Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Review: 20 Boy Summer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Hachette Book Group (June 2009)
Genre: Fiction, YA
Hardcover, 304 pages
"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"
According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay 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.
This story has a little bit of everything: tragedy, love, friendship, heart break, understanding, and forgiveness. Anna is the rock for her close knit friends and family. So when tragedy strikes, Anna can't allow herself to properly grieve because as her father tells her, "You'll have to be the strong one, Anna." In addition, Matt was her close friend and secret boyfriend, not exactly family. So how much can she grieve and show? When you are young, you don't realize how sometimes whether you're related by blood or not, you're still family and have every right to grieve. The way Anna handles this situation is commendable.
Anna grieves silently putting on a brave front, meanwhile she is an emotional wreck in the inside, and the secret is not helping her situation. There is no one Anna can talk to. Anna handles herself extremely well, all things considered. She is a sweet kid and pretty funny too. Anna is definitely mature beyond her years.
This book is also about the enduring friendship of two 16 year old girls and their plans for the "Absolutely Best Summer Ever" or ABSE for short. There are some funny moments at the beach that me chuckle to myself. Definitely brought back some memories of own when I was that age...especially when my friends and I would meet some guys. We have all certainly been there, and done that.
Overall this book was a great read. Even though one of the main themes of the book was how Anna deals with her loss and survivor guilt, the ABSE helps to alleviate any tension or sad feelings. It reminded me of my younger days, and that life is precious. Enjoy it while you can, and hopefully you will make some great friends along the way.
My Rating: 93/100
Thank you to Caitlin from FSB Associates for providing me with my review copy.