Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

"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 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.

When I first started reading Twenty Boy Summer, I thought it was maybe a little young for me. The first few chapters, where we learn about Matt and Anna's relationship--I had to push through those. I thought the couple was too simple, everything happened too quickly and easily, yadda yadda. But my mom and sister encouraged me to continue, and I'm glad I did.

The rest of the book turns out to be a really heartfelt story about grief and living after loss. You find yourself caring about the characters, pulling for everything to turn out better, happy, perfect because they deserve it to. I became really invested in the story, gasping, groaning or laughing out loud more than once.

Twenty Boy Summer has been banned or proposed to be banned more than once. I think this has to do with the sexual content. Sex is talked about quite a bit, and there are some descriptions that might not be suitable for young audiences, but that is always up to the readers' and the readers' parents discretion. Or at least I think it should be. :)

Despite the theme of grief and loss, this is a quick and fun read. The story focuses on Anna and Frankie, two teenage girls, and it never gets too super heavy since they're at the beach trying to make the best of their summer. My mom, teenage sister and I have all read Twenty Boy Summer, so the audience in my house spanned about forty years, and we all enjoyed it. I'll be reading more fom Sarah Ockler for sure.

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