Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer #3)

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Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer #3)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 07, 2024
ISBN
978-1665953122
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Beachfront love blossoms in this sweet, sun-drenched romance between a townie and a tourist who turns her summer plans upside down, perfect for fans of Better Than the Movies and Today Tonight Tomorrow—now with a beautiful new look!

Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse.

On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history. Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around.

As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

Editor review

1 review
Romance at the seaside
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Mandy Sullivan enjoys her life in Rocky Point, Maine, where she lives with her mother, who works in the library in the town, and her older brother Justin. Her father passed away when she was young. She has a best friend, Cynthia, who is going to spend the summer at theater camp, but all is not lost; regular summer visitors Patti and Joanna are just as fun to hang out with at the variety of summer celebrations that the town has. Cynthia is the Lupine Queen, and at the flea market that takes place during the Lupine Festival, Mandy sees a very cute boy hanging out with local recluse, "Freaky" Farmingham. Their eyes meet, and Mandy is instantly smitten. She's not even sure how long the boy will be around, but when he comes to the lighthouse where Mandy's mother is making her volunteer, he strikes up a conversation with her. Oliver's very interested in history, so comes to visit Mandy most days. He finally asks her if she would like to work on a project with him. The two meet at his grandfather's house and make a scale model of the lighthouse, known locally as the Candy Cane. Mandy doesn't want to tell her mother that she's spending time at the Farmingham's, but Rocky Point is a small town, so she finds out. Of course, "Freaky" is anything but, and is a good cook and generally welcoming to Mandy. Oliver and Mandy hang out, go to local sites, and finally share a sweet kiss. They spend a lot of time together, although they do have one squabble about what activities they should do. Mandy is unfairly mad, and apologizes, and the two decide that they need to be honest with each other. The Candy Cane is is need of funding, and since it is now a place dear to both of their hearts, both Mandy and Oliver throw themselves into working to find funding. When Cynthia comes home from camp, Mandy hopes that she and Oliver will get along, but they seem to hate each other. When Mandy finds out a secret about a local painter who created the iconic painting of the lighthouse, she hopes that this will lead to a way to fund the lighthouse. It's clear that when summer is over, Oliver will return with his mother to California. Mandy and Oliver spend their days trying to enjoy every moment, and share a sweet goodbye.

Good Points
Dalton has several titles that explore the experience of having a summer romance, usually in a picturesque seaside town. I love that the problems the couples have are small but realistic, and easily dealt with. This gives just a little bit of realistic tension to the story to keep it from being too sugary sweet. Oliver and Mandy share an interest in the lighthouse, but it was interesting to see how Mandy would say that she liked certain things just because Oliver liked them. This is continued with her friendship with Cynthia as well. Many girls feel like they can't share their opinions, so it's good to have this topic addressed in a book.

The activities in Rocky Point really make this book intriguing; I've never been able to spend the summer at the sea side, but through Mandy's eyes I got to have beach picnics, participate in a boat parade, and have kisses under the stars. This is a gentle but swoonworthy look at a first romance, and is very true to life, with parents getting involved and best friends not being enthused about the new b boyfriend.

If you like Nelson's WISH romances, this is the book to pop into your beach tote along with Stewart's How to Break a Heart, Richardson's Pizza My Heart, Florence's Sweet and Sour, or Bardenwerper's Salted Caramel Dreams. This gets bonus points for Oliver's note at the end that reads "This summer was real. Not a story. Keep it forever in the archive."
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