Goodreads Summary: 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.
Review: If you follow some of my posts, you would know that I usually describe an emotional book as “ALL THE FEELS”. I couldn’t do that with Twenty Boy Summer. Why? Because it was ALL THE FEELS and MORE. It was an INFINITE amount of feels. I actually read Twenty Boy Summer the day after I watched The Fault in Our Stars. So imagine a teenage girl already weak and fragile from the most emotional movie ever, putting her emotions into even more misery. Yeah, it was a disaster, but I don’t regret reading it at all. Although I went through a couple boxes of tissue, I can say that it is my favorite summer read by a long shot.
So how can a book make me bawl my eyes out, but still be my favorite summer read? I’ll tell you.
Before Twenty Boy Summer, I was reading a lot of other romance books. All of those romance books had one thing in common: they were unrealistic. The boy and the girl fall in love, then there’s something moderately shocking to keep the reader’s interest, and in the end, love conquers all and the couple lives happily ever after. BORING. I like reading these types of books, don’t get me wrong, but I needed a book to show what really happens in a relationship. I desired a book to show that a relationship isn’t just gumdrops and rainbows. Twenty Boy Summer did just that.
I loved how Sarah Ockler didn’t force sadness and grief down my throat. Some books tend to force you to feel a certain way whether that is happiness, sorrow, or anger. Twenty Boy Summer allowed me to feel how I wanted to feel. The writing didn’t seem forced either. It flowed at a perfect pace. My heart ached for all of the characters, but especially Anna. Not only did she lose one of her best friends in the death of Matt, but she also lost her first love. I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone my age to be put into that much tragedy. In addition, Frankie, who was her best girl friend, is dealing with the loss of her brother and the effects that it had on her entire family. It was almost as if Anna lost both of her friends with Matt’s death. Everything and everyone changed in some way. And since Anna promised Matt that she will keep their love a secret, Anna has her feeling bottled up.
Like I said earlier, I fell in love with the way Sarah Ockler writes. The characters were just beautiful, but I also really appreciated how authentic Sarah’s dialogue was. I can’t say enough about how she gracefully developed the characters in this story, especially Anna. Anna, Frankie, and the rest of the characters didn’t feel like characters. They felt like real people. I felt everything they felt. Being able to follow Anna on her journey was a beautiful experience. 🙂
“Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.”