If the language of love was French, the language of dating seemed to be some sort of spy code. Like being in the CIA, boy-girl relations were all about intrigue and subterfuge and wearing cute outfits.
So... Sixteenth Summer. I'm not sure if I'm growing too old for these fluffy cute romances with glitter all over them. I mean, there's this thing called reality. Don't get me wrong, I do - despite what my average rating says - enjoy a good romance, especially YA romances because they tend to not be infected with screwed up sexism as NA and some of the newest additions in mature romances. Since YA often is more lighthearted romance, I especially enjoy them. But, there is a point between annoyingly cuddly and fluffy, and a sweet and cute romance. Sixteenth Summer crosses that point.
There is nothing wrong with Sixteenth Summer. It's your usual teenage summer romance. Big city boy (Will) comes to the beach and meets local girl (Anna), and they fall in love with the impending date of Will's return to the city. Insert glitter, fluffy moments, and some angst.
I wanted a light romance, and I got one. Sixteenth Summer was actually exactly what I needed after a long list of disappointing NA. It's breezy, easy to read, and, well, basic YA (which was what I wanted). It's about Anna's first love and her wish for more in life than the simple life she's living on Dune Island. Anna and Will are adorable enough on their own, not whining about the small things. They're easy to connect to and like, most of the time. There's just one little thing. One, tiny, tiny thing.
Yes. The obsession. It wasn't exactly like this though. No, Anna spotted Will at a bonfire, but they didn't get to speak, so the next morning, she takes "the most roundabout route possible" for the chance to see Will. Then, the day after their first date Anna freaks out when Will doesn't call her that morning. Mockingly (according to her) she fantasies about the way the conversation would go if he called her. These are two examples, but throughout the story there's such an intensity and need to be with Will, even in the first two weeks of their relationship that's on the borderline to creepy. Crazy young love, perhaps? Maybe, but it left me uncomfortable. Not dysfunctional, just... too much too fast.
It's easy to let that slide, though. Because, as said, it's all fluff and glitter (yes, I like describing their romance with this). It's sweet and cute, and not heavy on the angst. Really, the only angst is the last 20% or so. The story is on Will and Anna most of the time, no current family drama or other distractions, which could've made this better. As it is, it's the usual 'love despite imperfections', 'you'll be gone soon', 'first love', and all of that usual summer romance YA usually includes. In no way is it bad. I'd recommend it to anyone searching for a light read. To quote Agnes from Despicable Me:
"It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!"
(Don't know what I mean? Look it up on youtube, you'll love it!)