Reviews, ya contemporary

ARC Review: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Goodreads Summary:

Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?

In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.

Review:

I really enjoyed reading 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl because I empathized with Lizzie. Struggling with weight in a society that won’t accept you if you aren’t skinny is difficult. It affects you mentally and physically. The book is an eye opener- you need to be comfortable in whatever body type you have. And if you are heavier and lose weight, your thought mentality won’t change just because you lost that weight; you’ll always be worried about getting fat again… like Lizzie does. Reading through this I definitely understood the thoughts Lizzie has- trying on clothes is the worst experience, nothing fits right, she has a difficult time looking at and talking about her body, and she has a lot of insecurities with guys because of her weight.

The ending wasn’t my favorite, but it makes sense. As a women, I believe we need to accept our bodies and while Lizzie may not ever accept her body, she understands that this is only body she has, therefore she needs to take care of it.

Mona Awad takes a deep look at the character’s flaws and insecurities, and should be a must read for all women whether you are skinny, fat, short, tall, etc. It is reflective of our current society and something we need to change.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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This book will be released on February 26, 2016. And is available at Amazon and B&N.

Disclaimer: Thank you First to Read and Penguin Random House for providing the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not influence my opinion.

NA Contemporary, NA Romance, Reviews, Special Review

Book Review: Scarred by Joanne Macgregor

Scarred

GoodReads Summary:

“Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.”

Seventeen year-old Sloane Munster is trying to reboot her life after a serious car accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a new school, she’s delighted to see Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once crushed on, in the class in front of her. But when he glares back at her with disgust and revulsion, she’s shocked and hurt, and assumes it’s because of her appearance. Despite misunderstandings, the chemistry between them sparks and love grows against a background of guilt, secrets, and mounting tensions at a school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death and fighting for love against all the odds.

Review:

Scarred is about Sloane Munster, who suffers from a tragic accident in her life, leaving her physically and mentally scarred. Due to the trauma, she spends almost a year in hiding, finishing her junior year with private tutors. But through the help of her therapist, Sloane attends a new school for senior year, where she runs into old faces, new faces, and has to come to terms with the actions of her mother as well as herself and how she will move forward with her life.

Joanne Macgregor’s writing is a graceful look at the physical and emotional aftermath of a tragedy in a person’s life. It is evocative. It doesn’t push aside the effects mental illness has on a person. Or how, through the support of friends, family, and love, a person can move forward in their life- move past the tragedy and see there is a bright future ahead of them.

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Sloane Munster felt very one dimensional- she was focusing on how she looked and how her life used to be. She was beautiful. She was popular. “I didn’t used to get called anything nasty about my appearance, I used to be pretty. The GG’s- short for Gorgeous Girls- that’s what our clique was called, in my old school.” However, after moving further into the book, Sloane becomes more than a one dimensional character. The scar is just a representation of her emotions. By the end, I fell in love and didn’t want it to end.

Sloane is a truly tragic, and complex, character who has to adjust to her life A.S.- after scar. The girls at her new school taunt her looks, which shows just how juvenile and immature teenage girls can be. It also is a reflection of our society and how much pressure we put on young girls when it comes to physical appearances. She has to deal with boys staring at her. She has to acquiesce the lose of her family and guilt of ruining another family.

I truly enjoyed when Luke, Sloane’s love interest, was given a chapter. He is a central character, not only to Sloane’s development through out the book, but to the story itself. Seeing his point of view is vital to understanding his involvement in the accident and how he develops as a character. As a side sub-plot, the book also address the treatment of others in general, whether it is a student-student relationship, a student-teacher relationship, or a child-parent relationship, and how that can impact a person’s life, positively or negatively.

Joanne Macgregor is a counseling psychologist who specializes in victims of crime and trauma. It is very apparent that she knows what she is writing about; it is captivating and emotional and clearly understood from a psychologist’s point of view.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping story of tragedy, loss, and survival. I think an anthem to this book is Scars to You Beautiful by Alessia Cara. Go listen to it during/after reading this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank Joanne Macgregor for the opportunity to read Scarred in return for an honest review. Receiving this book for free doesn’t influence my opinion.

