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Monday, 9 August 2010

Review: Twenty Boy Summer [Summer Love Mondays 3]

It is week three of Summer Love Mondays and I am back from my very relaxing cottage holiday. The weather was dry but overcast for much of it. I spent a lot of time reading. One of the books I read was Twenty Boy Summer and it was a gem of a book.

Author: Sarah Ockler

Release date: 2009
Genre: Summer Romance, Realism
Target audience: 12+
Twenty Boy Summer is a fragile, beautiful and touching story. Anna is best friends with siblings Matt and Frankie. They have grown up together and are inseparable. Anna has been in love with Matt since she was ten. On her fifteenth birthday they finally share a kiss and Anna’s heart is full to bursting with joy. Matt asks Anna not to tell Frankie. He wants to protect Frankie from getting hurt. For one month Matt and Anna sneak tiny moments together whenever they can. But then just before Matt and Frankie are due to go to California on holiday Matt tragically dies. The whole world falls off its axis for Frankie and her family. Anna is left keeping the secret and grieving for a boy that everyone believes was just her friend.

A year later, Frankie’s parents invite Anna to go to California with them for a holiday. Frankie on her road of supreme self-confidence devises a plan that this should be the best summer ever. It will be the summer of twenty boys and many firsts for Anna. But Anna has already fallen in love with Matt. How long can she keep the secret from Frankie?

Summer is so vividly described in this book that you can the salty crust of ocean spray from the Californian ocean waves. You can feel the cool, damp sand as your toes burrow beneath the surface, the scent of sun cream as people lay on the beach bronzing. This novel had a such a power to evoke the atmosphere of holiday and the potential that it holds for one to discover something new. When you are away from your normal daily life, somehow you can find a new perspective, resolve to make a change or just be more adventurous than you usually are.

As well as being about loss and friendship, this novel is also about summer romance. At the start of the trip Anna is apprehensive about Frankie’s idea for twenty potential male candidates for them to test drive. But once they get to Zanibar Bay, they meet Sam and Jake. Despite Anna’s fears that letting another boy in will erase her last memories of Matt, she can’t stop thinking about Sam from the Smoothie Shack.

This book had me reading through blurry eyes for much of it. I could feel Anna’s grief so painfully as she wrote in her journal or remembered a funny story about Matt. It also had me yearning for the ocean and those days where the sea can invigorate you into someone just a little braver or smarter or funnier. Twenty Boy Summer is a book that is perfect for all seasons, not just summer. It is simply beautiful.

Source: www.authorsnow.com
Sarah Ockler's Top Five Things to Love about Summer

1. Sitting around a campfire

2. Lying in the grass at night and watching for shooting stars

3. Ice cream cones that drip down over your fingers

4. Walking out of an air conditioned store into the warm summer air
5. Sitting on the beach with someone you love and listening to the ocean shush against the shore
Thanks for sharing Sarah! I completely agree with number 5. Listening to the sea rolling in would definitely make my list of Top 5.


Cass said...

I'm not sure...should I wait until at least Spring, to read Twent Boy Summer? It's winter right now, and I'm not feeling all that summer-y lately... I bought my own copy (PB), which I got in the mail a fortnight ago. It looks beautiful.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! You are always so descriptive and go into details, which I absolutely love. This story intrigues me. I will probably add it to my wishlist. I love a book that can make you cry. Thanks for sharing!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Yay, I'm so glad you loved this too! It really is a beautiful book and those top 5 are pretty much the same as mine!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What a lovely list :)

Caroline said...

What a sweet book! I wasn't anticipating Matt's death when reading the blurb, how heart-breaking!
I am feeling for poor Anna!
You are converting me to romance with your reviews :)
I am loving Sarah's list, especially number 5!!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

On I loved this book and enjoyed you review of it!

Clover said...

Aww. This one's been on my wishlist for ages, and reading reviews like this one just reinforces how much I'd like to read it! thanks for the great review.

I Want To Read That said...

Great review! I sooo loved this book and can't wait to read another book by the author. Now, I completely agree with number 3! Summer = ICECREAM!!!!

Becky said...

Cass, well it may warm you up if you read it so perhaps you should just go for it!

Irena, and you always say the loveliest things. I personally am not all that fond of weepy books but I seem to be reading them a lot lately.

Sophie, I think this is a book everyone has to love :-)

Juju, Sarah really does have great taste in summer loves!

Caroline, I am converting myself! LOL I have never really been a contemporary romance girl but I am seeing the beauty of the genre now. They go so much deeper than I imagined they would.

Sheila, aww thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Clover, definitely one to keep wishing for!

Sammee, ice cream?! I think you can enjoy that all year through. We have mini Magnums in our freezer even in winter LOL

I Want To Read That said...

Yes but in summer you don't have to feel guilty lol It's essential!

prophecygirl said...

I really need to dig out my copy and read this. I'm not sure how many more amazing reviews it can take to convince me!

Becky said...

Sammee, LOL I have no conscience mwah ha ha ha! Seriously, I understand what you're saying. I wish I was guilt free about book-buying.

Jenny, that is so true. I haven't seen a single negative thing sad about this book. Yay for Sarah!

brizmus said...

Oh, I love her number 4! I love that feeling, too! :-)
I love a good make me cry book. . .this sounds adorable!