Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Read Time: 2 Days
Tag Words: Summer read, beaches, boys, love, sex, death, coming of age, best friends
It’s always been Anna, Frankie and Frankie’s brother Matt. Three best friends, forever.
Until forever ends and Anna and Frankie have to move forward, one with a big secret concerning Matt, the best friend and secret boyfriend lost in a tragic accident...
Everyone loves this book. Everyone. I don’t think I’ve read a bad review from one of my blogger friends... *Scurries off to check Goodreads* Well, no one flat out hates it. And neither do I, but I’m not as sold as I was told I would be.
First of all I really expected to meet twenty boys and see how they would each help Anna heal from her heartbreak, some in positive ways, some in negative ways. I know it’s not fair to bemoan a book over your personal assumptions, but it is implied in the title, it's “Twenty Boy Summer,” not “Anna meets one boy who she has sex with and gains the wisdom of how little it matters.”
That, of course, brings me to issue number two. No matter how you feel about sex, if you believe sex is sacred and reserved for marriage, or if you are on the absolute other end of the spectrum, sex is still ultimately a big deal, and some kind of a commitment. In Twenty Boy Summer, after Anna and Frankie dub Anna’s virginity “The Alcatraz,” Anna gets to know a boy named Sam then Sam and Anna have sex, which results in Anna being wise enough to realize it ultimately doesn’t matter. Wow. How profound.
It’s a moral issue, sure, but it also cancels out any feelings that had grown in me for Sam and Anna as a couple. Anna decided they just didn’t matter, so why should they matter to me? That questions leads to- why did I read this book? It didn’t give me anything, in fact it took something away!
Ultimately Anna’s relationship with Sam didn’t matter, because, firstly, Sam was a one-dimensional character, and two, see the paragraph above. Also, Matt never quite let go of me. I was so in love with Matt, even knowing he was dead early on! Ockler did make quite a character of her dead boy. Too bad she couldn’t inflect the same awesome into her live one, oh, that’s right, he didn’t even matter.
See what I mean? It’s hard to love a book when the point was- it didn’t matter.
Notes on the Names:
I went through a phase of loving Francesca after I read this book, unfortunately I ultimately decided it reminded me of Water Chestnuts (image I can’t get out of my head, I love the name!) and it never made it to my short list. : (
Thoughts on the Cover:
Well, it's the perfect cover for this book, isn't it? Seaglass... <3
Parental Book Review *spoilers*
Sex between teens; sex that Anna is wise enough to realize ultimately doesn’t matter. Wow. How profound.
Matt dies of cardiac complications while he is driving, which results in a car crash.