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. (summary from authors site)
My thoughts...If you are going to read Twenty Summer Boy, I suggest this checklist before you begin: 1. Snuggly Blanket 2. Big box of tissues 3. Some Chocolate (everything goes with chocolate). Once you have these items you will be ready to jump into an incredibly beautiful journey in life. This book covered some really tough subjects, took me through a roller coaster of emotions and left me smiling in the end.
The main character, Anna, suffers the loss of her childhood friend and first love. Her best friend Frankie's brother dies, leaving them both to sort out their emotions. The only problem is that Anna's love for Frankie's brother is a secret. I liked the main character Anna, although I was frustrated with a few of the choices she made. She was in a very difficult situation and her character showed significant growth by the end of the book. I was not able to connect with Frankie. In the beginning of the story she was the outsider, one they were trying to keep the secret from. After the tragedy, she she was a bigger part of the story and while I felt sympathetic for her, I did not care for her character. I think the author did a good job of capturing the emotions of all the characters involved in the tragic situation.
The plot of this story felt very real. Death of a loved one is something that everyone will experience at some time. Sarah Ockler did a brilliant job of writing the grieving process. The story contained so many dimensions that wove a beautiful tale of life dealing with death. I found it enjoyable and very inspirational.
The cons...I do not have anything negative to say about the story, but I do feel it should come with a bit of a warning. The girls in 20 Boy Summer are 16 and they put themselves in several adult situations. I would recommend parents of younger readers review this book ahead of time. Actually, some of themes in the story could be great for discussing some of the issues and pressures that teens face.
Cover LOVE? Yes, I adore this cover. It goes along with the story perfectly, the colors are attractive and it is simple, yet effective.