Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review. Friendship, Ocean Breezes, and Grief.

Twenty Boy Summer
By: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: June 1st 2009 by Little Brown & Co
Read E-Book on the Nook
Cover Art: The cover art fits the book like a elbow length black silk glove.  The heart appears to be torn up paper, however, once you dive into the book you will find out what the heart is truly made of.  
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

The Reason why the Mad Scientist picked up this book:
Mainly it is due to the fact that a man by the name of Wesley Scroggins said I should not read it.  At that moment I knew I had to find out why.  I am so happy to find out that he is a pompous nub who should of read the book before he placed quotes way out of context.

First Line: Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day. Lucky to be alive - that’s what everyone said.

Concoction of a Review:

The Mad Scientist does not take out take out time from tinkering to read a synopsis before I open a book, or in this case powering up the gears and cogs found within my futuristic Nook. Sometimes this method goes horribly array and I am left with a profound sadness over my lost time.  However, I must admit I'm extremely happy I chose to forgo the synopsis once again. The shock, happiness, and sadness that wrapped around me was purely from the words on the paper in front of me. Ockler also had me recommending this book to others by page 11. Normally I am not so pretentious but in this case I disregarding normality.

Tis proper of me to provide a fair ~Warning~ to you.  If you are wanting a fluffy book to enjoy over a nice pot of tea and crumpets you are sadly mistaken.  Read the synopsis or take my advice. The words scrolled on the parchment deals with grief. I am not trying to sway you, there are a few wonderful seaside romance scenes that made me crave the smell of salt water and the feel of hot sand under my toes.  It may be an improper desire but we all need a few of those to keep the heart pumping well.

Mistress Ockler opens the story with three neighbor teens who have formed a tight friendship.   Right away there was a cute adorable cake fight between Anna and her adorable neighbor Matt. While washing Anna's 15th birthday cake frosting off, Matt kissed Anna *blushes*. Shall we add in a scrumptious twist, Matt happens to be the brother of Frankie, Anna's best friend.
Oh me oh my, now things are different. Cute perfection does not last long, it never does.  The strapping young man suddenly died, due to a broken heart. Frankie deals with her loss with her family.  Anna promised Matt that she would not tell his sister about their secret courting because he wanted to do the proper thing and tell his sister.   Matt never had the chance to tell his sister before he died.  Now Anna finds herself dealing with her grief alone, poor dear.

It is a year later, grief is still heavy around everyone.  Frankie's parents decided to invite Anna on their yearly vacation to Cali, to make it seem they are moving on. Frankie comes up with a brilliant plan. After all, Anna needs to loose her virginity, AKA the albatross. Twenty boys in one summer and she is bound to find the right guy. This will be the BEST sumer ever!

At first, there was an awkward anxiety of being at the beach house for the first time without Matt.  Throughout the summer in Cali the girls film their vacation, sneak out of the beach house, and of course, one of them gets a huge sun burn (which never would of happened if they carried a parasol). The friendship between Anna and Frankie is tested along the way.  Anna is afraid of erasing all of her memories of Matt. Will she let loss and enjoy the Twenty Boys Summer?

The book is deep and tender as Mistress Ockler touches the taboo subject of death and loss. I loved this debut novel and I cannot wait to wrap my brain around more from her.


"As I lick a runaway line of meting cherry chocolate ripple from my hand, I become hyperaware of our surroundings. The back-and-forth ancient lull of the tide. The cry of seagulls passing overhead. The smell of salt and fish carried on the warm breeze. With each step along the old wooden planks of the pier, tiny grains of sand that hitchhiked from the beach below are pulverized under our heels. Sand that traveled a millions of miles over billions of years across shifting continents and churning oceans, surviving plate tectonics, erosion, and sedimentary deposition is crushed by our new sandals. The cosmos can be so cruel."

"He's probably wondering why the women in this family are so certifiably nuts."

"'Hungry?' I ask. 'We could make chocolate chip pancakes'. It's not psychotherapy, but chocolate chip pancakes work for a lot of things."

4.5 Blasts

A properly profound book that the
Mad Scientist Recommends! 

The Mad Scientist created a snarky letter to our dear 
Wesley Scroggins, which is located on my Speak Review.  
(Just in case you are interested in what I had to say to him.)


  1. I truly enjoyed this book and found Ockler's writing a pleasure to read. Her descriptions were amazing. Great review!

  2. Why thank you so much for enjoying my review. Encouraging words are always welcome :)

    Mad Scientist

  3. oh, this is such a well written and compelling review. and i agree 100%. this was such a heartfelt and delicious read. i cant wait for her next book!


  4. Great review. It is high on my to-read list and I might just pootle on over to Amazon and order myself a copy right away. I love your blog!

  5. Awesome review. Tempted to pick this one up, even if it is young adult.

  6. hey i found U on FF.. i now follow u
    please follow back
    come by
    bonafide bloggah

  7. I won this book, and hope it arrives soon. Can't wait to read it!!

  8. This is on my reading list as well. I just read/reviewed Speak for the same reason you picked up Twenty Boy Summer.
    And as I'm sure you found, his protest carry no weight. But I still thank him for bringing thses great books to my attention!
    Awesome blog - found you through the hop!

  9. Lovely review! I enjoyed this book as well, though as you suggested, it is very sad. I am looking forward to reading more of Ockler's work! :)


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