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Publisher's Summary

Sam never liked his birthdays because not a single one of them was happy... When he turned 1, he fell face-down into his birthday cake; when he turned 5, he broke his left arm and when he turned 7, he broke his right arm and his left leg; when he turned 12, his house caught fire. Now Sam is about to turn 16 and he is dreading the day. The only birthday wish he has is for Jake who is the Mr. Popular of Arcadia High to even acknowledge his existence, or better yet give him a happy-birthday kiss. But Sam knows that it’s not gonna happen. Or is it?

©2014 Perie Wolford (P)2014 Perie Wolford

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes because mainly this shows how much my high school love had found me and something like this has happened to my friend but not his birthday curse.

What did you like best about this story?

That Sam and Mitch ended up together.

What does Michael Pauley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

That The unexpected happened by getting a birthday kiss from Jake and getting something better from Mitch

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes I Did Laugh and cry because i am away and miss my love

Any additional comments?

write more like this or something similar to this because i cant enough of this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It was cute

It was a cute book loved it a lot happy he got what he wanted.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Tooooooo cute!

I listened to this title via Audible's Romance Package and reviewed it for Wicked Reads.

Tooooooo cute! In preparation for audiobook month, I was perusing the young adult titles in the Romance Package for a final title to round out our blog’s Saturday posts. I was actually looking for a standalone title, preferably M/M, when I stumbled on Turning 16. As someone who grew up on John Hughes’ movies, I was all over the Sixteen Candles reference that occurs in the audio sample; that it was narrated by Michael Pauley was a bonus. So when I sat down to write my review, you can imagine my surprise to learn that this is not only the first book in the series, but that it’s also undergone some changes since originally released and is now titled Sam Dorsey and His Sixteen Candles, which is an even better name. With that said, it doesn’t appear as though the overall story itself has changed, just some rebranding with a new title and cover, and as nice as the new look is, I’m not sure that it calls to the child of the 80s in me as much as the former cover does with its nod to the iconic scene in the movie, when Jake is leaning against his car. But as I’m not the target audience, the new covers are probably better suited for today’s teens who aren’t reminiscing for the 80s. Sorry for the word vomit but trying to suss out what book was what on Goodreads made this a bit of nightmare.

As for actual story, Turning 16 spans about a week, beginning the day of Sam’s 16th birthday in 1985. While most teens look forward to their sweet sixteen because it’s a milestone birthday, birthdays tend to bring nothing but bad luck for Sam, and this year it seems that Sam’s misery is going to be dragged about a bit as his birthday party must be postponed due to extended family issues. As we navigate the hazards that arise on Sam Dorsey’s birthday, it’s easy to see why he feels as though his birthdays are cursed. And yet… it appears that the universe might have a little bit of good in store for Sam when his crush begins to show some interest in him. Add to that, there’s also a budding new friendship with Mitch. And not only is Sam beginning to fantasize about him, but Mitch is rather persistent in them spending time together and in keeping Jake away from Sam. But as Sam thinks Jake and Mitch are both straight (maybe a little bi on Jake’s part), this sudden interest from two fronts makes it hard for him to figure out if he wants the guy he’s been crushing on for years, or does he want the guy who seems to be genuinely interested in him? And Sam’s biggest dilemma… When did everyone figure out he was gay when he worked so hard to keep it a secret!?!?!

As for the narration, I really enjoyed Michael Pauley’s performance in this one. I will admit that there was a couple of times when I got confused as to who was speaking because the level of vocal distinction I’m used to from Pauley’s performance wasn’t present in this audiobook, but this appears to be one of his early works. I was impressed by Pauley’s crooning… I so did not see that coming and I may have fangirled a little bit during those scenes – OHMIGOD!!! I also have to commend Pauley being spot-on with the teenage angst. Honestly, it’s hard to believe that this is same guy whose voice is so full of tension that it pulls me to the edge of my seat during romantic suspense and thrillers. But Pauley did an excellent job of making Turning 16 a delightful treat to listen to, complete with all of Sam’s awkwardness that I think Perie Wolford & Michelle Doering intended.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Keith G
  • Montrose in Houston TX
  • 05-01-18

Enjoyable

This is a cute story and there’s some pretty good writing done by the cowriters Perie Wolford and Michelle Doering.

What I appreciated about the story is that it was simple. There was an appropriate amount of situational angst, but no existential crisis used by the writers to power the narrative. It’s basically a story about a kid trying to find the appropriate and worthy focus of his growing emotional and physical needs.

I also appreciated that this was not a story involving a villain or a bad guy or girl brought in to add narrative tension. Because of the rather simple narrative and the limited amount of prose, there was little in the way of those typically tiresome male/male romance tropes. The main character was written in a very believable way. It was enjoyable to experience his world through his point of view.

As far as the things that I wish were better: Why do so many writers in this genre seem to have forgotten how public schools and their sports teams work? I can’t even list the number of sentences that, once read out to me, took me out of the story because the action being described was so improbable in the world that this book wants to inhabit. Dear Lord, is it that hard to write just another paragraph or two and get the process believable?

The other issue that cause me to roll my eyes a few times was some deus ex machina setups that allowed important plot points to occur as if out of the blue. Again, it’s just a matter of spending a little bit of time to lay the groundwork to make these things happen in a way that doesn’t cause foreheads to be slapped. At the end, the narrator specifically mentions the editor, Michelle Doering, was she on Ambien?

I got this 3-hour story as part of the Romance Package, so I’m not going to be overly picky about some of the literary achievements of this book. For what it was, it was an entertaining and largely satisfying listen while doing housework.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too nice a story. A bit tepid for today's teens.

A well intended and performed "First Kiss* story. Too Fairytalish for a teen reader.