“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 Zanzibar Bay 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.
**** 4 stars ****
This was such a beautifully well written story about first love, friendships, holding on and letting go. Do not let the title fool you because its kind of irrelevant. This book is more than just boys and hook ups. It is a story of a girl who fell in love with someone and lost that person in less than a month of being together. She struggled to move on since she was still caught up in the past and was not ready to let go. This novel perfectly brought out how differently each person handles grief and shows us that it never truly is a goodbye because you will always have them in your heart.
( L: Anna and R: Frankie )
Anna and Frankie have been best friends since they were young along with Frankie’s 2 year older brother Matt. The trio have been inseparable. But Anna always saw Matt more than just a best friend. She has been in love with Matt since she could even remember, but she never told Frankie about how she felt. One of her only wishes for her birthday was for Matt to show her that he felt the same way….. and he did. Matt kissed Anna on her 16th birthday. They continued to sneak around for the next 3 weeks and failed to tell Frankie about their new relationship status. Matt promised Anna to never say a word to Frankie. He wanted to tell his own sister about them on their annual family trip to Zanzibar Bay. But Matt never had a chance to say anything because the eve of the trip he passed away and Anna carried the secret she promised Matt.
( Matt )
“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. ”
- Anna, Twenty Boy Summer
“Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s to much gravity on my heart.”
― Anna, Twenty Boy Summer
Zanzibar Bay California
A year came and Frankie invited Anna to their annual trip to Zanzibar bay. Frankie wanted the summer to be memorable and wanted for both of them to have fun. “Fun” meaning boys, sun, boys, parties, and a chance of romance. But how great could this trip be when this was the first time the family ever came back without Matt?
I never really gave out any spoilers because the book is way more than what I just shared. I really enjoyed this book. It made me cry ( often ) and feel sad for Anna, but at the same time I was so moved by how strong this girl is. The way she handled her grief was something I could never do. I gave it a 4 stars because I stayed up late to finish this book. I gave it only a 4 and not a 5 because I fell in love with Matt and I was like Anna, it was hard for me to even let him go.
ps: I picked this up because of the cover and loved it even more after reading the book.
** soundtrack **
1. Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing
2. Parachute – Forever and Always
3. Mariah and Boyz2men – One Sweet Day
4. Artic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
5. Michael Learns To Rock – Sleeping Child
6. Jack White – Love Interruption
7. Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
8. Noah and the Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N