At first glance, this young adult novel by Sarah Ockler may appear to be very much a romancy beach read with no real substance (which, I must admit, is how I first thought it would be), but in reality, Ockler has produced a novel filled with love, compassion, and teaches us what true friendship is really all about.
Anna's first true love was named Matt. "Was," because Matt died last year. Matt also happened to be Anna's best friend Frankie's brother, and no, Frankie didn't know about Anna and Matt's relationship. The summer after Matt died is one filled to the brim with emotions, with Anna wanting to fill Frankie in on her love for her Matt, but Frankie not really being emotionally available for her, suffering from the loss of her brother.
At the beach, the girls make a pact to try to meet at least twenty boys that summer. Frankie wants to take her mind off Matt, but Anna simply wants to have him back and can't let Frankie in on why she isn't really into the whole "summer boy" thing. Both girls are struggling internally with their loss and throughout the summer, begin to learn more about each other than they ever thought possible, while meeting boys, dealing with parents, and suffering through an almost unbearable loss.
The author really got her characters and was able to truly make both girls stand out with their emotions. This is a great beach read, but it's not simply a fluff novel to pick up in between parties this summer...you'll want to keep reading to see where it goes.
One lucky reader can win a copy of Twenty Boy Summer, just by leaving a comment on this post by Sunday night at 11:59pm ET and letting me know your favorite part about summer time. Only entries from the U.S. for this one please! Don't forget to leave me an email address if you don't have a blog.
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Twenty Boy Summer
Little, Brown Young Readers