Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Book Review: Twenty Boy SummerTwenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Release Date: June 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304

It’s my mission in life is to make you care about these words, Anna. About these people and everything they say and everything they were. He traced the lines of my face with his fingers as he spoke. Every story is a part of a whole, entire life, you know? Happy and sad and tragic and whatever, but an entire life. And books let you know them. (p. 167)

It’s been a year since Matt first kissed Anna on her 15th birthday. A year since her dreams came true and she fell in love. A year since a tragic accident took Matt away from them. No one seems to be able move on, but perhaps a trip to Zanzibar Bay could be the perfect thing. And Frankie swears that it’s the perfect place to meet twenty boys in less than a month. Anna agrees to the scheme, unable to tell her best friend that she’s already experienced her first great romance with Frankie’s brother, Matt.

Life at Zanzibar Bay is anything but easy sailing. Anna finds herself buried in memories of conversations with Matt as she steps in the very places he used to write and tell her about. Afraid of erasing her memories of him, Anna ignores each new boy they meet. Well, that is until Jake enters the picture. With his help, she may just be able to find the strength to move on and allow herself to feel agai

When I first picked up this book, I was not expecting what I got. I was anticipating a light-hearted beach story full of romance. One thing that has bothered me about some reviews I’ve read is that they say it’s the perfect beach read. While I agree Twenty Boy Summer has beach setting and romance, it is not your typical beach read.

In fact, I would say not to read this book on the beach unless you have a pair of sunglass to hid red eyes and plenty of tissues. I can’t even count how many time this book had me sobbing, which is not something easily accomplished. Even as I think about it writing this review, my eyes grow a little misty. Ockler writes a beautiful story about a girl who has lost her first love/best friend and is struggling with the hole he left behind. Anna’s character jumped off the pages to me right away. Her emotion tugged at my heartstrings and her pain felt as if it was my own. I highly recommend everyone read Ockler’s amazing debut novel, but maybe not on the beach!

Check out all of the cool Twenty Boy Summer Contests @ Sarah Ockler’s Contest Page


  1. I loved your review! When I first caught the title/cover of this book on your post I immediately thought it would be a good beach read. But after reading your whole review, I might keep this one for a read on the deck in private, with tissues in an easy reach. Thanks for introducing this author to me!

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