Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 1st, 2009
Pages: 290 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Bought
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"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.

Twenty Boy Summer is the heartbreaking tale of the death of a girl's first love.  Anna and Francesca (Frankie) have been best friends for as long as they've known each other.  That being said, Anna was always close with the rest of Frankie's family, including her older brother, Matt.  When her birthday wish to be with him finally comes true, she's ecstatic, but after a few short weeks, their relationship ends along with Matt's life.  In order to overcome this tough time, Frankie's family takes Anna to the place they used to spend the summer when Matt was still alive and each of the characters learn how to deal with the heartbreak in their own way.

When they get to the beach, they try to distract themselves by making up a game to see how many boys they can flirt with in order to find the right one to take Anna's virginity, even if she's not completely over Matt.  The saddest part of the story is that Anna feels that she can't openly express her heartbreak over Frankie's brother because no one but Anna and Matt knew they were together and he asked Anna to promise not to tell Frankie before he did.  Since he passed away before he got the chance to, Anna felt that it wasn't her place to tell Frankie what may or may have not become of them last summer.

It took me two tries to really fall in love with this book.  While reading it, I was easily drawn into these character's lives.  I couldn't believe how emotional some of the scenes made me and how attached I got to Anna the more I read.  Her relationship with Frankie started out strong.  They were always there for each other, but there's something about losing someone close to you that can both pull you together and split you apart. 

Everyone heals at their own pace, but it seems that summer in California seemed to patch the entire family's broken hearts.  Twenty Boy Summer was filled with a handful of moments that made you both smile and ache.  Sarah Ockler creates a powerful story of being able to fall in love again after experiencing the heartbreak of losing someone you loved before.


  1. *sob*sniff*sob* This story is SO sad despite that cute cover. I'm a sucker for cute covers and sad stories. Great review! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  2. I LOVED this book even though it was such a sad little story. Great review!

  3. I have been wanting to check out this one for a while, I have a hard time with emotional reads because I am definitely a crier and it happens so easily for me, I just read Pushing The Limits By: Katie McGarry and I think I cried at least 3 times while reading that book lol, but great review and if I can handle all the emotions I will definitely read this one lol.

    Have a great day!

    1. Don't worry, I'm super emotional too! I think that's why I enjoyed this book so much though. If it makes me cry, you can count on me calling it a favorite. :P Now that you said that about Pushing The Limits, I can't wait to read it, either! It's just too bad I have so many other books I have to review before I can get to it. Thanks so much for your comment! :)