turning 16Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Sam is turning 16, and he’s sure there’s a birthday curse that will, at the very least, keep him from enjoying his day, and he’s more than wary about what the day holds in store for him. Sam has also been fantasizing about quarterback Jake for as long as he can remember, even though he knows the guy has a girlfriend and is really out of his league. It doesn’t keep Sam from pining after Jake and holding him up as a measuring stick to every other guy that could possibly come along.

Sure enough, the day starts out a disaster, as Sam wakes up from a particularly heated dream, finds out his extended family will be staying with them temporarily, his grandparents won’t be able to visit for his party, and never mind the things that happen at school! When Sam ends up with a week-long detention with a guy named Mitch, he’s just glad the day’s coming to an end — until circumstances mean his birth “day” has become a birth “week” and things get progressively worse each day.

Mitch is a really nice, attentive guy, whom Sam is sure is in love with his best friend. Sam continues to pine after Jake, with some actual sparks of hope showing up when he least expected it. Basically, being 16 is way more exciting than Sam ever imagined possible, and this isn’t always a good thing.

I’m having a really hard time reviewing this book, since technically, it was pretty weak but overall I really did enjoy it. The writing is juvenile and, while I realize this is a YA book, felt dumbed down even for a young adult. Turning 16 is described as a homage to the John Waters-esque films of the 80s, and I can see that, but it lacked the wit and self-deprecation of the era.

My biggest problem with the book, though, is that we just don’t learn enough about the characters. I wanted to know more about Sam and Mitch and Jake, since they were all really interesting characters. I didn’t really even have a clear mental picture of what they looked like, let alone their personalities and motivations. Because it was a bit gimmicky, it lacked the depth I really wanted to see when it comes to the characters.

Now, if I disliked this book, I wouldn’t have cared if the characters were well-developed. I really did like this book, though. I had a difficult time putting it down, because the story kept me entertained, despite the drawbacks already mentioned. It was light and fluffy, and that’s okay! I still want to know more about the characters and the world that Wolford has created, and I won’t hesitate to pick up the sequel. Essentially, this series of books has loads of potential, and I’m hoping that they only get better from here on out.

So maybe I didn’t absolutely love this book, but I’ll without a doubt be reading the next one. And it’s such a deal to purchase this one; I really would recommend picking it up and seeing if it suits your tastes. You can download it at Smashwords and the author has graciously offered a 50% off coupon for all of our readers, good through April 28, 2014. Just enter the coupon code: ZR37J at checkout. Which makes it a buck! A screaming good deal for a full-length novel and definitely worth the money.

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