Thursday, October 14, 2010
First off, I want to say how much I love the cover of TWENTY BOY SUMMER. I picked the book up several times at Borders because it was cute. But considering the size of my TBR shelves at home, I kept putting it back. Of course, I wouldn't have, had I known what I was missing.
I have to be honest and say that the reason I finally brought it home because of the possibility of it being banned. It was listed, along with SPEAK, in an article which called SPEAK soft porn and TWENTY BOY SUMMER filth. To read exactly what he said, click here. (But be aware that there are spoilers, though nothing major.) SPEAK is one of my favorite contemporary novels, and if TWENTY BOY SUMMER was mentioned in the same article, I figured it must be good.
Well, it wasn't good. It was great!! I cried a lot while reading this book. I cried at the sad parts. I cried at the happy parts. I cried during parts in-between. If you haven't read this book, go get it immediately.
The story is about Anna. She was in love with her best friend, Frankie's, big brother, Matt. After Matt died, they both found it hard to move on, but they did their best. The story is about both girls and their trip to California. They dub their trip the "absolute best summer ever", the ABSE and their plan to meet twenty boys (10 each) and hopefully find one who is worthy. Anna was a great MC. I felt for her, the pain she was experiencing. I feel like I was a lot like her when I was teen, and even now. She's a strong girl, and an amazing friend. She has a level head, but, as with everyone, she makes mistakes and does things things that she regrets. I have to say, though, that Frankie drove me a little nuts a few times. I've had friends like her.
Growing up, I was a goodie-goodie, afraid of doing something - anything - wrong. And I have to argue Scroggins point that the girls in this book did awful, filthy things. There was sex, partying, alcohol, sneaking out... stuff that I never did as a teen and stuff that I wouldn't want my daughter to do. That being said, reading this book is not going to make teen girls do that stuff. They did it for years, decades, before this book came out.
I feel bad about mentioning Scroggins and his wanting to ban this book so much in my review. Because this book was amazing, and it deserves to be reviewed for that alone. But banning books gets me fired up. And I get even more fired up when people want to ban books that are amazing and that I think everyone should read. If you like YA contemporary, you'll love this book. The story, the writing, the characters are all amazing!
“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 Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every 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 her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.
And don't forget to check out Sarah Ockler's new book, FIXING DELILAH when it hits shelves this December. I'll be grabbing it on it's release date!