Twenty Boy Summer

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4%
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4.6
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4.7(26)
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An Emotional Read that Settles, Deep in Your Bones
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Twenty Boy Summer is one of the most emotional and moving contemporaries I’ve read in a long time. It’s the type of story that invades your being and settles deep in your bones, becoming a part of who you are and touching you in ways you forgot books had the power to do. It’s the type of book that leaves you thinking, deep into the night, and that gives you hope as you turn the final page.

Anna is a beautiful protagonist. Determined to keep her secret from her best friend, she’s never able to let Frankie know the extent of her grief over Matt’s death.

"Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s to much gravity on my heart."

She’s selfless, pushing back her emotions in order to be the best possible friend to Frankie, putting Frankie’s feelings and grief before her own, and she’s heartbreaking, succumbing to the pain of losing Matt when she thinks no one’s looking. She’s the best friend Frankie could ever ask for, despite the lies she feels she’s forced to tell her everyday. I loved watching her work through her grief, using a summer fling with a surfer boy to help her realize that no one could ever erase Matt, that she could learn to love again, and that her loss might not always be so heavy a burden to carry.

I think Ockler’s treatment of a family in mourning was one of my favorite aspects of Twenty Boy Summer. Frankie’s family was volatile, with the smallest of things setting one of them off. Every happy moment felt like it was stolen, like their grief was timing itself for the perfect reminder that it was a constant. It made for a page-turning read, as I waited for a seemingly happy moment to be destroyed by a glass of spilt coke. It also brought out the most raw and honest truths, with one or more family members laying their heart on the line, daring someone to break it all over again. And Ockler is a master at repeatedly breaking hearts.

"Weeping is not the same thing as crying. It takes your whole body to weep, and when it’s over, you feel like you don’t have any bones left to hold you up."

I just loved everything about Twenty Boy Summer. Anna and Frankie’s friendship made me nostaltic for the type of summer where I could spend every day scheming the next big adventure, or the latest plan to capture a boy’s heart, with my friends. I loved that Anna saw her relationship with Sam for what it was, and that I was ok with them having mere weeks together. I loved that Anna and Frankie both got closure, of a sort. And I love that I closed the book with a smile on my face and tears running down my cheeks.
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It's more than just a beach read
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lizzy


When I picked
up this 2009 debut, I expected a fun beach read (apparently, I'm not
very good at reading the synopses of the books that I purchase). Well,
I was surprised when I realized what the subject matter of the book was
(dealing with grief, death, and first love). The story is told by Anna,
and really begins after the death of Matt, the older brother of her
best friend, Frankie. What's even more traumatizing, is the fact that
Anna has been in love with him for years, and they had just recently
started a relationship (secretly, of course).

Most of the book
takes place in California, where the girls are vacationing (which is
where the twenty boy game begins). They spend time traveling to see the
sights (San Francisco), spending the rest of the time, where else, on
the beach. I've vacationed in California, and it was surprisingly
different from the chaotic lifestyle that I'm used to on the East
Coast. Granted, it was a vacation,
but Palo Alto and La Selva Beach had a different atmosphere. Plus, I
completely geeked out that I was in the city where the Stanford Prison
Experiments took place (have I mentioned I'm a psych major?). But I
digress, it was really nice to see that the laid back atmosphere I had
experienced was able to translate to the book. I also loved how Ocklwer
was able to capture how it feelts to be a teenager, particularly how
everything seems like it's the end of the world.

The great thing about this novel is that isn't just
a beach read. It's got something special that makes people look forward
to, or reminisce about their first love. I can't wait for more from
this author. On a different note, is it just me or are the debut
authors this year amazing?


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Simply Amazing.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by BooksObsession

This novel is the perfect summer read! Not only
is it cute and fun, but also its deep and meaningful. Its such a realistic
and detailed story of loss and breakthrough. This book was so hard to put down,
and I was begging for more even after the last page. I could understand each
character perfectly and relate to them easily. It was interesting seeing how
Anna and Frankie changed throughout the story especially from the car crash.
Sarah Ockler has amazed me with this story and I cant wait to read what she
comes up with next! I absolutely love this cover, too. Its so beachy and
symbolic and ties in with the novel greatly. Just looking at this book makes me
want to pick it up and see what adventures are inside. A must-read for all
ages!


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Great 2009 Debut
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kristin

Sarah Ocklers Twenty Boy Summer tells the story of Anna as she deals with the grief of the death of the guy she always loved. The thing is, after years of admiration from afar, Anna and Matt only acted on their feelings for each other a short while before his death. And did I mention that Matt happened to be Annas best friend Frankies brother and she promised him she wouldnt tell Frankie about their secret, but rather leave it to him during family vacation. A year later, their vacation is finally rescheduled so that Anna and Frankies family can try to cope with Matts death, while Anna continues to struggle with the secret she holds so dear.

