Monday, June 15, 2009 By: Suzanne

20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

This is the second book in a row that I find might have been mis-marketed. The blurb on the back makes it sound like fluff (in the chick lit sort of way) but it was fairly heavy, even making me cry at times.

Anna and Frankie are best friends. They have been since they were babies, along with Frankie's older brother, Matt, the trio: inseparable. Unknown to Frankie (or anyone), Anna has been in love with Matt for years. At her 15th birthday party, Matt makes it clear he has the same feelings for her. Anna is flying high in love for a few weeks, until tragedy strikes. This book is the story of a family recovering from loss, and a girl who doesn't know how to label her grief. It's a story of a friendship redefining itself when a trio becomes a duet. And it's about being a teenager and all the normal, awful, wonderful things that come along with that.

It's only been lately that I've been disappointed in the blurbs on the backs of books. Normally, they're pretty good at describing the book in just a way that gets you interested without giving too much away. That's why I use them in my reviews. I'm usually afraid if I write my own, I'll spoil something. But the last few books I've read have just been completely off the mark. This one made it sound like Anna and Frankie were just two crazy teenagers having a high old time on vacation, and oh by the way, Frankie's brother has just died. (This is not a spoiler, it's on the back of the book). The minute I began reading, I knew it got the tone of the book wrong. I'm sure it must be hard for new authors to push the marketing of their book in a certain direction. They're probably just thrilled someone's marketing it at all. This isn't as blatant as Royal Blood but reading them back to back like that made it seem similar.

This book was wonderful though. I cried, I laughed, and I hoped along with the girls. I was 16 again with every wonderful and horrible thing that implies.


Anonymous said...

Great review! I hadn't added this to my list, but your review made me think I might like it. Sometimes I honestly don't think the blurb writers have even read the book. It's like they heard a few snippets from a conversation between the author and agent and used that for a description!

Missy said...

I can't wait to read this. Its on my wish list on PBS...I hope I get it soon. Thanks for the great review!