Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review - Twenty Boy Summer: A Novel by Sarah Ockler


Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Year: 2009
Page: 301
Genre: Young Adult

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
“What is the statute of limitations on feeling guilty for cheating on a ghost?” Anna writes in her journal, or rather, writes to Matt, her first true love and her best friend Frankie’s brother. More than a year has passed since Matt’s sudden death, and all that time Anna has kept her brief relationship with Matt a secret from Frankie. Matt had planned to tell his sister but died before he had the opportunity. Now, while on a beach vacation with Frankie’s family, Anna finds herself falling for cute, sensitive Sam against her will—if she can love someone else, does that mean she no longer loves Matt? Anna approaches this issue and other big questions with the insight and maturity that come when a young person loses someone he or she cares deeply about. Anna’s authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult.

First Sentence:
Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day.

Why did I pick this book?
Saw reviews on another blog (sorry forgot to write down who it was!). Since I don't usually like chick-lit, I try to avoid boy-meets-girl type YA as well (nothing wrong with them, just not interested). But the blogger mentioned it was more than that, so I thought I'd give it a try.

My thoughts:
  • It was okay, not as profound as I thought it'd be. While I wouldn't pick up this book based on its cover (only because it is too chick-litish for me that I know I probably won't like), it is a nice and pretty cover and the sea-glass of heart is relevant to the book, so well done to the cover artist! Why did the author write it?
  • I didn't identify with the characters - I think I'm too old lol, and probably would have enjoyed this more had it read it as a teenager. And I guess I would've chosen my actions differently had I been the main character in the book. Also, Matt, just seemed to be too mature for his age - who knows, I don't know a lot of teenage boys (or girls for that matter), but some of his postcards writing just didn't seem very realistic to me. Maybe I just didn't know guys like that at that age :)
  • I thought I'd feel sad or more emotional when reading this book, but I didn't really feel anything, probably again, due to the fact that I couldn't relate to the characters. (And yes I cry when I read...)
  • I have to say though, it is a fast read, I finished it in a day, so at least the author didn't bore me and that I at least wanted to find out what happened :)


“What is the statute of limitations on feeling guilty for cheating on a ghost?”

When someone you love dies, people ask you how you're doing, but they don't really want to know. They seek affirmation that you're okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they. Secretly they wonder when the stature of limitations on asking expires (it's three months, by the way. Writes or unwritten, that's about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will). (p73-74)

If I could find the butterfly that flapped its wings before we got into the car that day, I would crush it. (p88)


Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

100+ Reading
Young Adult


  1. Character connection is so essential for me too :)

  2. @Juju - I agree, if I don't care for the characters (whether I hate them or love them), something is definitely missing for me!