather fat with kinky blond hair and had on a very tight, very clean white sweat shirt.

"Hello," he called. And when we got up to the boat, "You're Angie Morrow, aren't you. I thought maybe at the last minute you wouldn't be able to come. Jack said he thought maybe your mother might not want you to go sailing," and he grinned at me.

"Everything's all right so long as we get her home by eleven," Jack told him. "Any time after that's no good. We won't go out far -- just until we find the moon." He squeezed my hand. I couldn't help shivering a little -- it was such a beautiful night.

In the Big Hole the wind barely wrinkled the water with waves. We moved slowly at first -- Swede up in the bow and Jack and I sitting in the stern, until we had passed through the narrow space between the lighthouse and the breakwater. Already cars were parked along the Point with their headlight beams poking out into the thickening dusk. Almost everyone in Fond du Lac goes out for a drive in the evening and then stops for a while to look at the lake. Someone honked a horn and leaned out a car window to wave at us. "People do that just to be friendly," said Jack. "I don't know who it is."

"Are you comfortable?" he asked. "If you get chilly say so and you can put my sweater on." I just nodded. It was too lovely to talk. The boat rose and fell gently as it topped the waves. Swede was letting out the sail and the loose canvas flapped in the wind. Occasionally the greenish water slapped hard against the side of the boat and sent spray over the edge. "Here," said Jack. "We'll put this canvas over your legs -- no sense in your getting wet. You're a good scout, do you know that? Lots of girls are scared to go out in boats."

"I love it," I told him. He was sitting almost on the point of the stem with his red and white basketball sweater tied around his neck by the sleeves and a light wind was ruffling his hair from behind.

I sighed and he said to me, "You're not cold, are you? Remember, just say the word and the sweater's yours. I really brought it along for you -- I never get cold myself." Leaning over, he put it around my shoulders and I remember thinking when he was so close how much he smelled like Ivory soap.

We were sailing in silence for a long time and way up in the sky, past the boathouses, was pasted a thin tissue-paper curve of moon. Swede had hung a lantern that swung in the darkness on his end of the boat and it licked red light over the tops of the waves. Just then he finished a cigarette and flipped it out over the water. We were far out by that time and the car lights were only star dots along the pier. It was very still. I looked back at Jack and he was sitting with his head thrown back, gazing at the sky. Far beyond him was only the darkness of the lake. The wind blew lightly, brushing through my hair. Jack moved forward suddenly and slipped up beside me on the narrow seat. "Angie Morrow," he said quietly. "You look nice with the wind in your hair."

And I remember just how he said it.

Copyright © 1942 by Dodd, Mead & Co., Inc.

Copyright renewed © 1970 by Maureen Daly McGivern

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 196 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 196 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010


    This is literally the WORST book I have ever read. I can't even understand how someone could like this book. First of all, every day is exactly the same and nothing ever happens. There is NO CONFLICT AT ALL!! The ONLY reason I kept reading this book was because I had to for school. As I read, I kept saying to myself, "When is something going to happen? When is a conflict going to come up?" You can not have a story with no conflict. I honestly do not know how she wrote 300 pages about nothing. Also, there is not enough dialogue. She mostly describes their surroundings and not enough of what is going on. They had been out on a couple of dates and it seemed like all of a sudden they were in love? She does not explain Angie's feelings barely at all. As I said before, she mostly describes their surroundings. She explains every dew drop on every peice of grass. She explains every leaf on every tree. She explains every single star in the sky...all in INTENSE DETAIL. Now I am all for detail but TOO MUCH IS NO GOOD!!! I can not stress enough how bad this book is and you would be wasting your time reading this book. If I could I would rate this zero stars. It is BY FAR the WORST book I have EVER read.

    34 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    I Wasted My Life Reading This Book

    This book is the absolute WORST book I've ever read. Granted the writing was beautiful. Maureen Daly was very descriptive in describing the books surroundings but, there was no point of the story. The book just left me bored and honestly...I couldn't wait for it to be over! The story itself was very old fashioned, not modernized at all. I can actually say that I wasted my life reading this book!

