Dalton, Michelle. Fifteenth Summer
7 May 2013, Simon Pulse
Chelsea doesn't really want to leave California and spend the summer in Michigan at her grandmother's cabin by the lake, because her grandmother has passed away. Her older sisters are crazy about boys, and Chelsea is too sad to do much but read. This changes when she goes in to the new book store in town, Dog Ear, and meets Josh. He seems shy, and gives her confusing signals when he talks to her. Eventually, the two break through their awkwardness and begin to date. Chelsea loves that Josh is responsible and helps out at the book store, and Josh loves Chelsea's red hair. He suggests that she get a job at the diner next to the bookstore, and they spend many breaks together before going on a date. They know that they only have the summer, but when Josh makes a big error at the book store, he decides that he needs to end the relationship in order to concentrate on his work. Chelsea has to go back to silently mourning her grandmother and dealing with her sisters' romances and her mother's grief. But it's summer! Josh figures out his own life in time to spend the very end of it with Chelsea, smooching and looking at sunsets over the beach.
Strengths: Pitch perfect romance for middle schoolers. Nothing racy, just a lot of kissing and feeling "melty". There are relatively few good romances out there that aren't paranormal, so definitely buying this. Looking into a copy of Sixteenth Summer, as well. Sadly, is was never published in hardback.
Weaknesses: Why was MY fifteenth summer not like this? And why must Elizabeth Lenhard use a pseudonym? I loved Chicks with Sticks!
Lost Classics of Teen Lit.