Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Book Review - Twenty Boy Summer

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Release Date: 3 Jun 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0316051583

For sixteen-year-olds Anna Reiley and Frankie Perino, their twenty day-long, minimally supervised California vacation will be the 'Absolute Best Summer Ever' and according to Frankie, if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance that Anna will get her first real boyfriend.

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.  

My Review
I first saw this book last year and there were a lot of positive reviews for it. After reading a lot of good reports on it, I decided to request a copy. It's not my usual read but the cover was pretty and the blurb intriguing, it left me questioning and wanting to know more.
However my TBR pile was (and still is) massive and it just kept getting pushed down the pile. Yesterday I was going through my shelf at work and saw it, wanting a quick light read I grabbed it. I am so glad I picked it up, it wasn't as light as I hoped but it was an amazing story.
Anna, Frankie and Matt have been best friends forever. Matt and Frankie are brother and sister, and Anna is like part of teh family too, but Anna really likes Matt, she just can't admit it. On her fifteenth birthday she makes a wish, the same one she has made for a few years, that Matt would kiss her. Little does she know he feels the same, and after a great party he finally does. But he wants to tell Frankie himself, where she can listen and understand so they decide to keep it a secret for a couple of weeks. As their relationship grows it's harder to keep the secret, until Matt dies suddenly and leaves Anna unsure of what to do.
With everyone grieving in their own ways, it feels like life is crashing down. The following summer the girls are set for a summer vacation, and it is set to be 'the best summer ever!'. Frankie comes up with a challenge, meet one boy every day and maybe one will turn out ot be 'the one'. Anna agrees for fun, but isn't sure she can go ahead with it. Matt is still in her heart and mind.
I honestly didn't think I could enjoy this book as much as I did. The author handles the situation of losing a loved one very well, and from all different perspectives - parents, sister, girlfriend, class mate. The emotion that comes from the page draws you in, I felt really connected to the characters and I will admit to crying a little bit. But it's not all down, there were also moments where I laughed out loud. 
This book is a journey of two girls learning to deal with grief, friendship, loyalty, heart ache, trust and just growing up. They take you on a journey, of how one summer, one moment, can make all the difference.
I didn't manage to read this is one sitting, but when I had to put the book down I found myself thinking about it and being drawn to it, so it didn't take me long to get back to it.
I will definitely look out for other books by this author, she certainly has a way with words.

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10. Very moving and a great idea. Very well written and just captivating.    

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