Review of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
I bought Twenty Boy Summer because of the great reviews and the intriguing blurb:
“”Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.” “Okay.” “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 every 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.”
5/5 Stars. Since this was a book about summer and relationships, I was pleasantly surprised as to how well it was written, given summer reads aren’t often good at writing so lyrically. The descriptions were so spot-on and well-crafted– I think Sarah Ockler is one of the most talented authors I have read. Furthermore, Twenty Boy Summer no way cliche and was emotionally touching, but in a hopeful way. The book address a lot of important issues surrounding relationships, loss, and moving forward, and does so in a way that causes one to reflect and leaves one feeling optimistic. Read this book.
I really liked that Anna not only had realistic emotions, especially with the journal, but then was able to figure out what those emotions were and meant. It was easy to connect with her in that way, because I think a lot of people have experienced similar situations, and it brought a new level of meaning to what she had lost and then what she discovered about herself in California.
I didn’t like that Frankie lied about her relationships and that this became the motivating factor for Anna to be with Sam, more than her liking him, although she did. I think it was a truthful reflection in that people often lie about their relationships, but I just wish Anna had put less emphasis on being “experienced” like Frankie and more emphasis on being driven by liking Sam.
Some people had mentioned they hated the fact that this was called Twenty Boy Summer when there ends up being less than ten, but I think its reflective of the fact that the girls were looking for a lot of superficial relationships instead of what they needed, which were a few deep ones. Part of the beauty of this book was that the girls didn’t meet their goal and were better off for it. Also, Twenty Boy Summer sounds better than Ten Boy Summer. It just does.
Speaking of book reviews, if you’ve read my book INSOMNUS, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. (As a bonus, I’ll send you a free bookmark if you do).