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Most Helpful Favorable Review
28 out of 29 people found this review helpful.
Completely Amazing Book
posted by pineapples11 on March 26, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.
A decent read, must be desperate.
posted by 5934819 on January 9, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Emotional Journey of Self Discovery
hearted girl, the type of friend everyone wishes they had. She falls in love with her best friends brother, Matt, the three of them have been friends all of their lives, neighbours and practically inseparable. On her birthday all her dreams come true when Matt kisses her. They meet in secret afraid of Frankie's reaction to the development of their relationship. Before they are able to tell Frankie, Matt tragically dies from an undetected heart defect, Anna is left to hold the pieces together and unable to tell Frankie that she was in love with her brother.
The story unfolds directly into the action with some points of reminiscing by Anna to give the background details to the plot. In some respects Anna seems far more mature than her age would give her credit for. Anna takes on the role of holding people together has to hide the depth of her own loss. The emotions within the narrative were poignant and tangible. However, I did find myself comparing the story to The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson which also deals with loss, grief and first love. The main difference between the two books was the way in which people grieve was depicted. A good point to compare and contrast.
The one thing I can honestly say I preferred in The Sky is Everywhere is how the issue of losing your virginity was dealt with, with emotion and the whole ideal of making it special. While in Twenty Boy Summer it is treated as an affliction to be cast off as soon as possible. I did sympathise with Anna as in her mind Matt was the one and that was taken away from her, anyone else would always be second best. The whole idea that she was afraid to move on as if it would be an act of betrayal to Matt was touching. The story was an emotional journey of self-discovery for Anna.
The thing I liked most about Twenty Boy Summer was the way in which each persons grief was depicted. For Frankie she acts out, pretends to be a completely different person to the one she was when her brother was alive. She doesn't take anyone else's feelings into consideration and that annoyed me at times. For Matt & Frankie's parents, they shut themselves off completely, not talking about Matt or even allowing anyone into his room. They are so wrapped up in their own grief that they hand responsibility of Frankie over to Anna, who is obviously far too young to be put in that position. While Anna is hiding the depth of her emotions.
The descriptions and imagery are fantastically sensory, you really feel as if you are on the beach with the waves lapping and the sand between your toes. The beach has always been one of my favourite places and never fails to make me feel at peace. So this aspect of the narrative really brought it to life for me.
All aspects of the plot tie together beautifully in the end, offering a bitter-sweet resolution. A great book giving a different view of grief and loss. You may need tissues.
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
It is a great book, very interesting! The beginning and end were the best and most interesting parts of the book. The middle was very good, but some parts got a little bit boring, but overall very good! You can even feel the exact same emotions the character is feeling!!! I highly recommend it!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2009
Emotional and Gripping but have Kleenex on Hand
Every now and then a book comes along that truly touches the heart. 20 BOY SUMMER is that book! I picked it up. By the end of the third chapter, my face was covered in tears and my throat had a lump the size of a grapefruit stuck in it. Yet, I felt compelled to keep reading. I needed to know that Anna would be okay.
Neighbors and best friends, Anna, Francesca (aka Frankie) and Frankie's older brother Matt have been involved in each others lives from the day they were born. At her fifteenth birthday party, the one thing Anna wants most happens. Her family celebrates with their neighbors just like every year, but this is the year Matt kisses her.
Soon, Anna and Matt are becoming an item, but he wants to be the one to tell Frankie. Neither of them are sure how Frankie will react. Until she's told, Anna and Matt share stolen kisses, midnight rendezvous and fleeting touches. And then, everything is ripped apart.
On the way home from ice cream, Matt, Anna and Frankie are in a car accident. An undiagnosed hole in Matt's heart lets go. Matt is dead and Anna and Frankie are left to piece together their lives. One year passes and Frankie's family opts to take Anna on their yearly trip to California's coast. Though she's still mourning Matt, Anna agrees to join Frankie on a mission. During their vacation, they will hook up with 20 different guys and see where these romances take them.
