Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Elyssa&Ginny

So, this time, Elyssa and I (Ginny) decided to post both our reviews of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler! We both loved the book and we thought it would be fun to post a side-by-side review.

Review by Ginny

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown, 2009
Page total: 290 pages
Date read: May 21st, 2010
Genre(s): Young Adult

Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day. Lucky to be alive - that’s what everyone said.

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. (blurb from paperback edition)

The book first shows the past, about a month or two before Matt died. At Anna’s 15th birthday party, to be precise, where Anna got her first kiss from Matt, one of her two best friends -the other one is Frankie, of course- and who she’s been in love with since she was ten. But their relationship must remain secret, until Matt breaks the news to his little sister, Frankie, because the three of them had been friends for years and they don’t want her to feel left out. But he never had the chance, and their secret died with him.

Then the book switches back to presence, where Anna and Frankie are getting ready to the family trip to Zanzibar Bay - the first time without Matt, so Frankie’s parents asked Anna along. Anna agreed to Twenty Boy Summer game of Frankie’s, but she doesn’t really want to get near any boys in fear that if she meets someone she might care about, the memory of Matt would be erased.

While reading about hot summer weather, cool ocean and meeting -not twenty!- boys, I almost felt like actually being there - it was fun to read yet moving. I loved the part where Anna learns that Matt would always be part of her, that she as well Frankie should let go of him, and that it’s time to move on. But then again, I loved every part of this book! The book took unexpected turns, was full of emotions and had a kind of open end, which I loved. I usually hate open ends, but this one was perfect.

P.S: The cover is gorgeous and it holds some important meaning, like that the heart is made of some glass materials, and why it has one single red stone in it.

5 Kisses!


"You’re a freak."
"I’d be full of trepilation and reminisce if I didn’t agree."
"Trepidation and remiss."
"Yeah, them, too."

""Anna, you miss him."
"All the time. I still can’t believe he’s gone."
"He was more than your best friend."
I nod absently, forgetting myself for a moment, forgetting that I’m talking to Jayne[Mrs. Perino] and not my journal.
"I - I mean, he was like a brother to me. You know, like Frankie. Well she’s the sister. I mean -"
Jayne reaches for my hands across the table, shaking her head softly. "Sweetheart, when you say Matt’s name, you have the same look in your eyes that he’d get whenever he’d say yours.""

"So Old Man Date Rape was number what? Four or Five?"
"We’re not counting him. This is Twenty Boy Summer, not the Twenty Dirty Old Man Summer."

Review by Elyssa

Twenty Boy Summer
By: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: June 1st 2009 by Little Brown & Co
Pages: 290
Rating: 5
Book Cover Rating: 4.5
Read: 7/4/2010
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

First Line: Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day. Lucky to be alive - that’s what everyone said.
I am notorious for not reading the synopsis before I open a book, this time pulling it up on my nook. However, I must admit I'm extremely happy that did not. The shock, happiness, and sadness that wrapped around me was purely from the words on the paper in front of me. Ockler also had me recommending this book to others by page 11. Yes, I really did!
~Warning~ if you are expecting this book to be a fluffy fun beach read you need to stop! Read the synopsis or take my advice. This book mainly deals with grief. Don't get me wrong. There are a few wonderful romance scenes that made me crave the smell of salt water and the feel of hot sand under my toes.
The story of secrets starts off with a cute adorable cake fight between Anna and her neighbor Matt. When they are washing Anna's 15th birthday cake frosting off themselves, Matt kissed Anna. Lets toss in a twist, Matt happens to be the brother of Frankie, Anna's best friend. They have been neighbors for years, they formed a tight bond.
BAM! Now things are different. Cute perfection does not last long. This book is surrounded by the loss of Matt. He died because he had a broken heart, a hole that no one knew about until it was too late. Frankie and her family are dealing with this loss. Anna is dealing with her grief on her own, she promised Matt that she would not tell his sister. However, Matt never had the chance to tell his sister before he died.

It is a year later and the loss is still heavy around everyone. Due to the fact that they are all trying to move on, Frankie's parents decided to invite Anna on their yearly vacation to Cali. Frankie comes up with a brilliant plan. After all, Anna needs to loose her virginity, AKA the albatross. Twenty boys in one summer and she is bound to find the right guy. This will be the BEST summer ever!
Throughout the summer in Cali the girls film their vacation, sneak out of the beach house, and of course, one of them gets a huge sun burn. Naturally, there were boys. Boys, Boys, and more Boys. Their friendship is tested along with the anxiety of being at the beach house for the first time without Matt. Anna is afraid of erasing all of her memories of Matt. Will she let loss and enjoy the Twenty Boy Summer?
The book is deep and tender as Ockler touches the taboo subject of death and loss. I loved this debut novel and I cannot wait to read more from her.


"As I lick a runaway line of meting cherry chocolate ripple from my hand, I become hyperaware of our surroundings. The back-and-forth ancient lull of the tide. The cry of seagulls passing overhead. The smell of salt and fish carried on the warm breeze. With each step along the old wooden planks of the pier, tiny grains of sand that hitchhiked from the beach below are pulverized under our heels. Sand that traveled a millions of miles over billions of years across shifting continents and churning oceans, surviving plate tectonics, erosion, and sedimentary deposition is crushed by our new sandals. The cosmos can be so cruel."
"He's probably wondering why the women in this family are so certifiably nuts."
"'Hungry?' I ask. 'We could make chocolate chip pancakes'. It's not psychotherapy, but chocolate chip pancakes work for a lot of things."


Twisted Book Junkie said...

I love side by side reviews. Ginny, this was a great idea!

Anonymous said...

i agree, and they're both very good reviews

Zakiya LadyWings said...

Yes, on both terms. Great side-by-sides. And they really are some great reviews! :D.

Jen the bibliophile said...

I've decided (as you know) not to read this book only because it looks sad. However, that being said it still looks like a fabulous read. I know, that is like way contradictory, but you know thats how I roll. *wink*

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

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