17 January 2012

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Book Details

Author: Sarah Ockler
Format: Paperback Edition
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)

Book Summary

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever 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 that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Twenty Boy Summer is a story about two friends: Anna and Frankie who tries to make this summer their ABSE (Absolute Best Summer Ever). To people who doesn’t know them, it seems ordinary: Frankie’s family is going to a vacation in the beaches of California and they’re taking Anna with them, Frankie plans to meet twenty different guys so that she and Anna can have the perfect summer romance. But in reality, both girls are still suffering silently from the loss of their best friend and Frankie’s brother, Matt. Another secret lurks on the shore, threatening to goes to bay – Anna already had her summer romance – with Matt.

I like the characters, even the small ones because Sarah Ockler did an excellent job at characterizing each person in her novel. The grief and emotion is very raw and you can almost see it happening to just anyone around you. After the loss, Anna was still writing to Matt in her journal, Frankie is uncontrollable and her mom went into depression. However, these things served as the driving force of the novel as it causes conflicts and allow each of the characters to grow and finally deal with the loss. I like Anna – I would love her to be my best friend because she can honestly keep a secret! Like keep it for a very, very long time.

Twenty Boy Summer is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read about grief and moving on. It’s about how a single loss can affect and change the lives of everyone around. From the cover of beautiful sea glasses, the story will touch your heart and makes you see that somehow there is still hope and life after a dreadful loss. 

Favorite Quotes

“Nothing ever really goes away--it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 

“Every story is part of a whole, entire life, you know? Happy and sad and tragic and whatever, but an entire life. And books let you know them.” 

“Sometimes you gotta just take things for what they are and appreciate them, not try to label it or explain it. Explanations take the mystery out of it, you know?” 

“When someone you love dies, people ask you how you're doing, but they don't really want to know. They seek affirmation that you're okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they. Secretly they wonder when the statute of limitations on asking expires (its three months, by the way. Written or unwritten, that's about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will).” 

“Sometimes I think we all feel guilty for being happy, and as soon as we catch ourselves acting like everything is okay, someone remembers it's not.” 

“When you’re in the middle of being in love with someone, you just don’t stop to ask.” 

“It's really bad when dads cry.” 


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