So summing this up--20 BOY SUMMER is compelling, emotional and one of the best teen girl romances-of-sorts I think I've ever read. It is a romance, but so much more.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2013
Posted March 31, 2013
~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog [Oc
~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book BlogWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
[Ockler's] words remind me of exactly why I fell in love with the written word in the first place. There’s something raw and thought-provoking about them and those words lay heavy on your chest, making you feel something that you never thought you’d feel from simply reading a combination of letters on a previously blank page. ~ Under the Covers
TWENTY BOY SUMMER is one of those books that will stick with you long after you finish and it down. It’s emotionally gut-wrenching but also makes you look at life in a whole different way.
For twenty days, Anna and her best friend, Frankie are going to be at Zanzibar Bay with Frankie’s family. Sun, sand and hot boys will be in abundance so Frankie proposes that they each have a summer fling. Anna agrees to it, but what Frankie doesn’t know is that Anna has already found the love of her life in her brother, Matt. The shocking and emotional twist of this premise is that Matt died in an accident a year ago and Anna and Frankie are still grieving. However, Anna has kept her secret love from Frankie. As both try to go on with their lives, they find an unexpected connection and learn to value other things in life.
This novel is told from Anna’s POV which makes it more personal and the perfect way to tell this story. It’s so honest and raw, giving readers a front and center look at grief. Reading this was HARD and I remember the first time I read it a long time ago, I cried for the entire book. As Anna reminisces about moments with Matt, those scenes simply GUTTED ME. The scene that comes to mind is the birthday cake scene, though I’d rather you read instead of me telling you what happened. It’s one of those scenes that are so poignant, you have to read yourself.
In the midst of her grief, Anna tries to date boys. Some make an imprint on her life and others do not. It’s the process of grief and I think the author really nails it on the head. Her words simply shined.
Sometimes when I’m with him, something will remind me of Matt. A shooting star, the smell of someone’s shampoo, a long laugh, a turn of phrase from someone passing by along the shore. When it happens, I close my eyes, count to ten, and will him to go away. To leave me. To give me back my memories so that something as simple as a song floating out from behind a bonfire doesn’t bring me all the way back to him every time.
It never works.
Those words remind me of exactly why I fell in love with the written word in the first place. There’s something raw and thought-provoking about them and those words lay heavy on your chest, making you feel something that you never thought you’d feel from simply reading a combination of letters on a previously blank page.
This is why I loved this book before and this is why I still love it after years of growing up in between reads. No matter what your age is, grief is an emotion that everyone can relate to and though crushing, it also makes you appreciate what you have.
Another thing I loved was the juxtaposition of the sunny setting and the storm in Anna’s heart. Like I said, this book is hard to read because of the spiral of emotions you will experience, but because it’s set in a sunny location with Frankie’s fun personality, there are moments of extreme happiness as well and it’s a nice reprieve from all the darkness.
With NA makes its waves through readers right now, I hope NA fans take the time to pick up this older release and give it a try. It’s one of my all-time favorite books because it’s timeless and I hope others can see its value if they only gave it a shot.
Posted June 5, 2012
I read this book quite some time ago, just now have I come acros
I read this book quite some time ago, just now have I come across it here and felt the need to review it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I liked this book a lot. It has the power to bring you to tears and make you grin like an idiot at the same time. For me a book is good when you can feel what the character's feel, so Twenty Boy Summer is a very good book.
I admit I was angry at first that Anna and Matt's relationship ended before it had actually began. The more I got to read about the little time they spent together the more I hoped he would suddenly appear out of thin air. I was a giggling idiot when I got to read the part where they admit their feelings for eachother, so yes I was sad it couldn't have been more. Yet there was something about this book that (even though it made me sad and slightly angry) made me not stop reading.
Twenty Boy Summer is an amazing book, and I totally recommentd it. Because despite the heartache there's still so much sweetness in it...you just can't not love it.
Posted April 27, 2012
Posted February 17, 2012
A fantastic, fun read that will pass by so quickly you¿ll wish it was longer.
Matt and his sister Francesca (Frankie) have been best friends with neighbor Anna forever. Anna’s been in love with Matt for about that long. But she hasn’t told Frankie. One day Matt kisses Anna. They start a secret relationship and Matt promises to tell his sister Frankie soon. But instead he goes and dies. Bummer, right?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There’s sadness and crying and loss. Anna still can’t tell Frankie the truth because she promised (the now dead) Matt she wouldn’t. Even though he’s dead. Because she promised. Okay, moving on.
