Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler 
Published: 2010
Source: Local Library 
Rating:  [Five+Pink+Hearts.jpg]

"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 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.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer. (taken from
When I picked this book up, I had no idea what I was in for. I was prepared for a lighthearted beach read with a dash of romance and a pinch of teenage rebellion. Instead, I found myself thrown into the story of two girls who are desperately attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives, which were shattered in one heart-breaking, irreversible moment. My emotions were taken on a wild roller coaster, and my heart hurt for Anna and Frankie, as well as their families. 

Ockler's writing is truly beautiful. I can't count how many times I stopped to admire the phrasing of a certain line or contemplate the haunting truths she wrote about. While the story itself was a work of art, Ockler's writing was what really drew me into the plot and made me fall in love with the tragic tale. 

Reserved and thoughtful, Anna keeps all of her secrets, dreams, and fears bottled up inside. Twenty Boy Summer
 is really the story of Anna breaking out of her shell and learning to deal with herself and her past, especially Matt. Frankie, Anna's best friend, couldn't be more different. To deal with her all-consuming grief for her brother, Frankie turns to cosmetics, boys, and partying. Anna is forced to watch in horror as her closest friend spirals out of control. 

The relationship between Frankie and Anna is a true gem in the world of literary characters. Painful yet honest, it held me captive as I watched the girls' broken hearts stitch themselves back up. Also, the bonds forged with these "twenty boys" bring a new kind of romance to light- one that forgives and forgets. 

Twenty Boy Summer is a powerful, breath-taking story of before and after, love and loss, pain and healing, devastation and hope. I sincerely hope that you all decide to give this book a shot, because it is truly a masterpiece. 


fakesteph said...

I loved this book! It was so heartbreakingly real. I almost cried reading your review remembering how powerful the emotions were. :)

Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

I'm reading this one soon and I can hardly wait! I absolutely loved Sarah Ocklers book Fixing Delilah and I'm hoping this one is just as good. :)

Ashley said...

Great review! I REALLY need to get around to reading this one! I've had it sitting there for a while, and I loved Fixing Delilah!

Sarah Lydia said...

I've heard such good things about this book! I recently read Fixing Delilah and really loved it, so I have no doubt that when the time comes I'll enjoy this one as well.
lovely review, amber :)