In this poignant young adult novel, Ockler takes the typical beach read novel two girls and a beach and a hunt for guys and expands upon it, creating a rich story about the trials of friendship and love. While Ockler could gone further with her use of the first person narrative to really expand on Annas inner emotions, I still felt that the reader was able to pick up on and relate to Annas raw grief, confusion, and frustration. Though Twenty Boy Summer doesnt have the usual happily-ever-after ending, Ocklers ending is as uplifting as would be suitable for the story and I was thankful for its grounding in reality as I believe this contributed to the impact of the story. Beyond the text, the cover is absolutely lovely and I was pleased to find how meaningful the pieces of sea glass are. More than anything else, I felt that Ocklers Twenty Boy Summer taught the lesson of appreciating every moment you have a lesson that will resonate with every reader. 10 out of 10.
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Great for the Summer!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Beth

This is a perfect summer read.
There's enough fun and lightness in it to make it enjoyable, but
there's more to the story. It could have been about two friends trying
to have the perfect summer romance, but it wasn't just that. This was a
story of people trying to deal with tremendous grief in different ways.
There was so much heart. With the title and cover (there's no magic
involved) I wouldn't have picked it up on my own, but I'm glad I read
it. The relationships between the characters were all very murky, and I
enjoyed it. Everyone is in a place of confusion, and it affects all
aspects of their lives. The characters were all well done, but at times
felt a bit blah. I could predict some of the things that they did when
I wasn't supposed to. The plot flowed well and remained interesting
throughout the novel. I loved the layering of emotions in the book.
This is a lovely debut from a talented author. Everyone should grab
this book and some tissues on the way to the beach, especially if it's
a girls weekend!



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I felt the book more than read it!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sab H. (Crystal Reviews)

What a great read. After so many supernatural books in a row this was
like a summer break. It's a wonderful story. A story about friendship
and love, specially about grief and letting go. Ockler has a magic gift
when she writes. It's amazing how words seem to have sounds and
backgrounds and you're wondering around in her young world seeing
things through Anna's eyes. I feel like I felt the book more than read it. I could see every single scenario. Amazing.

It
also has this refreshing sense of humor, ironies and splendid sarcasm,
so characteristic of teen years. I laughed out loud several times
during reading and felt that sting before crying several times as well.
A beautiful debut.

Anna's character feels so real, it was hard
for me to remember it was not me. All the characters are wonderful,
specially Frankie's. Plus, the cover! I loved the cover before reading
the book, and after reading it, I think there is no other way to make
this book more perfect than with that gorgeous cover. If you like
fun/sad, growing up-romance books you shouldn't hesitate to read this
right now.

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Twenty Boy Summer
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Erica

Twenty Boy Summer
Sarah Ockler

Rating: 5 stars

"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 ZanzibarBay 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.


This was Sarah Ockler's first novel, but all I can say is holy debut! Twenty Boy Summer was incredible! Sarah Ockler writes a touching story about tragic loss, friendship, love, and summer romance. Ockler really touched all aspects of life that are meaningful to people. Matt lingers in every conversation even when not being discussed.

Anna, the main character, was so real. Her wave of emotions were all so deep that one must wonder how Sarah Ockler wrote such a wonderful character. Throughout the entire book, I found myself feeling for Anna, especially when dealing with the grief Anna felt. As the novel went on, you could see Anna changing, starting to move on. As changes progressed, I found myself more and more drawn to Anna. Her best friend, Frankie, changed in different ways - more as a cover for that emormous pool of grief she's feeling. The two girls were so different and unique, making reading about each that much more alluring.

I absolutely loved the cover! When I first picked up the book, I had no clue what it meant, and within a few chapters I could completely connect with what the cover symbolized. That made me love the cover that much more.

I cannot wait to see what ideas Sarah Ockler comes up with next!
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heartbreaking
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by stephanie

Probably one of the saddest and heartbreaking book I have ever read...except for Heartbreak River. That was sad too.

Anyway, what I loved about Twenty Boy Summer was the writing style. It was written in a fresh manner that evoked so many different emotions in me. I loved how Sarah managed to convey the sadness that Anna felt, the grief of the family and the undying love that Matt and Anna had.

The plot was amazing. I couldn't find any real flaws in the plot throughout the entire novel so you can imagine how awesome this book is. It's so intense and heartbreaking.

The character, Anna, has a very intense and she was written in a very in-depth manner. The only thing that kind of irked me was the fact that she kept dwelling on the things Matt said so it felt as if she was repeating herself over and over again...but that's really the only thing that I have against Twenty Boy Summer.

And the guys that Anna meets are all different - smart, kind, hot, pervy and old, all different types of guys. Will Anna ever find the courage to move on with her life? Will she learn to fall in love again?

Overall, Twenty Boy Summer was amazing and I highly recommend it. :)
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One Word: Incredible.
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Anna

One of my all-time favorite books. Although the title seems unacceptable, it's pretty much clean. This book deals with summer love, heartbreaks, secrets, and friendships being ruined: pretty much the drama of beings a teenage girl. This book is so east to relate to, and I hope this encourages you to read this amazing book.


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Twenty Boy Summer
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Erica

Twenty Boy Summer
Sarah Ockler

Rating: 5 stars

"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 ZanzibarBay 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.


This was Sarah Ockler's first novel, but all I can say is holy debut! Twenty Boy Summer was incredible! Sarah Ockler writes a touching story about tragic loss, friendship, love, and summer romance. Ockler really touched all aspects of life that are meaningful to people. Matt lingers in every conversation even when not being discussed.

Anna, the main character, was so real. Her wave of emotions were all so deep that one must wonder how Sarah Ockler wrote such a wonderful character. Throughout the entire book, I found myself feeling for Anna, especially when dealing with the grief Anna felt. As the novel went on, you could see Anna changing, starting to move on. As changes progressed, I found myself more and more drawn to Anna. Her best friend, Frankie, changed in different ways - more as a cover for that emormous pool of grief she's feeling. The two girls were so different and unique, making reading about each that much more alluring.

I absolutely loved the cover! When I first picked up the book, I had no clue what it meant, and within a few chapters I could completely connect with what the cover symbolized. That made me love the cover that much more.

I cannot wait to see what ideas Sarah Ockler comes up with next!
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