Aug 8, 2011

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

4 good & chewy oatmeal cookies with frosting.

Cover Love: Yes. I love the wood that totally looks like ocean weathered wood and the beach glass heart. I don't love the font though.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
Because it made the news for being removed from a school somewhere. So, of course, I had to see what the fuss was about. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
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.

I Kept Reading Because: It was so well written. It explored the themes of first love and death so wonderfully. Hard to put down!

Romance?: Yes. A sweet, loving summer boy for Anna.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
First off, here's where I wish this was written a little more grown up, and it's only because I am a mom. The author touched slightly on the impact Matt's death had on his parents. I wish that had been explored more, or at least Jayne and Anna's relationship. I know that if my son died, and left behind someone who loved him as much as Anna did, I would want to spend time with that girl talking to her about loving my son. It would be necessary for me. The author gave us a glimpse of this, but it wasn't explored as much as I thought it would be. And that's ok, because it was a book about Anna, not Jayne. I am just older now, and have sons so that side interests me more.

When Frankie finally talked to Anna about Matt, I was glad for the memories she gave Anna. They were important and I was glad to see a bit of Matt's side of his relationship with Anna.

I was so glad Anna found someone like Sam. Even the sex (the major issue that was had with this book) was well written and seemed true to life. I don't like that Anna felt like she had to lose her virginity, but when she finally did, it was sweet and loving and it was special. It wasn't just a random hook-up.

The grief everyone felt was so real. I just cannot imagine ever moving forward after losing a child, or a much loved older brother. But, you have to. And this view of a family moving forward was very well done.

To Sum Up: I might not put this in a middle school library, but I would recommend it for my more mature readers. The sex was not gratuitous or gross. It was fine. This was a very moving novel that made me tear up more than once!

Book checked out from local library.


  1. The title of this book grabbed me, and that cover is gorgeous! But from this review I can see it's a much deeper read than the title might suggest. Definitely on my to-read list, nice review!

  2. It was a good book. It recently got banned in one school district, which is why I wanted to read it! Best publicity for a book!