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Archive Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer


Archive Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Heartbreakingly good

Book Review Date: May 7th, 2012
Cover Copy

According to Anna’s 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 Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna light-heartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie — she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, Twenty Boy Summer is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer


Heartbreakingly good — this one resonates — pulling at your heart from page one and not letting go until the very last page.

First Line

Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day.

Favorite Lines
  • …and in ten seconds the whole of my life was wrapped up in that one kiss, that one wish, that one secret that would forever divide my life into two parts.
  • Then he kissed my neck, his lips alighting on the skin below my ear like a spark from the bonfire that burned long after I crept back to my bed.
  • I just swallow hard. Nod and smile. One foot in front of the other. I’m fine, thanks for not asking.
  • …it’s three months, by the way. Written or unwritten, that’s about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will.
  • …but the butterflies are back, mixed with a sadness that seems to stick and slow their wings as they climb into my throat.
  • “We’re not counting him,” I say, “this is the Twenty Boy Summer, not the Twenty Dirty Old Man Summer.”
  • A new wave of butterflies flutters in my chest … and I have to close my eyes to beat them down … Those butterflies have nowhere to go but darkness, beating and tangling their tiny wings until they break.
  • …[older women] look at her longingly from their little white Keds, realizing that their husbands … will never again sneak in through their unlocked windows or kiss them on the mouth in the middle of the day for no reason.
  • He loved to read. He loved words, the way they string together into sentences and stories. He wanted to study them, to know and create them, to share them with the world. Often, Frankie and I would sit on his bed while he read passages from his favorite books, pacing frantically as he turned the pages for the best parts of a story. He read with intensity and was passionately in love with every character, every turn of plot or twist of language. He made the characters come alive for us, like he wasn’t reading a work of fiction but telling stories about his own friends.
  • Panic shoots at my toes in little pinpricks that quickly move across my feet and into my knees so that I have to sit…
  • …I know I’ll meet him out here tonight, even if I have to leave a ransom note to fake my own kidnapping.
  • The whole idea of losing one’s virginity is kind of ridiculous. To lose something implies carelessness. A mistake that you can fix simply by recovering the lost object, like your cell phone or your glasses. Virginity is more like shedding something than losing it. As in, “Don’t worry, Mom. You can call off the helicopters and police dogs. Turns out — get this — I didn’t actually lose my virginity. I just cast it off somewhere between here and Monterey. Can you believe it? It could be anywhere by now, what with all that wind.”
  • …my written thoughts like the lost children of my soul.
  • My heart pounds in a thousand shattered-glass pieces, each beating separately, painfully.
  • …no matter what my life brings, it will never again be more special than it is in this moment, day and night simultaneously lighting up the black ocean just for us.
  • I really don’t even know you, and yet, in my life, you are forever entangled; to my history, inextricably bound.
  • …but it’s real and here and now and I need to feel it.
Last Word
  • perfect


Reader, Author, Bookstagrammer, and Mom; Alexis runs Nerdy Post, a fandom artwork box as well as serves as chief editor and writer on Drop and Give me Nerdy.

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