Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler Little Brown/June 1, 2009/Young Adult/290 pages 
Summary According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in 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. 

Review I first heard of this book last summer during a scavenger hunt that Sarah Ockler was doing and I have been meaning to read this for months now. I'm so glad I finally got around to it! Right from the very beginning it is, like the summary says, beautifully written. Sarah Ockler is able to tackle subjects like death and heartbreak with ease. The story is told from Anna Reiley's POV. She has been best friends and neighbors with siblings, Frankie and Matt Perino, for as long as she can remember.

For years now, Anna has been in love with Matt and soon they are finally together, but they keep it a secret from Frankie. Then, Matt dies in a car crash and Anna and his family are left trying to rebuild their lives. It's been a year since Matt died and Anna is invited to the Perino's summer trip to California. Although she is hesitant to go along with it, Frankie declares they will meet 20 boys while away. 

The title of the book is misleading. Yes, the girls make this bet, but is so much more than a game like this. During those weeks at the beach, Anna has to come to grips with letting go and finding herself. Ockler captures many genuine moments and the book is hard to put down. The last 150 pages or so were my favorite. I loved reading about their time in San Francisco and the band they went to see. So much happens at the end of the book; secrets are reveled and relationships are on the mend, but it is amazing and so touching.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER is a wonderful summer read! I absolutely can't wait to read Sarah's new book coming out this fall!
Writing: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Voice: 4/5
Ending: 5/5 Overall: 4 stars
Favorite character(s): I thought Anna was an awesome MC. Sam was really nice, too! Cover: B+ That sea glass is so beautiful and I love how it ties in with the story! Love the colors. (I want some sea glass, now!)
Put-down-ability: 4 in the beginning. The whole story is great, but it wasn't until the end that I could not put down - 2. (1- very hard to put down 10-easy to put down)
*Source: Won from a contest a long time ago at Books By Their Cover! Thanks. HEY! Don't forget to enter my TWENTY BOY SUMMER GIVEAWAY!!! DEADLINE IS JULY 31st!


Alison said...

Great review. This book for some reason just doesn't sound that interesting to me, but I've read several good reviews. So maybe I'll have to check it out.

Izzy said...

I'll definitely need to read this, whether I win the giveaway or not :P This was a great review and makes the book sound so good!

Okapi said...

Great review! This book looks very light hearted and fun to read. I can't wait to read it on the beach!

Ashley said...

I've been meaning to read this one for forever! Now that it's summer I would love to get it from the library.

Stephanie said...

Been wanting to read this one..I kinda sorta know Sarah (we have a mutual friend). Sounds liek a great summer read!!!

Lena said...

All I hear are great things about this book. I must check it out!

Awesome review! :)

Jasindo said...

I haven't been sure if I really wanted to read this or not, but I think I do now!

Vicky said...

I've been curious about this book since it first hit the blogosphere, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. I think I will.

Ekta said...

I wasn't sure that this book was something I'd want to read but your review has convinced me that I need to read it. Great review!

lag123 said...

Intriguing review. Thank you!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Kristina said...

Great review! The book sounds really interesting, and I’m curious as to how it reads. I’d love to explore how she expressed her grief with Frankie’s brother (although I’m not sure whether or not that was a spoiler, or if it was given out during the first few chapters). It’s now in my TBR pile. <3

kjovus said...

I am glad I read your review and your right. The title is misleading. It sounds like a fun read that is reminiscent of adolescence.

jenna said...

I lovelovelove the cover art for this book! Based on your review, I think it's safe to say that I can't wait to read it!