NA Romance, Reviews, Special Review

Book Review: ROYAL MARRIAGE MARKET By Heather Lyons

Royal Marriage Market

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.

Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what’s best for her country, she isn’t about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn’t hesitate to tell him there’s no way she’s marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can’t fall for her, because royal or not, they’re not meant for each other.

Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.

LIZ’S REVIEW:

I wanted to like this book, so much. That is an empirical statement. I have read Heather Lyons’ other books- The Fate Series, The Collector’s Society, The Deep End of the Ocean. Each one was just as fascinating as the previous. She kept me enthralled, was able to tear my emotions apart. However, the Royal Marriage Market was less than spectacular. Actually, it fell short… like really short.

First, I got stuck on Elsa’s name. Maybe it wasn’t an intentional use of the name. Maybe that is just the character’s name? I understand this. BUT! Disney has a Queen Elsa, who is Scandinavian. I might be dramatic because my eye twitched. And of course all I saw was this blonde haired ice queen. But given that her full name is Elsa Victoria Evelyn Sofia Marie, could we have it mixed up? Give Elsa a different first name and she still be the same person? Probably. Speaking of names, the countries names! WHAT? I didn’t get them. They sound so fake. Doing research, Aiboland is a real thing… but Vattenguldia, nope it’s not (that I am aware of).

Second, it felt too wordy. Every statement Christian or Elsa made was followed with descriptors, upon descriptors, until I was to the point where I wanted to go read a children’s book for simply structured sentences. There were no back and forth conversations like you would normally see. Everything was prefaced with the POV of that character. And, maybe I missed them, but I didn’t read any descriptions of the characters. Maybe they were wrapped up in the complex sentence structures I had a hard time getting around.

The characters themselves felt one dimensional. Christian and Elsa didn’t want to be part of the RMM. They wanted to make their own choices. Their parents were the same- arranged marriage and you’ll do as I say or face the consequences! There was no real differentiation between each character’s voice, other than being told who is talking at the beginning of each section. And the action, or the juicy details, didn’t even make their presence known until 60% into the book. At that point, I just wanted to be finished.

That being said, I did enjoy the last 40% of the book. I liked the interactions Christian and his brother, Lukas, had. You could feel the sibling love (unlike Elsa and Isabelle). I appreciated Charlotte and Parker (Elsa and Christian’s personal secretaries). The Royal Marriage Market wasn’t a complete misadventure, but it wasn’t Lyons’ best work.

Rating: 2 out of 5

VERO’S REVIEW:

**Spoilery Review**

How do I start this… It’s been several days and my feelings are still mixed. Let’s start of with my favorite character.

Lukas. Every time he appears in the story, he makes it that much better. He is funny, real, and a great brother. His relationship with Christian is one of the best sibling relationships I’ve read in 2015.

I guess it is time to talk about my ‘mixed’ feelings. RMM is enjoyable. Once the story picked up, it was a breeze to read. Before that though… I questioned whether this was the book for me. It wasn’t the royal or romance side, but the writing itself. At times I was a little lost. At times it was hard for me to get through some sentences. I’m being lenient on that though because I was reading an ARC and not the finished product.

I both love and hate Elsa and Christian’s relationship. I like that they started of as friends, but disliked I was able to predict how it would go. I’m not saying everything that happened was predictable because Lyons threw me for a loop twice, but the ending was exactly as I thought it would end.

I did like that the story did not end at the end of the RMM. I loved that the story continued into weeks and months to come. I do wish I’d gotten more of Charlotte, and Elsa’s relationship with her father when she was younger. It would have been nice to see and not told.

Overall, if you are a fan of romance, I do think you will like this.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you KP Simmon at InkSlinger PR and Heather Lyons for giving Veronica and I the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not influence my opinion.

