Twenty Boy Summer

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6 reviews with 4 stars
26 reviews
 
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Overall rating
 
4.6
Plot
 
4.7(26)
Characters
 
4.5(4)
Writing Style
 
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A fun read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
The summer, California coast setting makes this a fun, winter read. The plot utilized a nice twist, with Matt's demise so early in the story being totally unexpected. Nice descriptions of Anna's anxiety as she desperately tries to move forward after Matt's death. Just the right amount of conflict between Anna and Frankie as Anna holds on to a secret that best friends should never hide from each other. The usual game of guy conquest was pretty standard for YA reads, but knowing that Anna's secret would be eventually revealed kept me in suspense until the end.




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Fantastic, Fun Read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Matt and his sister Francesca (Frankie) have been best friends with neighbor Anna forever. Anna’s been in love with Matt for about that long. But she hasn’t told Frankie. One day Matt kisses Anna. They start a secret relationship and Matt promises to tell his sister Frankie soon. But instead he goes and dies. Bummer, right?

There’s sadness and crying and loss. Anna still can’t tell Frankie the truth because she promised (the now dead) Matt she wouldn’t. Even though he’s dead. Because she promised. Okay, moving on.

What better way to forget about your problems then go on a family tradition month-long trip to the beach? To fill the empty space the now dead Matt left, the family invites Anna to join them. The girls (mostly Frankie) decide they will meet/hit on/be hit on by/make out with/have sex with at least 20 boys. Because Frankie lost her v-card already and now it’s time for Anna to lose hers. But Anna’s still hung up on Matt. But she can’t tell Frankie that because she promised Matt. Who’s now dead.

The majority of the book takes place during that month-long trip, so it’s not all sadness and gloom. There’s sun and sand a’plenty. There’s also tanned surfer boys. And therein lies Anna’s problem. If she likes cutie patootie Sam, does that mean she doesn’t love Matt anymore? Or that she never did? How long should she hold onto his memory? Because nobody knew about Anna and Matt’s relationship (big secret, remember?), Anna is not able to grieve in the way other people are. She has to worry about being there for her best friend who lost her brother. How can you get over a loss that you never really had?

The besties meet a couple of guys that they bond with and start spending most of their time with them. Despite Anna’s misgivings, she finds herself enjoying Sam’s company.

The characters are all very real and well-developed. Their actions and thoughts are believable and honest. They speak to each other just like you or I would. They have depth and emotions that draw you right in. The girls do all the teenage things you expect, they act out, drink, make out and spend a lot of time worrying about how they look.

The writing is excellent (in fact, I’m surprised this was Ockler’s debut novel) and the pace is right on. There is a bit of a graphic sex scene (it’s honest and real graphic, not porn graphic).

Okcler does an amazing job of setting the scenes, you really feel like you are there with Anna and Frankie on the beach, with toes in the sand and sun on the face.

One of my favorite quotes comes as Frankie and Anna are angry at each other, but trying not to let Frankie’s parents know, as they play a game of paddleball on the beach:

"After half an hour of forced family fun, in which I score fifty points and take out at least seventy-five percent of my anger trying to blast Frankie with the ball, our game is cut short. Princess gets stung on the top of her foot by a teeny-tiny newborn baby of a jelly-fish and carries on like some shark just swam away with her torso."

The entire book is peppered with fun visual images like this, little nuggets of snark and teenage angst.

The Sum Up: Twenty Boy Summer is a fantastic, fun read that will pass by so quickly you’ll wish it was longer.
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A Heartbreaking Must Read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Alexa

I don't even know where to begin with this book. First of all, I loved
it and hated it all at once. I loved it because it was a fantastic
book, but I hated it because it made me cry more than I should in one
day (and I look TERRIBLE when I cry.)

From the first sentence to
the last sentence, I felt like I was right inside the book with the
characters. It felt like the character were actual people to me and I
was reading a biography of a part of someones actual life. Sarah Ockler
is an amazing author who transported me to another life for a day.

I
loved the story and how it all flowed together in the end. The
character had real personality and I cried as they cried. Though no one
in my family has died yet, I felt like I could relate to Anna, and at
times, I wanted to jump inside the book and comfort her.

This
book was very moving and I don't think I'll ever forget it.Of course
there are parts I would have liked better if they were different, but
what books are perfect?

Twenty Boy Summer is Sarah's first book and I can't wait to read her other works in the future.

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Very Touching
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Megan

This book was good. It dealt with loss so believably. Most books will
overdo the tragedy or underdo it. Ockler made it just right!

I
loved Anna's character. She made me smile throughout most of the book.
I loved how sensible she was. Frankie didn't deserve a friend like her.
I kept wanting to shake Frankie. I wanted to scream at her whenever the
big reveal happened.

The writing was just...wow. It flowed
beautifully. By the fifth page I was completely sucked into this book.
This book is worth being picked up. It's not a traditional happy-ever
after, but it's close enough.

B

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A Perfect Summer Read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Yan

 Sarah Ockler weaved a tragic love story as easy as pie. Effortless and yet full of tender and care she told of a brother, love, and a best friends death cause to the breakdown of two families life.

I am a sucker for a tragic love story and Sarah delivered it to me. It was a stunning book that left me breathless. Matts accident left a hole in Annas heart where she faces life with a façade even to her closet friend. It was a tender matter, holding back your own tears and trying to be the strong one that you promised to be. Francescas and Annas friendship is one with ups and downs but always remaining strong despite the heated fights. Sarah crafted the constant struggle to maintain to strained smile, wishinghopingto remember the past but still letting go what needs to be done in a expert manner that needs to be applauded. Although I may have not cried throughout the book, I was still emotional attached to Annas journey, so bravo to Ms. Ockler for making me almost cryalmost.

One of my favorite parts was this quote Shhh, ahhh. Shhh, ahhh (I pick the oddest quotes ever). There are so many ways you can interpret this. The sound of the wavescoming and going, the quiet hum of secrets, the possibilities of the future lingering with the past, I can go on and on with it.

It was like Matt was still with us; cajoling Anna to hold onto their secret but a slight hesitation that if told would might make things better. Or even voicelessly trying to tell Anna what they were, what they could have been, and yet telling her that hes gone to live life to the fullest. Its the gentle lull of the waves pulling you closerhelping you forget, but then regretting it a step later, maybe, just maybe, you can make things right for yourself. It whispers into your ear with a sad voice that it is okay to cry but to not let it hold you downpick yourself up, dust yourself off, and face on to life.

The intensity of the book was the strongest at the beginning and toward the end. It somewhat faded in the middle where she focused more on Sam and vacation. While I enjoyed this one touching scene between Anna and Sam, I would have liked a bit more dialogue between the two. It was a bit fast paced and not really developed that left me grasping the thin thread.

Overall: Read it and pass it on. Let someone else have a lucky day.


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Awesome
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Mariah


I have been excited for this book so when it arrived I swept it up
and started reading. This book was very emotional because of the
feelings that were expressed throughout the whole novel. Besides that
aspect the story was beautiful it was a combination of the heartbreak
and both the girls wanting to move on and not dwell. I don't like the
name of the book because it does not express the feelings inside. It
sounds like a cutesy chick lit novel which it is but it is poignant and
emotional not just a cute novel.

The book was written surprisingly well for a debut author and I cannot wait for more from Sarah Ockler.

reprinted here with author's permission


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