Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

According to her 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 that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

When I picked up this 2009 debut, I expected a fun beach read (apparently, I'm not very good at reading the synopses of the books that I purchase). Well, I was surprised when I realized what the subject matter of the book was (dealing with grief, death, and first love). The story is told by Anna, and really begins after the death of Matt, the older brother of her best friend, Frankie. What's even more traumatizing, is the fact that Anna has been in love with him for years, and they had just recently started a relationship (secretly, of course).

Most of the book takes place in California, where the girls are vacationing (which is where the twenty boy game begins). They spend time traveling to see the sights (San Francisco), spending the rest of the time, where else, on the beach. I've vacationed in California, and it was surprisingly different from the chaotic lifestyle that I'm used to on the East Coast. Granted, it was a vacation, but Palo Alto and La Selva Beach had a different atmosphere. Plus, I completely geeked out that I was in the city where the Stanford Prison Experiments took place (have I mentioned I'm a psych major?). But I digress, it was really nice to see that the laid back atmosphere I had experienced was able to translate to the book. I also loved how Ocklwer was able to capture how it feelts to be a teenager, particularly how everything seems like it's the end of the world.

The great thing about this novel is that isn't just a beach read. It's got something special that makes people look forward to, or reminisce about their first love. I can't wait for more from this author. On a different note, is it just me or are the debut authors this year amazing?

Twenty Boy Summer
By Sarah Ockler
304 Pages
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating - A


Amy said...

I really want to read this book. Great review!

Sunshine Edition said...

I cant wait to read this!! I thought it was just a beach read too!! Thanks, for the review!


P.S.- come check out my blog

Briana said...

I'm hearing nothing but amazing things about this book. I'm going to have to pick it up.


Sandy said...

Prada & Prejudice was VERY fluffy. I'll probably have the review up tomorrow. I'm just trying to collect my thoughts about it. xD

I see you got Evermore too! I thought it was really good, I was actually kinda surprised by it (in the good way, of course!) :)

OMG I've been lusting after this book forever. I really want it!

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