Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler

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 was a rather simple teen book with an interesting backstory.

 

The goal of meeting twenty guys a day was fun in theory but in reality felt extremely forced, both to Anna and to me as the reader. In the beginning, there wasn't enough attention placed on Matt, but in the end there was too much. I felt like the balance was really hard to achieve realistically and I feel like it fell flat. There was also really barely ten guys, and in that regard I didn't get what I was expecting from this book.

 

The parts I enjoyed most were the parts about Matt and Anna in the past. The recollections of their time together was incredibly sweet, and details like them both keeping frosting stained clothes as mementos were very touching.

 

A year after the fact, dealing with Matt's death is challenging to Anna and Frankie, but I found myself unable to connect with them or really relate. They both needed to grow up a lot, especially in regards to events at the end.

 

Anna's relationship with Sam, one of the twenty guys, also had me gritting my teeth and feeling uncomfortable. I'm not really sure why she was interested him or in Matt because I barely got to know them at all.

 

The premise of this book was strong, but I really just didn't love the writing.