A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Could spark some good discussions about love and romance -- and what it means to be in a truly healthy relationship. See our "Explore, discuss, enjoy" section for some ideas for bridging these topics with your teens.
Chelsea gains several important insights about love, including: "This was part of having a boyfriend I'd never imagined -- the best friend part."
Positive Role Models
Over the summer, Chelsea learns what love feels like, starts to move on after the death of a loved one -- and even starts to like what she sees in the mirror (including her wild red hair). She's surrounded by supportive people who love her, including the other workers at a local diner, her protective sister, and slightly odd parents.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
This is a summer romance and as such features lots of kissing. Chelsea and Josh spend time alone, smooching and touching. Meanwhile, her older sister comes home with a hickey after starting a summer fling of her own (her sister's crush ends badly when she shows up with red eyes and a broken shirt strap).
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One "ass" and one "butt," but neither are used to describe a body part.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fifteenth Summer is a summer romance and as such features lots of kissing. Chelsea and Josh spend time alone, smooching and touching -- and her older sister comes home with a hickey after starting a summer fling of her own (her sister's crush ends badly when she shows up with red eyes and a broken shirt strap). There are lots of positive messages that will inspire teens to think about what a first love should be, such as this gem from Chelsea: "This was part of having a boyfriend I'd never imagined -- the best friend part."
Is It Any Good?
FIFTEENTH SUMMER may not be steeped in realism, but for readers who like happily sighing through romantic books and movies, this will be a good fit. The small town is outrageously charming, from a cinematic party hosted on a dock by local teens -- which ends when they send hand-painted lanterns into the night sky -- to the quirky sisterhood of waitresses at the local diner, who take Chelsea under their wings and give her a summer job, as well as wise advice when it looks like her relationship with Josh is fizzling out.
Chelsea and her family are constantly doing charming things, such as berry picking, taking gourmet picnics to the beach, and throwing marshmallows at the screen during Lifetime Original Movie watching. And these form the backdrop for the main story about Chelsea sharing romantic outings and smooches with her summer soul mate. Certainly something to swoon over.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.