Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Published:  June 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: "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 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.


My Review: "When I kissed Sam, I was so scared of erasing Matt. But now I know that I could never erase him. He'll always be a part of me - just in a different way. Like Sam, making smoothies on the beach two thousand miles away. Like Frankie, my voodoo magic butterfly finding her way back home in the dark. Like the stars, fading with the halo of the vanishing moon. Like the ocean, falling and whispering against the shore. Nothing ever really goes away - it just changes into something else. Something beautiful."

I picked this book up expecting some girly mindless read. Kind of like Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) but I was completely wrong. I actually picked this book up thinking that it would be a great get ready for summer book but it wasn't, not really.

Anna and her best friend Frankie are getting ready for the A.B.S.E (Absolute Best Summer Ever). They have a sort of game to see if they can meet twenty boys before the end of their vacation. Frankie wants Anna to have her first summer romance but Anna has a secret. A secret she promised she wouldn't tell. She'd already had her first romance with her best friend and Frankie's brother, Matt. But now Matt is dead and Anna is still holding on to that secret and desperately trying to hold on the sort of something she had with Matt.

I couldn't help but love this book. Within the first few chapters I was crying. The whole book really spoke to me because I've lost a few of my relatives and some of them I don't even remember but it hurts when you think that those people could have been there for you and that you wouldn't have to feel the pain of their death. I think this book showed those emotions perfectly. Anna wanted to hold onto her memories of Matt like her life depended on it because she was so afraid of forgetting and losing him. I think almost anyone who has lost someone can relate to this.

I really enjoyed reading about Anna and Frankie's summer. I liked Anna and Sam's relationship and I was actually kind of sad when I realized that they would never meet again. In a way Sam was kind of like Matt. Anna lost both of them but I think she realized that it's not how long you spend with someone it's about making memories that last and that if something made that big an impression on you it won't just get erased or disappear.

"If I'd known he was going to die, my last words to him would have meant something. They certainly wouldn't have been my out-of-tune attempt at singing that old Grateful Dead song he loved so much. No, I would have told him how I felt about him, straight out. No more flirting, wild-eyed whispers in the grass outside. I would have looked at him harder to ensure his image was permanently seared in my mind. I'd have asked him a million more things so I could remember what mattered before I got in the car on the way home from Custard's. Because after, nothing mattered."

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