Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Review (and giveaway!): Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. (Grades 9+)

Summary from the ARC (try as I might, I couldn't write a better one):

"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 that 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.

Okay, Twenty Boy Summer had me at hello. It starts with Anna finally getting together with Matt after she's pined after him for years. And Sarah Ockler just captured that flying, giddy first-love feeling so perfectly that I was immediately absorbed in the story. I instantly cared about the characters. And I felt a hole in my own heart after Matt's unexpected death left Anna breathless.

And can you imagine how terrible it would be to not only lose your first love, but to have to keep that first love a secret from your best friend?

The book's not perfect - I felt it dragged in a few places and while I really heart the cover, I actually don't care for the title. Maybe it's me, but Twenty Boy Summer sounds like it's going to be a fluffy chick lit and the book is actually more serious than that. It really reminded me of Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott, so I'd heartily recommend it to fans of those authors.

And here's where I gush about the cover a little bit. I couldn't tell this until I actually had the book in my hand, but that heart on the cover is not made up of torn up paper or something like I'd thought. It's made up of pieces of sea glass. Which is so perfect for the book and so beautiful to boot. A+ for cover design!

Annnnnd the lovely people at Little, Brown have provided me a couple of copies of the ARC to giveaway to two lucky readers!

Leave a comment to be entered. Please include your email address if it's not readily available in your profile or on your blog.

Bonus entries for each time you link to this contest (please leave a separate comment for each entry).

And a bonus entry if you'll recommend a great CD to me (I am in a music rut). I like a great variety of music and favorites include Ben Folds, Ingrid Michaelson, and Barenaked Ladies. (Please leave a separate comment with your recommendation).

The contest will run through the end of June and I'll draw two winners on July 1. Contest is open to anyone anywhere.

This is definitely a great one for your summer reading list, so I hope you'll enter!