NA Contemporary, NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle

When I Was Yours

goodreads summary:

“Marry me.”
“What?” I stared back at him, unblinking.
He moved closer, taking my face in his hands. “I love you, Evie. I look into the future, and the only thing I see clearly is you. Marry me.”

What’s an eighteen-year-old girl who was madly in love with her nineteen-year-old boyfriend say?

Of course, I said yes.

Twenty-four hours later, I married Adam Gunner at a Vegas chapel to the sounds of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Not the best omen. I get that now.

Then, exactly one week later, I left him. I walked out, leaving behind my wedding ring, annulment papers, and my heart, and he never knew why.

I haven’t seen him since. Not in ten long years.

Now, he’s here, standing before me. Looking at me with nothing but hurt and hatred in his eyes, he wants answers.

Answers I can’t give.

review:

Before I bought this book I had no idea who Samantha Towle was. I purely bought When I Was Yours on a whim, completely based on the description. I had questions- what caused Evie to leave? What happened when they saw each other ten years later? I was intrigued. And I wasn’t let down.

Throughout the book you follow two timelines for them- The first year of their relationship and then ten years later when they meet again. Their dynamic is explosive. Their love is passionate. They truly are meant for each other.

I have found in many books that involve sex (gasp! yes there is sex as they are teens and that is what teens do) that authors don’t address the issues of consensual sex and protection. I give props to Samantha Towle. She is very forthright in addressing these issues. Adam is always asking Evie if she is okay with what they are doing, and that at any given point she can say no or stop. Also protection is a huge thing with me. We can’t have teens/young adults reading books where characters aren’t accurate and aren’t seen using protection. *Standing ovation*

This is a love story for the ages, intertwined with heartbreak. I couldn’t put down.

Also, because I loved this book so much I had to create a playlist for it and let me say I cried while making it. It’s been a few days since I finished and I still can’t get over it. I’d really like a sequel to find out when happens next.

rating: 5 out of 5

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Reviews, Special Review, ya contemporary

Book Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The-Wrong-Side-of-Right-Jenn-Marie-Thorne

Goodreads Summary:

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

Review:

Gosh. I love politics. When I was approached by Penguin and asked if I would like to read The Wrong Side of Right I said, HECK YES!

When I was young, I dreamt of being a senator. I wanted to be a part of the law-making process of my country. I actually ended up taking a different route in college, but this book made me reminisce and want to be a part of that world again.

Kate’s world is turned upside down when she comes home to find out that one of the candidates running for president is her father. Kate handles it with so much grace that I wish I was Kate in day-to-day life. She makes mistakes like any 17-year-old girl would, yet she owns up to them. I’m proud of the way she handles her new life. With much more grace than I probably would if I were in her shoes.

There is just something to this story that just works, it clicks.

  • We have romance, sort-of, but not really. The story isn’t about the romance.
  • We have a dysfunctional family, but not your average one.
  • We have great friendships that experience some bumps in the road.
  • We explore what loyalty really means, and what being a family is all about.

But that’s not all, Throne throws all of that into the middle of a presidential campaign. I wish I was the one who came up with that idea. Truly amazing. I also geeked out a lot throughout the entire novel. I studied Communication in school, and reading the tactics and strategies the campaign used to gain ground in the polls made me giddy with excitement. Gosh, I am such a nerd.

It took me four months to read TWSoR, but it was worth it. I wasn’t always in the mood for contemporaries (I have been in a fantasy mood for the past couple months), but I pushed through and in the end I have no idea why it took me so long to finish it. I devoured the last third in no time.

If you are a fan of Ally Carter or Sarah Dessen, I recommend you pick up this book. It’s a great read and I don’t know why the hype around this book is not at it’s all time high.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclaimer: Edited on July 22nd for grammar and clarification.

Disclaimer: Thank you Penguin Young Readers for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

My Initial Thoughts:

Please don’t be very repetitive and sucky… PLEASE!

Review:

Wow… I was blown away by Losing Hope. I was really hoping I would get an amazing book that could stand by itself and not feel like I was reading Hopeless all over again and… I got what I wanted! Huzzah!

