Twenty Boy Summer

Paperback | May 1, 2010

bySarah Ockler

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"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<_st13a_place _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_placename _w3a_st="on">Zanzibar<_st13a_placetype _w3a_st="on">Bayis 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 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.

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From the Publisher

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""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 inZanzibarBayis the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every d...

Sarah Ockler wrote and illustrated her first book at age six--an adaptation of Steven Spielberg'sE.T.Still recovering from her own adolescence, Sarah now writes for young adults. While nomadic at heart, she currently lives in Upstate New York with her husband Alex and an ever-expanding collection of sea glass.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 5.5 × 8.3 × 0.8 inPublished:May 1, 2010Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316051586

ISBN - 13:9780316051583

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Shallow What drew me to this book was its cover. The heart made of blue sea glass and one red piece of sea glass, like a drop of blood, set against wooden boards that suggested a dock made me wonder what kind of tale of summer this book could hold. I read the back -- it sounded good. So I bought it. I sort of wish I hadn’t. I fell in love with the book in the second chapter. It begins the sweet but heartbreaking tale of Anna, a girl who lost her first love, Matt -- a boy who also happened to be one of her best friends and the brother of her other best friend, Frankie. Their closeness is portrayed so well, so effortlessly through a memory of a simple, innocent pleasure – the kind of thing that makes life complete. Continuing, the story becomes devastating and all the more real, with a heroine broken by her mingling and painful emotions. Even readers who had never lost a loved one could relate to and empathize with Anna. The plot takes on a unique twist when Frankie proposes that she and Anna make it a project on their vacation to find a summer romance for each of them – by meeting one boy per day. Anna agrees but, still haunted by the memory of Matt, isn’t ready for this yet. Sarah Ockler’s talent is obvious in her beautiful, descriptive imagery that makes Anna’s surroundings come to life, and in her creation of characters that feel and act like real people. At first. Much to my disappointment, A story about loss and healing turned into a girl’s quest to lose her virginity and party it up. I felt like I went from swimming in a lake to swimming in a puddle. That’s how much the depth of the story decreased. Instead of Anna maturing and coming of age, it felt like she slipped under to a point where she “grew down” instead of growing up. A critic said that this book would satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, but I find that it bears a stronger resemblance to movies based on Nicholas Sparks novels, combined with a bit of MTV crap.
Date published: 2016-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I recommend this book to everyone...forever. Twenty Boy Summer holds a very special place in my heart. I saw this book in Books-A-Million when it first hit the shelves. I love this cover. It's one of my favorite covers of all time. I picked it up each time I was in a bookstore. I read the summary (which is super short and doesn't even come close to describing how deep this book is). I hesitated with Sarah being a debut at the time. What if I hated it? What if it wasted my time? I'm a terribly picky reader. Then one day, it was on sale in a buy 2 get one free, so I got it, after my sister all but cursed me out to "just buy the damn thing already!" I read it in one night. I cried through the first 100 pages. I laughed through the next 100. Then I laughed and cried through the past part. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It does have a romantic element, but it's more of a subplot. The real struggle-conflict in this book is the one Anna has with herself, dealing with Matt's death, keeping secrets from Frankie, and trying to learn how to let go and move on without forgetting-losing what she had with Matt. It's absolutely beautiful. And Sarah's writing... OMG. Her descriptions are SO vivid. I felt like I'd spent the day on the beach instead of cold Mississippi autumn weather. The writer in me will forever envy this book because it's everything I'd want as a reader and everything I expect of myself as a writer. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone...forever.
Date published: 2015-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twenty Boy Summer This book tells a a beautiful but tragic love story. The book will make you cry both happy and sad tears. Its beautifuly written and easily one of the best books I have ever read. I recomend this book to any young teen girl looking for a great summer read.
Date published: 2015-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking at times... This novel was absolutely breath taking. It captures your heart and takes it on a heartbreaking and love filled journey. You cry, laugh and smile through every page. It shows love, loss, and friendship and the challenges that come with all of it. An utterly honest novel.
Date published: 2012-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartwarming and Heartbreaking All at Once Within the first fifty pages I'd laughed, smiled, teared-up, and felt butterflies. That alone should be enough to tell you what to expect from Ockler's wonderful style of writing. Twenty Boy Summer is a stereotypical teen chick-lit novel with a twist: the boy our protagonist Anna has been crushing on her entire life died a year ago. Simultaneously wanting to get over him and never let him go, Anna and her best friend Frankie set out for what they say is going to be their Absolute Best Summer Ever. Break-ups, make-ups, happiness, anger, love, and loss are all in no shortage here, and one thing's certain--for Anna, after this summer, nothing will ever be the same. A very touching and realistic read. I can't wait to see what Ockler writes next!
