A year ago, Anna was best friends with Frankie and her brother Matt. However, the day before Frankie and Matt were planning to go on their annual trip to Zanzibar Bay, the three of them were involved in a car accident. The accident killed Matt. A year later, Frankie’s family has planned another trip to Zanzibar Bay. This time, they are taking Anna. Frankie decided this would be a great way for Anna to have her first summer romance. They will meet twenty boys in Zanzibar Bay. Anna agrees, but she is hiding something from Frankie. Last summer, Anna and Matt had a romance…
Twenty Boy Summer is a heartfelt novel that YA readers should not miss. From the beginning Ockler had me entranced in a story of grief and most importantly, moving on. Each character had their own way of grieving, and because of Ockler’s writing, I was able to sympathize with all of them. The novel had a great balance between heartache and light-heartedness. Obviously, there’s grief from the loss of Matt, but there’s also light-heartedness from the beach setting. At Zanzibar Bay, Anna meets someone else she really likes. Ockler did a wonderful job describing Anna’s worries about forgetting Matt, but also wanting to move on.
Twenty Boy Summer is also a good story about friendship. Frankie and Anna have been neighbors and best friends since they were young, so as you can imagine, they have been through a lot together. However, this does not mean that their friendship was perfect. Anna and Matt never told Frankie about their relationship. They planned on telling her, but Matt’s sudden death stopped this. A year later, and Anna still has not told Frankie. However, Frankie has some secrets of her own. All of this explodes into a big climax that will tear at heartstrings. Overall, an excellent debut novel, and I look forward to more by Sarah Ockler.
Twenty Boy Summer is a great story about friendship and grief. This is perfect for anyone looking for a beach read with substance.