Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Published June 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
"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.
My Thoughts

Like the stars, fading with the halo of the vanishing moon. Like the ocean, falling and whispering against the shore. Nothing ever really goes away - it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.

I really.really.really enjoyed this story! It has all the ingredients of a well-written and perfectly plotted YA contemporary novel, and I fell for the characters immediately... from beginning to end.

Now the plot seems a bit heavy at first glance because it involves a first love that dies too soon. Anna has had a crush on Matt, her best friend, since she was ten years old and on her fifteen birthday he reveals his true feelings for her and their light romance takes off. However, it’s a bit complicated because Matt’s sister is also Anna’s dear friend and Matt struggles with finding a way to share his true feelings for Anna to his sister Frankie, so they put it off and the unspeakable occurs. Matt’s life is stripped away too soon and the rest of the novel takes you on a journey of the meaning of friendship, grief and forgiveness.

I came to care for all of the characters in this novel, especially and surprisingly the summer fling, Sam. I liked how the author left the ending slightly unfinished when it came to Sam because it allowed my imagination to float to my own conclusion for him and Anna possibly crossing paths in the future.

Overall, I feel fans of books such as The Sky Is Everywhere, Winter Longing and The Truth about Forever will enjoy Ockler’s novel Twenty Boy Summer. Don’t miss out on this great novel that would make the perfect beach read.
4 Snowflakes


  1. Lovely review! I went into this story thinking I was going to get a fluffy read (I wasn't paying attention when I bought it, I think), but it was absolutely beautiful.

  2. I really enjoyed this one too. Thanks for bringing it all back to me!