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    this has to be THE worst book ive ever read.i didnt even finish it,thats how bad it was. i only got to page 42 before i said okay,im done. its seriously lame.dont buy it..your wasting your money.

    12 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    Horrible book

    This was seriously the worst book I have ever read, I mean there was nothing exciting about it. It was pointless, atleast with a bad book you can say you hated it because dot dot dot. But this book can't even say anything about it except it was worse than bad. Don't waste your time or money on this book

    10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011


    This book was so boring it took me 3 months to get half way. I never even finished it because it was so boring. Read "They Summer I Turned Pretty"!! (:

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Nothing can compair

    This is deffinatly on of my favorite books, no other stoy is like Angie Morrow's, the book takes you in and doesn't let go until the end.

    7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2005

    this book is so boring

    i thought i would die when i read this book. it had no climax to keep readers interested in it.

    7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    Can I Get A Block Of Cheese

    this book was HORRIBLE!!!!!! it was the CHEESIEST book EVER, like can i get a block of velveta over here. i do NOT recomend it to ANYONE!!!!! it was a waste of money.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    Just o.k.

    When I had picked up this book I had thought that it would be alot better than it was. It had a lot of detail and it ended exactly they way I had thought it would!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    One of the best romance stories out there

    This book was simply amazing. It was incredibly sweet and very well written. This book is set in older days so you have to set your mindset to that. What seemed scandalous back then isn't so much in this time. The characters definitely jump out and makes you feel what they feel. I would highly recomment this

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Great Book

    I absolutely love this novel, although I can understand how many people can be frustrated with it. To me it is a Sunday read; slow and rich like honey. Although the imagery and descriptions can become arduous for some, it was considered a ground breaking novel and should, at the very least, be considered.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    this book sucked! i couldnt get past the 2nd chapter! i cant believe i wasted my money on this. i couldnt even understand half of what they were saying because this book was written in the 1700s! i didnt even know that so they kept on talking really old fashioned. eekkkk! DONT BUY!!!!!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005


    A lot of the book was just description and there wasn't much to the plot. Plus, I didn't feel like you really got to know the characters so the romance didn't quite make sense. Like what about them made them fall for each other. I just found it boring.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Great Book

    This is a great story of fist love and summer romance.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    Best book ever !

    "this book was 101% amazing. Yes... it was slow and it did have an awkward ending she could have done a little better but this book was very inspirational and it was the sweetest book i have read in YEARS ! It was a romantic Adventurist love story even though they basically stayed in the same place.. but angie Had never ever been in love before and she was shocked too be in it finally ? This book was awesome . if you buy it i guaruntee youll save it for your own child !

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Really good

    It took me a while to get into the book but when i did i fell in love with it its a cute romance and i loved the ending it was a nice read

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2009

    Sweet Story

    I loved this book when I was a kid! Situations in that book would sometimes pop into my head throughout the years and make me smile. Understand that it was written for young romantic readers, not adults.

    Everybody has their own interests, so each book is going to hit people differently. I read this book as a young girl of 12. I had been looking for a reprint for a while for my daughter to read because it conjures up happy childhood memories for me. It may not be stellar writing, but the story is quite real and reminds us all of when that first love hit our hearts as a young teen. It was written in an era that was less complicated, less worldly. The reader needs to keep that in mind.

    One review comments that it is not an original story line. Love stories have been written since man began writing and it will always be a topic. It is a good story about a young girl figuring out what she wants in life while having her heart strings tugged. (By the way, reviewing a book as "crappy" makes me wonder about the reader's vocabulary level and I never take those reviews in account.)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Bittersweet Story

    This was a good love story, and described the feelings of first love exceptionally well. However, I personally found the book too descriptive. In those parts it became dull, and I lost my interest. Something about it kept me coming back, and in the end I was glad I read it. But I wouldn't read it again.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013


    Dear readers saying the author is too old fashond, thi book was written in the 1940's iditos.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    by far the worst book i own

    I HATE not finishing a book, & i couldn't even finish the first 10 pages.
    Honestly, don't waste your money and don't let the synopsis fool you. This book is a waste of money and a waste of a cute title.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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