Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer ~ Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
320 Pages
May 1, 2010 (paperback)
Buy from Amazon

Anna, Frankie, and Frankie's brother Matt were always friends, doing things the three of them. Except that Anna had a secret crush on Matt for years, one she didn't even tell her best friend (his sister) about. Then one warm night, something changed and Anna and Matt started a secret romance. Not even Frankie knew.

Matt made Anna promise she would let him tell his sister about them. Anna promised. Then Matt died before either of them ever had the chance.

Now, one year later, Frankie still doesn't know. And Anna's going with on the family trip to California Matt and Frankie's family took every summer. Convinced that this is going to be the best summer ever, boy-crazy Frankie comes up with a plan for the two of them: Twenty Boy Summer. They'll meet a new boy every day of the trip and, surely, Anna will manage to have a great summer romance that way.

Twenty Boy Summer sounds not that complicated--like two friends off to have a great, fun summer while one of them's trying to find a way to tell the other a secret. There's so much more to it, though. It's how it's written (and how well) that make it so much more and make Anna and Frankie's tale bittersweet. The pain of Matt's loss is evident among all of the relevant characters and rings incredibly true. The fun the two girls have is enjoyable and fits with a summer read book-but also with the characters.

Because there's the juxtaposition of the carefree, beachy summer with the pain, grieving, and guilt it really seems like two girls (and one's family) who are trying to move forward after a tragic death. I hurt along with Anna while she worried over what to do about her secret and about Anna. This was really a book that when characters cried, you wanted to cry, too. Sarah Ockler's writing is definitely storytelling with an emotional impact.

I hope you'll read this one if you haven't already and I can't wait for Ockler's next novel Fixing Delilah Hannaford which is out in November.



  1. This has been on my wish list for a long time. I look forward to reading it.

  2. It really was even better than I'd thought :)

    thanks for reading the review & commenting!


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