Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler After seeing all of the glowing recommendations about this book, I knew that I had to give it a read. I was expecting something like [b:The Sky is Everywhere|6604794|The Sky Is Everywhere|Jandy Nelson||6798696] based on the blurb, but unfortunately what I read was neither as touching nor as poignant as I had hoped.

I wasn't really a fan of any of the characters. Anna's relationship with Matt was sweet to read, but the all-encompassing feelings she had for him seemed to be her defining feature when she was alone. She was far too passive and I quickly became annoyed with her willingness to go along with anything that Frankie suggested including the plan to lose her virginity in which her internal monologue on the subject was swept away by thoughts of Matt's death or how she could be there for Frankie. Honestly, that whole plan and the aftermath was something that I was not okay with . Frankie came across as shallow, self-absorbed and cruel. While I understood that her rebelliousness was a response to her brother's death, I didn't truly feel any sympathy towards her until the end - and even then, I couldn't quite excuse the way that she treated both Anna and her parents. As for Sam, he had a lot of potential to be a strong, likeable character, but instead he was a strange mix of sweet and caring and detached.

While many of the scenes felt like fillers that I skimmed over, the writing itself was quite beautiful and poetic. There were many standout lines that I wish I could have highlighted, such as: I really don't even know you, and yet, in my life, you are forever entangled; to my history, inextricably bound. As an added bonus, the cover is not only beautiful; it's actually related to the plot.

Overall, Twenty Boy Summer was nowhere near what I expected. If the characters were given as much attention as the countless descriptions of the beach, this might have been a more enjoyable read.

This review can also be found at The In-Between Place.