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review: “twenty boy summer” June 19, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
Little, Brown // Hardcover // 304 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Three friends, plenty of room for secrets. Anna and Frankie are best friends, Frankie and Matt are brother and sister, Anna and Matt are secretly seeing each other. That is, until Matt dies in a car accident. Anna is left holding their secret inside a year later when she and Frankie begin a quest to have the absolute best summer ever by hanging out with twenty boys over twenty days. But can Anna find closure from her relationship with Matt?

I was worried at first that this novel would only wind up being a tear-jerker. Of course parts of the book are sad, but not in a Lurlene McDaniel kind of way. I found myself tearing up more at the writing and details of the characters’ lives. Several stand-out scenes remain etched in memory; in particular a passage about Matt and how he always left pennies on the ground for someone else to have some luck.

Anna and Frankie’s friendship really sold me on the novel. I really appreciated the almost sister-like relationship. Additionally, I thought that Frankie’s parents got a few nice spotlights and I really wanted to see more of Aunt Jayne, to delve into her life. (I recognize that most teenagers probably don’t want to read about the character’s parents though!)

The cover of this book fits in perfectly with the story and with the many themes within the story. This is a classic example of a cover selling the book and still selling the story at the same time. (I really want a sea glass necklace now!)

This is a stunning debut novel. Ockler writes with such a convincing voice that every emotion and situation Anna finds herself in is real and believable. Truly a layered three-dimensional work that teens will be able to relate to and enjoy.

SWAN catalog
Sarah Ockler




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