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The Hiding Spot

I focus primarily on Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Children's books, but my tastes are eclectic, so I change things up frequently!

Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler Title: Twenty Boy SummerAuthor: Sarah OcklerPublisher: Little, BrownDate Published: 2009Genre: Young AdultMain Themes: Love, Friendship, Family, Grief, SecretsPages: 290Plot (from book jacket):" 'Don't worry Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.''Okay.' 'Promise me? Promise me you won't say anything?''Don't worry.' I laughed. 'It's our little 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."Ahhhh! I devoured this book; it was simply stunning. Seriously! I hadn't heard a bad review about it, but I was hesitant. Was it too good to be true? Nope, apparently not!The characters were so amazing in this novel - I came to love Frankie, Anna, Matt, and Sam! Anna was an awesome narrator with the perfect balance of truthfulness, wit, and sarcasm. Sam was definitely swoon worthy; I loved that he wasn't just a good looking guy Anna meets on vacation, he was smart and had depth as well.Frankie and Anna's relationship was one of my favorite parts of the story. I think that it perfectly captured what many best friend relationships are like: there is jealousy, love, protectiveness, and a billion other emotions and feelings all wrapped together - not just happiness and sunshine.I've been reading a lot of books where an important person in the main characters life has died (Broken Soup, Evermore, Willow,I Heart You, You Haunt Me, etc) and I really thought that those authors did well, but I really liked Sarah Ockler's depiction in particular. Twenty Boy Summer is most closely related to I Heart You, You Haunt Me (in that the boyfriend/love interest is the character that is lost), but I really liked how the author portrayed Anna's feelings and confusion. If you liked I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, I would definitely recommend Twenty Boy Summer.Ratings (Out of 10):Plot: 10Characters: 10Writing style: 10Romance: 10Originality: 10Total: 50/50 (A!!)I think it is quite obvious that I think everyone should read this book! Add this review to the rest of the stack of glowing reviews!! :) Skip the library for this one - you're going to want it on your shelf!