I have to say, I was really kind of nervous about reading Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. I was under the assumption that it would be about girls who were acting stupid and running around trying to lure boys in with their feminine wiles and that I would hate it, because I hate stuff like that. But the book is on the 2010 Teens' Top Ten Nominations for the Young Adult Library Services Association and I've been trying to read all of them (and I'm failing miserably-- I still have 14 left and only like... 17 days left in the year). So anyway, I picked this one up and, as it turns out, I really enjoyed it a lot!
Anna and her best friend Frankie are going with Frankie's parent's to Zanzibar Bay in California for the A.B.S.E. (Absolute Best Summer Ever). They make a bet that they can meet twenty guys in the twenty days that they're there. Frankie wants to meet boys for herself, but she really wants Anna to have a summer fling. Anna, however, doesn't want to meet anyone. She's still mourning the death of Frankie's older brother, Matt, who died tragically the year before. He was Anna's first kiss and first romance, and Frankie has no idea.
What I really liked about this book was how thoughtful and mature Anna is. Sometimes maybe even a little bit too mature--way more mature and thoughtful than I ever was at 16, but it works for the context of the book. When Anna meets Sam, just boy number four into the twenty-boy summer, and starts to like him, she gives a lot of thought to what liking someone else means to her short relationship with Matt.
I would recommend this book very highly, but probably to high schoolers mostly. It can get pretty intense sometimes. Also, if you've read this one already and liked it, Sarah Ockler has a new book that just came out called Fixing Delilah. I told Mrs. G to order it, so hopefully it will be in in the new year!