Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Image result for twenty boy summerGenre: YA Realistic Fiction

Blurb (on back of book): "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.


So let's just dive right in and get straight to the point and talk about this book.

So I went to this list on Listopia called "YA Romance reads you have to read" or something like that and this was pretty high on the list. So I checked it out at my local library, took two days to read it, and had a blast. Some parts of it WERE iffy that caused me to bump my rating down but I did like this book.

Anna is our protagonist and we see her perspective on life throughout this book. She has really deep quotes and her thoughts are abstract but also intuitive and smart and I really enjoyed reading from her point of view. Anna was loyal; I would say that loyalty was her most prominent character trait. Her best friend/crush/basically-boyfriend died in a car accident because of a rare heart misfunction, which I thought was unique and creative and also added a hint of sadness and "what ifs" to the book that I could relate to. "What if they hadn't gone to Custard's?" "What if he had gone to the hospital for a random checkup and found the problem?" "What if he had already told Frankie beforehand?" These what-ifs added a sense of longing for Matt that I really liked. Anyways, back to the loyalty. Anna is loyal because Matt promised that he would tell Frankie himself about their secret relationship but after he died, he didn't tell her and she was determined to keep her promise, even though it meant hiding something from her other best friend.

Matt was sweet, from what I could decipher from the flashbacks. I would have liked it if there more of those so I could have gotten to know his character better but maybe the point was, we have to move on from those who are lost to us at some point and meet new people and gradually start to forget. Maybe not forget everything about the person, but starting to lose the little things that you try desperately to grab on to, to keep someone alive. However, I did like Matt a lot and he was definitely a favorite character, if he even counted.

Frankie. Her character sometimes annoyed me, sometimes angered me, sometimes perplexed me. Her way of dealing with grief was so different and unique that it made me irritated. She basically became a boy-crazy, flirty, inappropriate girl who threw herself at guys. Of course, everyone deals with grief and moving on differently, but her style was kind of disrespectful, in my point of view. She really was trying to force herself to move on.

Sam was such a sweet character. Why can't people like this be real? Sam took things slowly, waiting for Anna to be ready, and I really liked how patient, kind, honest, and trusting he was. Jake, on the other hand... let's not talk about Jake.

The writing in this book was really flowery at some points and really blunt at others. I did mark some quotes that I really loved:

"Her mind would shut off and go away. Or she'd get so angry she'd shake. Other times, early on, she'd just run away and weep. Weeping is different from 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." -Page 28 
(I really loved her explanation of weeping because I always try to explain to people that weeping IS different than crying)

"He wanted to study them, to know and create them, to share them with the world. Often, Frankie and I would sit on his bed while he read passages from his favorite books, pacing frantically as he turned the pages for the best parts of a story. He read with intensity and was passionately in love with every character, every turn of plot or twist of language." -Page 167 
(This basically describes me to the dot and I loved how it was written)

"I don't want to be the dead boy's best-friend-turned-something-else.
Or the really supportive neighbor friend.
Or the lifelong keeper of broken-hearted secrets.
I just want to be floating, suspended here in my California time capsule with neither yesterday's dusk nor tomorrow's dawn anywhere on the horizon.
Erased."-Page 209 
(This passage was really beautiful and honest)

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Some parts of it did go a little fast, and I didn't like a couple of things. But I would recommend this book to YA readers!

Main Character: Anna
Sidekick(s): Frankie, Matt, Sam, etc
Villain(s): Death, time, etc
Realistic Fiction Elements: This book was all very real to life.