Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Genre: YA Fiction
Page Count: 290
Why I read it: looked good
According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever 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 that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.
I didn't expect my reaction to this book. I thought it would be one of those light, fun YA books, with a little bit of emotional depth thrown in for good measure. Instead I found a beautiful novel that brought back emotions I haven't felt since I was a teenager. First love, hope, the feeling that life is going to be wonderful from now on, but also the sadness of growing up and moving on. I put the book down with teary eyes, and then found myself actually crying a little bit about ten minutes later.
I was just so touched by Anna's story. I felt her emotions leap from the page. Her descriptions of the ocean, her friendship with Frankie, her reactions to both Matt and Sam; it all felt so real and authentic. Frankie was a good counter-balance to Anna. Troubled, broken-hearted, and just wanting to be noticed and loved. The characterization was excellent!
One of my favorite lines from the book was, "Let someone else have a lucky day." It was something Matt would say to Anna when they saw a penny on the ground, and left it there for someone else to pick up. When Anna said it later in the book, it just about melted my heart.
I would definitely recommend this to fans of YA, and will probably read this again sometime in the future, when I want to remember what it feels like to be young again.