Seriously, I don’t know what the heck Colleen Hoover is doing, but that woman has got this whole writing thing down to science. It’s amazing. Losing Hope gave more life to Sky’s story. We were able to see fill in a lot of the holes that were left by the last book. The last book was great, but this is truly a companion novel. We also get Holder in the past, in the present, and even future. It’s amazing.

Holder’s story is also a heartbreaking one. We finally get to see the impact Sky’s disappearance had on him since he was a boy and the change his sister’s death had on him. I can finally understand his anger, his actions, and his stalker-like ways. Once you see it though his eyes, you’re like wait that isn’t stalkerish at all. Wow. This totally puts things into perspective… and it definitely did. If you weren’t completely sold on Holder, you will be after reading Losing Hope.

Holder’s story stands on its own and I am glad I read it. After reading three books by Colleen Hoover, I am sold! I will buy any of her books from now on. I’ve added another name to my auto-buy author list.

Rating: 5/5

Reviews, ya contemporary, YA Dystopian, YA Paranormal

Mini Book Reviews #1

I’m starting a new series on here which I’m calling Mini-Reviews. Clever name right? Yeah, I know. I’m a genius. (The sarcasm is so strong.) The reason I’m starting this new series is because there are some books that I’ve read that I have things to say about them, but not enough to dedicate an entire post on them. Each Mini Review post will have 3 mini reviews. Here we go!

Mini Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

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Kayla over at The Thousand Lives almost threw the book at me and said READ IT! I, like the good best friend that I am (see what I did there) did, and let me tell you I’m glad she said I had to read this book. I fell in love with summer again. The last time I was in love with summer was the year 2012. I truly cannot believe this is Emery Lord’s debut novel. The writing is impeccable and wonderful. I loved the main characters voice and the sass, oh my, I freaking loved the sass. Also, Matthew is the perfect boyfriend. Can he be real, please? If you are looking for a heart-clenching [in a good way] summer contemporary, then this is the book for you. 100% recommend this book to anyone.

Rating: 5/5

Mini Book Review: Coldest Girl in ColdTown by Holly Black

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Vampires + Holly Black = perfection. What amazes me about this book is that it is a stand alone. I had never read a book that can build a new world, has all of the background information, action, plot twists, and just everything that we crave that is normally given to us in trilogies and series, in ONE book. Yes, you read that correctly. Holly Black does it all with one book. The ending satisfied me. This book does vampires justice and makes me sigh happily. These vampires can beat the crap out of any sparkly vampire’s butt.

Rating: 5/5

Mini Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

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I saw polandbananasbooks book talk of Altered a long time ago and have been wanting to read it since. I went over to Kayla’s one day and saw that she had it in her possession. I of course begged her to let me take it home with me and she did. This book was not what I was expecting, and boy it was wonderful. I screamed, I jumped, and it stressed the heck out of me. The twists, the action, the science fiction nerdy-ness of it, I loved it all!

Rating: 4/5

Special Review, ya contemporary

ARC Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

 

 

1379536238000-don-t-Even-think-about-itI was given an ebook copy through NetGalley by Random House via invitation for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

Review:

This may be the shortest review I have ever written. We’ll see.

I have never DNF’ed a book. NEVER. Anyone can go through my reviews and see that I have read through all of them, even those that I disliked. My goal is to give my readers, authors, and publishers a fair review of a book. A honest review.

Originally, I was excited when I received an invitation to read this book. I’ve heard great things about Sarah and I was thrilled to finally read something by her. The plot of the story sounded very interesting which is why I said, YES, SIGN ME UP.

I tried reading it on three different occasions. I only reached about 10-15% of the story before I quit. Each time I started to read it, I couldn’t get a feel for the characters and the protagonist. There was just something that wasn’t clicking and even annoyed me. I feel absolutely horrible saying such negative things about this book, but I honestly couldn’t get past everything that annoyed me.

