Title: Swept Away (A Sixteenth Summer Novel)
Author: Michelle Dalton
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Source: Simon Pulse
Paperback, 295 Pages
Published May 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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Summary: 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?I received a copy of Swept Away from Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't sure what to expect this one, a bit hesitant that it would be totally cheesy and corny and like every other summer read I've ever picked up. But it didn't turn out that way - I ended up liking this book. However, there were a few parts of it that I weren't so keen on, so I'll start with those first before I go on to talk about what I like about it. :)
The thing that bothered me the most in this book (at several different points) was Oliver. Yeah, he was cute. And quirky. And geeky. And precise. And a "completist" (someone who always checks everything thoroughly). But throughout the book he had a tendency to be quite a jerk at times. If Mandy said the wrong thing or opposed his viewpoint in any way, shape, or form, he instantly went into defense mode. And wasn't always very nice about it. It bothered me a lot. Several times throughout this book I found myself shouting mentally, "Let him go, girl!! Give him a swift kick in the behind!! You deserve better than a boy that makes you feel like trash whenever he gets annoyed!!"
However, Mandy couldn't hear me. So even though they had their cute moments that made me swoon, there were also moments where I wanted to smack Oliver over the head with a chair and Mandy upside the head with my hand. So, yeah.
What I did appreciate, though, was that there wasn't insta-love! (If you're a frequent follower of The Book Bratz, you'd know that I absolutely cannot STAND insta-love. It is the bane of my existence in the literary world. But that's a rant for another day - a rant which you can read by clicking right here.) Mandy and Oliver's relationship (even though I didn't approve of his attitude at times) progressed naturally, and at first you weren't even sure if they WOULD end up together. But they did (no spoilers there, since that's in the book's summary), and they spend an entire summer going on various adventures, working on different projects, and getting to know each other personally.
The problem with their summer fling, though, is that it's just that - a summer fling. Mandy lives in this beach down in Maine. Oliver lives across the country, in California. Talk about long distance.
The only other thing that I wasn't so satisfied with in this book was the end. (Minor spoilers ahead - skip this paragraph and head onto the next one if you don't want it ruined for you!) It just left me wanting more - the whole auction thing was casually swept over, after a series of chapters was spent leading up to it - and you never get to find out what really happens to Mandy and Oliver. Michelle Dalton might want you to infer, but...that's TOO much inferring to do. I WANT TO KNOW. AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT. PLEASE.
Swept Away was my first beachy read of the season, and I'm glad that it was the one I kicked off my summer reads with! I love stories about little beach towns and all of the local-like stuff that goes on there - this book reminded me a lot of The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen, which is a read I definitely recommend.
All in all, Swept Away was an adorable summer read about finding yourself, love, making new friendships, and learning to love the life you're placed in, no matter the circumstances. This is definitely the type of book that I would recommend reading poolside or down by the beach! Michelle Dalton did a good job of creating hearty friendships, an adorable coastal town, and a definitely swoon-worthy relationship. This was a book that I honestly did like. :-)
DISCLAIMER: I received a galley of Swept Away by Michelle Dalton in exchange for an honest review. Neither the publisher nor the author received this review in any form or had any knowledge of it prior to its publication on the 3rd of June, 2015. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are entirely my own and in no way reflect Simon Pulse Publishing or author Michelle Dalton.