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Twenty Boy Summer Paperback – May 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“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. Grades 9-11. --Heather Booth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"[A] sincere, romantic tearjerker. Readers will easily relate to Anna's authentically depicted feelings of lust, longing, shame and fear as she cautiously embarks on a new summer love."―Kirkus 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

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316051586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316051583
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, and Fixing Delilah. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls' Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, and nominations for YALSA Teens' Top Ten and NPR's Top 100 Teen Books.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in the Pacific Northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler seems to be everywhere right now and so are the glowing reviews for it. In fact, I don't remember reading even one less than positive review. I actually read this novel a few weeks ago while I was with my family at the swimming pool, and I swore that I was going to come home right away and write my review. Famous last words because life has just gotten in the way (and a little old thing called BEA.)

So now, I'm writing my review about two weeks after finishing this book which I really don't like to do because I tend to forget details after a few days. However, this one time I think it's going to be okay. TWENTY BOY SUMMER is one of those books that has actually stuck with me -- I can remember this book like I just read it and the characters keep popping up in my mind. I think that says a great deal about the quality of this novel.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER is Sarah Ockler's debut novel, and I have to admit that I'm a little surprised by this. I found her writing to be so polished and real that it just seemed as if she's been writing books for a long time. Her prose and descriptions are just beautiful, but I also really appreciated how authentic her dialogue was. I can't say enough about how she developed the characters in this story, especially Anna; and I think she captured the devastating effects of loss on a family so very well. I really think Ms. Ockler is going to have a wonderful writing career ahead of her, and I'm looking forward to her future books.

Although I really, really liked this book (and maybe even loved it) I have to mention that I was a little surprised that the back cover of the ARC says that this novel is for ages 12 and up.
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Format: Hardcover
Anna's best friend Frankie is determined to make this summer their Absolute Best Summer Ever. To the outsider, it seems like it will be perfect: Frankie's family is taking Anna on their annual vacation to Zanzibar Bay, California and Frankie schemes to meet twenty different guys while they're there so she and Anna can have the perfect summer romance. But really, Anna and Frankie are still reeling from the loss of their best friend and Frankie's brother, Matt. And what Frankie doesn't know is that Anna's already had her perfect summer romance--with Matt.

Though outwardly fun and flirty, below the surface Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer is a reflective and insightful story of loss and discovery as well. Ockler does an excellent job at characterizing each person in her novel, even the most insignificant characters, making Anna's world tangible and realistic. The different portrayals of each person's grief--Anna's retreat into her journal, Frankie's recklessness, and her mother's withdrawal--are all apt and serve as one of the most significant elements of the novel as it causes conflicts and also enables each character to grow. Ockler's simple use of juxtaposition is also a striking element, and is a detail that really stands out. Twenty Boy Summer is a fun-filled, romantic book containing every girl's dream summer vacation, but made more meaningful by the grief and sadness that Matt left behind. It's wonderfully detailed and sensitive as it exploes the bonds of friendship, first (and second) love, loss, and ultimately learning to let go. Twenty Boy Summer is a definite summer must-read.

Cover Comments: Love, love this cover! It's so beachy and fun. The sea glass is a really nice touch that ties into the book, and I like the look of the boards that make up the background. I can just picture the beach whenever I look at it. Though the font of the title isn't my favorite, I like how the white stands out. This cover definitely gets my seal of approval!
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Format: Paperback
Finally I got my hands on 'Twenty Boy Summer.' Coming-of-age, growing, learning, coping.. are words that come to mind when I think of the book.

I dislike saying "this book wasn't what I'd anticipated (or expected)" since that isn't really a fair statement, but I can't help myself and I say this regretfully.
There was no doubt that I so badly wanted to love 'Twenty Boy Summer', and I have loved it from afar and through wonderful reviews prior to reading it (maybe that was the problem).

I wanted to fall hard for Matt and Anna and be wholeheartedly invested in what was lost or never explored, all the things they were and, most importantly, could have been. I wanted to be sad and heartbroken, but I wasn't really.

I think of 'In Honor' by Jessi Kirby where I fell in love with Honor's brother, Finn, who came alive through memories and thoughts, and how he truly captured by heart.

I wish I'd grown more attached to Matt, in whichever way - before he died, after he died. I would've liked to still be able to get to know him, have him grow on me and have my emotions grow for him, though, his death and the mention of him was mostly taboo and the Perino family were still trying to pick up the pieces he left behind - still breaking.

In other words, I had hoped 'Twenty Boy Summer' would've been more uplifting than.. forlorn, I guess, which brings me to the "twenty boys" plot - I hadn't known what to expect since, let's face it, twenty boys is a little excessive but I'd hoped it'd have a purpose of lighting up the story. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly and Frankie's twenty boys idea soon faded out of the picture.

At the end of the day it was Frankie who made an impression on me.
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