Twenty Boy Summer: Review

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Posted by Dina N

Book Description
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 ever 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.

From the Book
When someone you love dies, people ask you how you're doing, but they don't really want to know. They seek affirmation that you're okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they. Secretly they wonder when the statute of limitations on asking expires. (It's three months, by the way. Written or unwritten, that's about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will.)

They don't want to know that you'll never again eat birthday cake because you don't want to erase the magical taste of the frosting on his lips. That you wake up every day wondering why you got to live and he didn't. That on the first afternoon of your first real vacation, you sit in front of the ocean, face hot under the giant sun, willing him to give you a sign that he's okay.

My Review
This charming book is the coming-of-age story of Anna, a 16-year old, who encounters love and heartbreak and learns to accept grief and loss, all within a year. She falls in love with her best friend's brother, and has to find a way to cope with his death while helping her friend with her pain, too. The two girls take a vacation together, look for romance - and find out their friendship can mend their broken hearts.

I greatly enjoyed reading Sarah Ockler's debut novel. Although it is geared mostly towards young adults, the author's beautiful writing and the book's emotional honesty would appeal to readers of any age. I can relate to Anna's journey, as I am sure would anyone who has loved and lost. As a mom, I found the parent - daughters relationships in the book quite engrossing and well-depicted. I am looking forward to reading more of Ockler's work and cannot wait for another book!

Twenty Boy Summer came out on June 1. You can read excerpts from the book at Sarah Ockler's website. The book is now available at retailers nationwide.

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