Hardcover: 290 pages
"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 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. (Source)
TWENTY BOY SUMMER, by Sarah Ockler, is a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and the hardships of moving on with life and not taking anything for granted. Ockler created real and honest characters that I found myself attached to right away. I was intrigued with the secret relationship between Anna and Matt, and then devastated when it abruptly ended.
I fell in love with this book. Ockler held nothing back in the emotions that she expressed through her characters. Anna definitely grew up through the next year in the way she took care of Frankie, and Frankie grew up apart from everyone in her life to dull the pain. I definitely sided with Anna in the debate between the two. At times I wanted to shake Frankie and tell her to wake up and smell the roses. Anna held onto Matt a lot too, but she was also willing to try and move on, but could not while tip-toeing around Frankie.
This whole book was wonderfully written and absolutely beautiful. There were many heart-breaking and soul-searching situations laid out for these two girls. They had to sift through the what-ifs and learn to carry on without someone they cared deeply about. I recommend this read, because I think everyone should be reminded once in a while that life is precious and treat each day like it is your last.