Date published: 2011-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Story I absolutely loved this book. It was a sad, heartbreaking, emotional story, but at times I was smiling at the fantastic characters and laughing at the humorous moments Ockler creates. The plot was very heart wrenching, and you truly felt every single emotion that the characters experienced along the way. It was beautifully crafted with amazing writing, and imagery that leaves you second guessing your surroundings; the descriptions were so vivid, that you heard the ocean's waves, and almost pictured the sand underneath your toes. I loved the characters, and I grew to admire them more and more as I flipped each page. The romance was heartbreaking and captivating at the same time. The two main characters deal with loss so everything the attempt, do, or say reminds them of the loved one they lost in one way or another. I was deeply hurt for them, and I couldn't help but mourn along side of them. Sarah Ockler does a flawless job of bringing into two girl's heartache, bringing you deeper, to the point where you feel like you were in the character's shoes. She even manages to lighten the read with humor, laughs, and beautiful memories that leave you smiling with tears in your eyes. Anna's fifteenth birthday changed her life in more than one way. After the cake fight between her and her long time, best friend, Matt, things change in between them. They go from a sibling like friendship, to a romance that leaves them inseparable. Things change fast, and they spend nights outside secretly meeting, and grasping any chance they can to spend time with each other. They keep their budding romance a secret from their families, and Matt's sister, Frankie. Matt wants to protect his sister, and he wants to wait for the right moment to tell her. They agree that Anna will keep the secret, until Matt tells Frankie on the trip to California. He wants her to have time to get used to it, and accept the fact that he loves Anna, and not just as a friend. A drive back from an ice cream run turns very, very wrong. It changes all of their lives forever. Matt was behind the wheel when the car crashed. Ambulances arrived, and they told Frankie and Anna how lucky they were to survive. Matt, wasn't so lucky, he died, and Frankie is left crushed and destroyed from her brother's death. Though, little does she know that Anna loved him more than she thinks. Anna still holds on to the secret, and takes life day by day. Tears, memories, and heartbreaks is what they deal with for a long time. They become closer than ever, as they mourn the loss of a boy they both deeply loved, for different reasons. Frankie is a different girl. She used to be shy, and now she's the complete opposite. She takes hours to get ready, she's outgoing, and you wouldn't recognize her if you knew her before her brother's death. This time, Anna is tagging along on the Perino's trip to California. They'll be heading to Zanzibar bay. Anna looks forward to see everything Matt used to describe to her about the oceans, the sand, the sea glass, and many other things. Frankie has a plan up her sleeve, and decides that they should find a boy a day, and have a total of twenty flings. Anna agrees to the twenty boy summer because it makes Frankie happy, and she would do anything to keep the smile on Frankie's face. This summer brings heartache, laughs, new memories, and the chance to reminisce old ones. Anna can't picture herself going after any after boy, because she doesn't want Matt to fade away. Though, she keeps a diary and writes secret letters to him. Frankie meets boys, and Anna also meets a boy that leaves her feeling guilty. She'd want nothing more than to tell Frankie about Matt, but they made a promise, and she feels that she shouldn't break it, even though he's gone. Anna still tries to grasp to the lingering memories of Matt, and spends every day with Frankie as they capture various moments with their video camera. After the trip continues, it looks like the clips will make a film with many tears, laughs, memories, friendships and love. 5/5 2010-055
Date published: 2010-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More Than Just A Summer Novel! At first glance, Twenty Boy Summer appears to be a cute summer novel, but after flipping to the backside and reading the blurb, you'll know that won't be the case. Yes, most of the story takes place on the beach and yes, two best friends are trying to find twenty different boys for a summer fling... but the story is also so much more than that. You see, Anna had been secretly seeing her best friend's older brother Matt. However, before Matt could tell Frankie about his and Anna's budding relationship, he suddenly dies. A year later, Frankie and her parents invite Anna to come along on their summer vacation to Zanzibar Bay, California. Frankie is determined to make this their best summer ever, attracting the attention of boys on the beach and even finding Anna her first romance. But Anna still doesn't have the heart to tell Frankie about her and Matt, so she can only secretly grieve still for him and take solace in her journal. Within the first 50 pages, tears were welling in my eyes and the somber tone that Ockler created within a short amount of time always remained. Moments do lighten up, but really, I felt helpless for Anna because she was always trying to guide Frankie and make sure she didn't get too carried away, but I felt that no one was really there for Anna in turn. A novel that touches on loss and grief while infusing some teen summer goodness, Twenty Boy Summer is a novel that will stick with you once you're finished. It was certainly not what I expected when I first began reading, but that's okay, because in the end, I did enjoy the story. Cover Comments: I really do like this cover. A simple heart made of broken pieces of glass and a seemingly random red one, it just makes perfect sense after you've read the novel. You can also check out the review here:
Date published: 2010-07-13

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Editorial Reviews

"This is smoothly written and romantic as all get out....ideal for readers looking for romance salted with a bit of tears as well as a bit of sea air."-BCCB