What better way to forget about your problems then go on a family tradition month-long trip to the beach? To fill the empty space the now dead Matt left, the family invites Anna to join them. The girls (mostly Frankie) decide they will meet/hit on/be hit on by/make out with/have sex with at least 20 boys. Because Frankie lost her v-card already and now it’s time for Anna to lose hers. But Anna’s still hung up on Matt. But she can’t tell Frankie that because she promised Matt. Who’s now dead.
The majority of the book takes place during that month-long trip, so it’s not all sadness and gloom. There’s sun and sand a’plenty. There’s also tanned surfer boys. And therein lies Anna’s problem. If she likes cutie patootie Sam, does that mean she doesn’t love Matt anymore? Or that she never did? How long should she hold onto his memory? Because nobody knew about Anna and Matt’s relationship (big secret, remember?), Anna is not able to grieve in the way other people are. She has to worry about being there for her best friend who lost her brother. How can you get over a loss that you never really had?
The besties meet a couple of guys that they bond with and start spending most of their time with them. Despite Anna’s misgivings, she finds herself enjoying Sam’s company.
The characters are all very real and well-developed. Their actions and thoughts are believable and honest. They speak to each other just like you or I would. They have depth and emotions that draw you right in. The girls do all the teenage things you expect, they act out, drink, make out and spend a lot of time worrying about how they look.
The writing is excellent (in fact, I’m surprised this was Ockler’s debut novel) and the pace is right on. There is a bit of a graphic sex scene (it’s honest and real graphic, not porn graphic).
Okcler does an amazing job of setting the scenes, you really feel like you are there with Anna and Frankie on the beach, with toes in the sand and sun on the face.
One of my favorite quotes comes as Frankie and Anna are angry at each other, but trying not to let Frankie’s parents know, as they play a game of paddleball on the beach:
"After half an hour of forced family fun, in which I score fifty points and take out at least seventy-five percent of my anger trying to blast Frankie with the ball, our game is cut short. Princess gets stung on the top of her foot by a teeny-tiny newborn baby of a jelly-fish and carries on like some shark just swam away with her torso."
The entire book is peppered with fun visual images like this, little nuggets of snark and teenage angst.
Twenty Boy Summer combines everything young readers are looking for. Romance, adventures, dealing with the loss of a loved one and learning how to be strong in the toughest of situations. I had a hard time putting this one down. When Anna is invited to go with her BFF to Zanzibar, CA for 3 weeks in the "Absolute Best Summer Ever", things between them will never be the same and neither will Anna. Read this amazing book to find out why!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 7, 2012
Posted December 16, 2011
Couldn't Put It Down
I bought this book on a whim because I had run out of material to read, and it did NOT let me down. Beautifully put, the author draws you in right from the beginning, and doesn't let go until she's gotten you emotionally attached to each one of the characters. You won't be able to put it down once you start, so get comfortable and let it take you away.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 3, 2011
Posted November 29, 2011
Fun summer read
This is a great book for a summer beach read. I really enjoyed it. It's a coming of age story of two teenage girls. It's also about best friends, first loves, and dealing with grief.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2011
Posted October 15, 2011
Not the happy ending you'd expect
I was kinda hoping for a happy ending like most of the teen romance books but this was a different kind of happy ending and it was a heart warming one too. Good read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2011
Heartwrenching & Heartfelt
This is the story of Anna Reiley as she expriences her first love and ( first) major loss. Equal parts sad and touching this novel is perfect for the true romantic. While it appears at first to be yet another tale if young summer love Twenty Boy Summer quickly becomes so much more. A beautifuly written story combined with a cast of enchanting characters bring Anna and her world to life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2011
Posted September 1, 2011
I love this book because its such a relatable topis. Not exactly that plot but how some best friends are with each other and how holding in those feeling when held in can lead to relationship changing argumentd. Knowing that me and my absolute best friend are fighting right now it definitley helped. A hitting home kind of bookWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2011
Posted August 22, 2011