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Sarah Ockler wrote and illustrated her first book at age six—an adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Still recovering from her own adolescence, she now writes books for young adults. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of New York at Buffalo and also studied creative writing through Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. While nomadic at heart, Sarah and her husband Alex currently live in Upstate New York with an ever-expanding collection of sea glass (hers) and dinosaurs (his). TWENTY BOY SUMMER is her first novel.
"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"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 ever 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.
Plot: The idea is fresh and original, which is great on Sarah Ockler's part. I also loved how she incorperated the sea glass into the book -- when you're looking at the cover, you think it's just pretty, that it doesn't really have meaning. However, as you read the book, you find the meaning, and I really liked how that was incorperated into the cover as well as the story.
Characters: The characters were written really well. You found yourself rooting for them in certain situations or getting so mad at certain decisions that you want to throw your book against the nearest wall. You get so caught up in the character's story, that you feel like YOUR the one living it. Like you're actually there with Anna and Frankie in Zanzibar Bay. Like you're actually Anna feeling all this pain, still, from Matt's death. That's what really made me love this book so much.
Wow Factor: Very wowed. And very recommended.