Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.
Today’s topic: The best book you read in August…
I’ve read some truly amazing books over the last month. I’ve taken a bit of a writing vacation (coming to an end September 5th!), so I’ve had a little extra time to devour some awesome YA literature. Here’s what I read in August: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, Forever… by Judy Blume, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
I’ve blogged about a few of these titles already, but one I haven’t mentioned that has stuck with me is Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
From Booklist: “What is the statute of limitations on feeling guilty for cheating on a ghost?” Anna writes in her journal, or rather, writes to Matt, her first true love and her best friend Frankie’s brother. More than a year has passed since Matt’s sudden death, and all that time Anna has kept her brief relationship with Matt a secret from Frankie. Matt had planned to tell his sister but died before he had the opportunity. Now, while on a beach vacation with Frankie’s family, Anna finds herself falling for cute, sensitive Sam against her will—if she can love someone else, does that mean she no longer loves Matt? Anna approaches this issue and other big questions with the insight and maturity that come when a young person loses someone he or she cares deeply about. Anna’s authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult.
What I loved about Twenty Boy Summer was that it didn’t set out to teach us a lesson about loss and grief, but rather the lesson came organically, bit by bit, as Anna began to let herself feel for the first time since Matt’s death. Anna’s voice is so natural and real, and her relationships with Matt, Sam, and her best friend Frankie felt completely authentic. Nobody in Twenty Boy Summer is perfect, but motivations are clear and that makes the characters endearing. Plus, Anna’s relationship with Sam is so sweet and sexy. This is one of those stories that make you wish you were a teenager again so you might have one of those lovely summer romances that will forever live in a bubble of perfection. Sarah Ockler is incredibly talented and I look forward to reading her future releases.
Thanks to my wonderful CP, Heather Howland, for recommending Twenty Boy Summer. She has awesome taste in books and never hesitates to pass great titles on to me. 🙂