"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 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 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.
Twenty Boy Summer is a coming of age story with all the major elements included. There’s romance, grief, cute boys and best friend issues, along with the usually teen traumas such as “Do I look fat in a bikini?” Some parts are cute and light and fluffy and other parts are filled with emotion.
I really liked Anna’s character. She’s a down-to-earth girl who’s dealing well with the situation she’s ended up in. While she’s grieving over Matt, Anna has had to keep a lot of her feelings hidden and she’s been the strong one for Frankie and her parents. Frankie I didn’t like so much. Her boy/clothes/make-up obsession annoyed me most of the time but essentially this was her way of dealing with her brother’s death and so it was an acceptable part of her personality – it still made me want to shake her and yell at her though lol. Together I found Anna and Frankie somewhat immature at times, at least in how they were treated by their parents. Surely at sixteen it’s okay to talk to boys on the beach and maybe stay out late at night? At least unlike a lot of YA books, the parental characters were real and present throughout – particularly Frankie’s parents who were in California with them.
I read this as part of Banned Books Week. I still have NO IDEA why this book is being challenged though! Okay, so the title sounds a little promiscuous but if you actually read oh, about two pages of the book, you’ll find out that the plan the two main characters have is to MEET twenty boys on their vacation, not actually have sex with twenty boys and yes, a part of the plan is for Anna to loose her virginity but I think originally it’s the kind of silly plan that sixteen-year-old girls make up without really expecting it to happen. And okay there is actual sex but it’s not exactly written in graphic detail and it’s not spur of the moment with a ranom boy sex. It’s hardly scandal of the century.
I found this book to be a easy read that was fun, yet emotional at the same time.