I try my best to read the entire book so that I can give both the good and the bad of a book. One of my goals is to always find something good about the book, even if the rating is a 1 or 2. I make it my mission to give reasons as to why I dislike a book if I do.

Today is a weird day on The Talking Bookworm because I can do neither. Here is my first DNF review and hopefully it will be my last.

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Flat Out Love by Jessica Park

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Goodreads Summary:

He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.

So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.

But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother’s? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn’t supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she’s never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here’s the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.

My Initial Thoughts:

The first time I heard about Flat Out Love was through Kayla (thethousandlives). Before that I had only heard of Park’s other novel Left Drowning which a lot of bloggers were saying was depressing. I was hoping Flat Out Love would be more lighthearted. I was also nervous because her previous novels were NA and I wanted a book without the naughty bits.

 Review:

The story starts of with the main character stranded in Boston. We learn that she had been cheated off by someone posing as a landlord who was renting apartments to college students, but in reality the address led to a burger joint. No apartment complex in sight. No landlord. No Money.

After Julie calls her mom the situation is fixed when her mom’s college roommate happens to live in Boston and her mom arranges for her to stay at her house for the time being. In comes Matt, the son of her mom’s college roommate.

They story progresses as Julies meets the quirky family whose son Finn is out exploring the world, leaving the youngest, Celeste, in shams picking up after the pieces his departure left in their lives.

Flat Out Love was written in three parts, which helps the reader pinpoint the importance of each occurrence and the consequences of Julie’s and Matt’s actions. What surprised me the most is that the book is a self-published book, through Amazon’s publisher. All I can say is that Ms. Park created such a unique story one that I’ve never read before and that is saying something. Many know me as the YA Contemporary guru, since I’ve read a lot of contemporary novels throughout my lifetime. This makes book shopping hard with me, as Kayla discovered, because every suggestion is followed by a, “Oh, I’ve already read that”. This novel is something new, something fresh in the YA Contemp genre. It will break your heart and at the same time it will make it soar in the clouds with the many adorable moments. Think of it as the baby of Ana and the French Kiss and Second Chance Summer.

I wish I could read this book again. It has been a while since I’ve read a book that has me giggling, gasping, making me tear up, and jump of joy! The themes in the novel, mental health, grief, love, friendships, family, are all very well written and executed. Ms. Park brings some important issues to light in this book that should be discussed more instead of ignored by the masses.

I suggest you all give this book a try; it may sound like your average YA Contemp novel but it isn’t. Trust me on this one.

Rating: 5/5

Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Okcler

5231173Goodreads Summary:

“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay 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 lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

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

What I Like:

First, I want to discuss the cover. You may think it’s pretty or simple, but it portrays 100% what the book is about. The title of Sarah Ockler’s debut novel may lead you to think that it is just another Young Adult chick lit book (there is nothing wrong with YA Chick-lit), but this novel has depth, it is deep, and it will make you reevaluate your life.

Throughout the novel we get to experience firsthand not just the grief Matt’s family is going through, but Anna, whom no one seems to acknowledge that she has every right to be hurting too. There are some beautiful lines written in this novel. For example:

Like the stars, fading with the halo of the vanishing moon. Like the ocean, falling and whispering against the shore. Nothing ever really goes away – it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.

I’m not a person that sheds tears when reading a book. Some have even said I’m hard as a rock, but TBS opened up the safe within my mind and brought memories of someone that I loved that passed away several years ago. I teared up several times while reading it.

This book is a good portrayal of how grief can take control of someone’s life, and the process that we sometimes have to go through in order to heal.

I also want to point out that Sam was such a sweetheart. It must be hard to take a chance on someone knowing you may never see them again after summer ends.

What I Dislike:

If I am going to be super nit-picky, I wish we would have seen a little more of Frankie before Matt’s death. The only lens which we see Frankie through is Anna and that lens can be obscured.

Overall:

Twenty Boy Summer  is one of the best debut novels I have read. The well thought out passages and the full exploration of grief makes this one of the most heat-wrenching, beautiful novels I have ever read.

Rating: 5/5