Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler Book Review

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah OcklerTWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler Book Review
Publication Date: June 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: “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 Anna’s 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 her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler Book Review Overview:

  • Refreshing break from the cold New York winter
  • I did not approve of the twenty boy contest, but Twenty Boy Summer has awesome kissing scenes
  • This book almost made me cry

During the summer, I recommended TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler to my sister because I’d seen it around the blogosphere. She likes the summer romance young adult novels – ones that I’m not too fond of. But since my dystopian hangover – caused by reading too many dystopian novels, most recently Fuse by Julianna Baggott – I thought it was about time to take a break and read something different. I took a break from the dreary New York weather and vacationed in the California summer with protagonist, Anna in TWENTY BOY SUMMER.

Anna is secretly in love with her best friend’s brother, Matt, who also happened to be her other best friend. When Matt finally kisses her on her 15th birthday, Anna is ecstatic. But just before Anna and Matt can tell his sister about their relationship, Matt dies from a heart defect. One year later, Anna travels with Frankie to Zanzibar Bay, California with her family in hopes to overcome their grief.

My main frustration in TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler is this twenty boy contest that the book revolves around. I know that Frankie is dealing with the loss of her brother by basically rebelling with booze and boys. But I really don’t like it. I guess I just never saw the appeal of summer romances and excessive flirting. It made me constantly want to roll my eyes.

But I admit, Sarah Ockler has a knack for kissing scenes.

If it weren’t for the fact that TWENTY BOY SUMMER is border-line tear-jerker, then I probably would not have enjoyed this book. When Ockler gets to the more serious parts of the novel, she does not back down. I found myself getting choked up whenever the girls finally confront their grief.

What I wish TWENTY BOY SUMMER focused more on was the  relationship between Aunt Jayne and Anna. Aunt Jayne seems to have a better understanding of Anna than anyone else in the novel. It’s a shame that we only get a short glimpse of how Aunt Jayne sees her. In general, I wish that the parents weren’t as oblivious as they were. While they tried to spend quality time with Frankie and Anna, I feel like they were still always avoiding the topic of Matt.

However, I do think that Ockler made a great point towards the end of the novel that at the end of the day, everyone has to deal with their grief in their own way. Everyone is a little different when it comes to dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

About the Author

Sarah OcklerSarah Ockler is the bestselling author of novels for teens, including Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. She is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm.

When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, Sarah enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Find the Author

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  1. I’ve had this book for quite some time now, but despite all the great things I’ve heard about it, I haven’t picked it up. I do like the sound of Sarah Ockler handling their grief very well, though — I’m always up for a good tearjerker. Hopefully I’ll get to this soon because it sounds like it has some great elements.

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