We're just wondering, 'cause A Reader's Respite sure was.
Earlier in the summer, we were sent a copy of Sarah Ockler's new young adult novel entitled Twenty Boy Summer. The novel lingered on our shelves for some time because we never could quite summon the energy for a teenage boy-fest story.
So last night, A Reader's Respite finally got around to flipping the book open to chapter one.....and four hours later we closed the book after finishing the final chapter.
Suffice it to say that Twenty Boy Summer is much, much more than a book of teenage hormones. Shame, shame on us for falling for the oldest trick in the book: judging a book by it's cover.
Ockler has penned a gripping tale of first love, death and the grief of a family who doesn't know how to let go. The emotions are gripping and real. Truly, we don't think anyone could have done a better job capturing the enigma that is teenage grief. (And as someone who experienced a loss eerily similar to this as a teenager, we know of which we speak.)
Yes, yes, the book also deals with some controversial subjects like teenage girls losing their virginity along the way (and to echo the narrator, what's up with the phrase "losing" one's virginity, as if it were carelessly misplaced?) so if you're thinking of a particular young adult in your life who might like this novel, you might want to read it yourself first if that's your kind of thing.
This is an eloquent, heartbreaking story but one that offers hope. No one could have captured the teen voice better than Ockler.
(And if you happen to find our virginity floating around out there, please return it. We seem to have misplaced it around 20 years ago.)
Your turn! If you want to give this novel a try, leave a comment and then check back in on October 15th to see if you were randomly chosen to receive your very own copy. International entrants always welcome!