A shy teen befriends an attractive beach town tourist in this refreshing summertime romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.
In the small town of Pearl Beach, Florida, Izzy Lucas needs only her surfboard and the water to be completely happy. She wants nothing to do with parties, popularity contests, or showing her face around the clichéd touristy hangouts. Izzy’s tight group of coworkers at the local surf shop have tried relentlessly to break shy Izzy out of her (sea)shell. But Izzy isn’t interested…until the day Ben Barker walks into the store.
Ben’s from the city. He’s cute, charming, and wants her help adjusting to beach town culture. As the weeks of surfing lessons and pizza shack visits fly by, Izzy and Ben realize their attraction goes beyond mere friendship. But Ben is only in town for three months, and Izzy wonders if this amazing guy is worth stepping out of her comfort zone for what might be the perfect summer romance—or her first heartbreak.
I was a huge fan of Michelle Dalton’s first book Sixteenth Summer. It was the epitome of a good summer romance. And I really enjoyed her next book Fifteenth Summer. It didn’t have that same spark as Sixteenth Summer, but it was a pretty good read. So I was excited when I saw she was doing another summer romance with Pulled Under. But sadly I just kind of liked the book and didn’t love. Like in Fifteenth Summer, that spark just wasn’t there so Pulled Under just became an okay read.
Pulled Under is the story of Izzy, a shy girl that lives in a small beach town in Florida. Her whole life she has been the one to shy away from the spotlight, hide in the shadows of her best friends, and generally be unnoticeable. She has been happy being this way for as long as she can remember. As long as she has her job at Surf Sisters and her surfing she is good to go. That is until Ben walks into her life. A boy visiting for the summer, he changes Izzy in ways she never imagined. What starts as an awkward encounter to friendship to romance Izzy is in for the summer of her life and for seeing a side she never knew existed. But with Ben only there for the summer Izzy has to wonder if it is all worth it or if she had the right idea to begin with by keeping to herself.
Before I get into the actually story I have to say something about the cover because it really bothers me. I hate the fact that the title of the book is hidden and how it is alluded to Pulled Under being a companion to Sixteenth Summer which it isn’t. Is it another summer romance story? Sure. But there isn’t anything that connected these two books in the way that deserves to cover Pulled Under has. I’m not a fan and I had to get that off my chest.
Okay, back to the story. Although I didn’t find this book to be amazing, I did have some parts that I really loved. I loved the relationship between Izzy and her parents. That was a nice surprise as it is pretty rare in YA to see how they were portrayed. I mean, they actually liked each other and had fun together. That was pretty awesome. I also really liked Izzy and her friends at the surf shop, and Izzy and Ben. Both relationships were pretty remarkable and were able to show the little about Izzy that we did know. Seeing her with her friends showed the girl that slowly came out of her shell and was the same with Ben. But I also had a problem with her too. She was very drama oriented which didn’t really fit with her character. And I feel like we didn’t get to know her as a person. Actually I felt like I learned more about surfing than I did about Izzy and that was a disappointment. If there was only some more insight into her motivation and why she acted shy like she did, I think I would have enjoyed this story on a different level.
All in all Pulled Under was a quick read that got me in the mood for summer. It was fun and easy and just what I wanted. It definitely wasn’t my favorite Dalton, but I look forward to more work from her in the future.