Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review - Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer (Amazon)
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 2009
Pages: 290
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

"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.

Kim’s Take – This was such a sweet, emotional, and heartbreaking read. It takes you through so many different emotions of the main characters, Anna and Frankie. The author does such an amazing job of getting you to know the characters, Anna specifically, that they become easily relatable.

Anna, Frankie, and Frankie’s older brother Matt have been best friends forever. When the feelings between Anna and Matt become more serious and they realize their love for each other, Matt is hesitant to make it known to Frankie. He seems very protective of her and is scared the news will hurt her. Anna is sworn to secrecy until Matt can figure out the best way to tell Frankie. Unfortunately, Matt is killed before Frankie finds out about their relationship. Anna honors her promise to Matt and says nothing to Frankie.

During the year after Matt’s death, Frankie seems to deal with her grief by changing drastically and rebelling, making it hard for Anna to get through to her. When Frankie’s family invites her on their yearly vacation to a beach house in California, Anna jumps at the chance to spend three weeks getting closer to her former best friend. But the moment they step into the house for the first time without Matt, emotions seem to overflow.

But Frankie’s only plan for their vacation is to meet twenty guys over the vacation who are interested in them. Not exactly Anna’s idea of a good time since she is still devastated and mourning the loss of Matt. How can Frankie’s plan help Anna get over her feelings? Feelings which Frankie is unaware of.

A good love story is always a bonus and this one gives you more than you expect. I felt it realistically covered the emotions and common reactions of the life of a typical teen. I found the ending to be happy and sad at the same time but was definitely satisfied and thought it was a great book.

 Kim Rating – 4/5


  1. Mmm... I read this one last year and I thought the writing was beautiful but I found both Matt and Frankie quite selfish, and though I liked Anna - and felt for the way she was denied her grief - and I loved the writing, I didn't like the characters themselves all that much.

    I really want to read the author's newest book though!

  2. I loved this one too, very emotionally intense. But I kind of agree with Alex. Matt's secrecy started to feel a little shady to me - like was he sincere or playing Anna? And Frankie - I get that she had her own issues to deal with with Matt's death, but her reaction? Ugh. Anyway, great review, thanks! And yes Bittersweet is really, really good, too!