Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
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Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 290 pages
"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."So, Sarah Ockler's novel, Twenty Boy Summer is about tanning at the beach and meeting cute guys. It's what happens when two best friends head off to a summer home together for the first time. FUN, right? Oh... wait. There's also this monstrous black cloud hanging over their heads that represents the death of Frankie's brother - the same brother that shared a secret relationship with Anna, their best friend. Frankie doesn't know. All of a sudden, this happy tale gets a lot darker.
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.
I was so impressed by the way Sarah made me feel while reading. Anna is going through some pretty tough times and all of her emotions were conveyed perfectly. There were times of cheerfulness, when Anna and Frankie were just hanging out like any regular best friends. There were also times of suffocating grief, and I teared up a few times.
Anna is a very easy character to relate to. I liked her from the start and even though what she's dealing with is so, so hard, she manages to stay strong. Frankie was a lot more of an adjustment for me. While I understood what she was going through, her actions really didn't make sense to me until the end.
Twenty Boy Summer is a powerful read about finding the balance between holding on and letting go. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Cover Comments: LOVE IT! The best covers are the ones with actual significance to the story, and this one delivers.