Ariie Chan's Reviews > Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
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's review
Oct 13, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: why-does-this-exist, i-would-rather-do-math, no-self-respect, i-am-so-confused, flat-out-horrible, stupid-heroine, reviewed
Recommended to Ariie by: Joanna borrowed it and I wanted to read it. She let me after she was done.
Recommended for: Do yourself a favour and stay away from this book.
Read in January, 2012 , read count: 1

Let me start by saying that I thought this was going to be good. I really did.

But no. I absolutely hated this book. If you put Anna and Frankie's bullshit and Bella Swan's bullshit right beside each other, I might actually choose Bella's bullshit over this.

I reckon they are all on the same wavelength of stupidity. (Especially Bella and Frankie.) Take in the fact that this book has the same amount of hypocrisy and lack of self-respect as Twilight (and then some), but that Twilight has four books (technically), and this book is... single.

If books were people, I'd see why this one was single. Forever alone in a void of nonexistent true friendship and self-respect along with unrealistic emotion. Pretty on the outside, something of a horror on the inside.

I have no idea why anyone thought this was good. The fact that this book managed to reach three stars and is even close to four stars makes me want to shoot my foot.

Now let me elaborate on the thing I liked about this book, and then the long list of what I absolutely hated about it.

What I liked:

1. Anna with Matt.

The romance between Anna and Matt when the guy was alive was actually pretty sweet. (And more realistic than everything else in this book.) But however sweet it was, it really didn't convince me enough. There just wasn't enough backup. Sweetness doesn't make up for the fact that you have to back these things up.

What I hated:

1. Showing, not telling.

I don't see why Ockler had to go on forever writing about how some scene looked like. I mean, I can do that too, but I also know how to balance these things out, and I'm fourteen. Telling, instead of showing, doesn't really make for good writing. It clumps everything up and takes up more time in the book. There was more on how the beach looked like than the development of... well, everything else.

2. You can't tell what kind of book this really is.

On one side, you have two best friends wanting to have a fun summer. (view spoiler)

On the other, you have... Well, you have what was supposed to be sadness. The emotions weren't real enough to me. They felt superficial because of how the characters were portrayed as people. (If you could even use the word.) I just really didn't feel anything about it. This book was trying too hard to be two things at once. On one side, you've got the whole "Oh I'm a rebellious slut!" thing going on, and on the other, you have this... tragedy. (And I don't just mean the book itself.) It was all so fake.

I mean, the reality of humans is that, if the situation was presented, most of us would resort to our more barbaric sides. But this book felt like that's exactly what they did (or at least in Frankie's case), and there was nothing about this book that had to resort to such actions (which will be presented in the last point).

3. Character and relationship development.

I didn't feel anything for the characters except for annoyance, at best. Obviously this is a book where the relationships are pretty damn important, but obviously, it fails. Okay, so I could sort of see where Anna and Matt came from, but Anna and Frankie? How they could have ever come to be best friends, I just do not know. The way Frankie treated Anna was horrible. (Again, see the last point.) The relationships, at best, were unrealistic. At worst, they were destructive, emotionally abusive, distrustful, etc. To those of you who have read this book (or maybe not), I might seem like I'm exaggerating, but honestly? I'm not joking when I say Frankie spewed a lot of bullshit.

Anna and Frankie are the main characters, but I see no development. Isn't there supposed to be, with Matt's death and whatnot? Why would there be a book just about how they wallow? I mean, if that was the case, surely it'd be more obvious in the summary? Nada. Anna stayed completely the same. Frankie stayed completely the same. Even at the end, when they had that whole friendship fallout and apparently made up, they were the same. The way they made up was just unbelievable. I've made up with friends quickly, sure, but come on. Maybe it could have been more believable if the characters themselves were.

Sadly, they aren't.

For the record, Sam had potential, but Ockler never did anything about that potential.

4. I'm just so confused.

Ockler felt compelled to describe scenery as opposed to developing her characters, so everything went slow.

Ockler also decided to randomly skip scenes that would give good feedback to the story, which also made everything slow.

End of.

5. The virginity "issue". And Frankie's attitude.

God. I absolutely, positively, 100% hated Frankie.

Okay, I'm a very understanding person. So I get that she was hugely affected by her brother's death. I get that she had to get over it. I get that she had to rebel and all that. But seriously, I can't believe her nerve. Sure, I have a lot of nerve myself, but the difference between Frankie and I is that I have this thing called morals, this other thing called humanity, and this other thing called a brain.

(view spoiler)


(view spoiler)

I bet Ockler would have much better luck if she kept Matt alive and just did chick lit. (Because if this is chick lit, it really shouldn't be legal, and for the writing, not the themes.)

But maybe she'd screw that up too. -_____-"
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02/19/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Even when I don't agree with you, I have to admire your articulate arguments! I hope high school is going well!!!

message 2: by Briana (new)

Briana I absolutely agree with you 100%.

Ariie Chan Nicole wrote: "Even when I don't agree with you, I have to admire your articulate arguments! I hope high school is going well!!!"

Thanks Mrs. Laf!

Briana wrote: "I absolutely agree with you 100%."

Haha, why thank you!

message 4: by Ariie (last edited Dec 17, 2012 08:38PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ariie Chan Rickii wrote: "Your arguments are valid. I will admit that it was rude of Frankie to pressur Anna but Anna has a mind of her own and chose what she wanted to do. In my opinion this book was amazing one of the bes..."

I fail to see how my arguments are valid and yet invalid at the same time in the way you have presented them. Yes, a book contains words that contribute to a bigger picture, that much is certain, but I'm also sure that these pictures should actually have a point, or, at the very least, a semblance of one. I doubt my argument is invalid at all in that case; perhaps I am biased, but a lot of her descriptions really did go on for far too long.

As for Anna having her own mind, well... There are plenty of people that could make that argument, however, people being pressured to do things is a matter that is definitely not unheard of, and really, there's a difference between having a mind of your own and choosing what you want to do, and having a mind of your own and succumbing to pressure because you don't want to be looked at a certain way. Anna's decision was one that belonged to the second category.

Nonetheless, I guess I respect your opinion, although the only emotional thing about this book was my eyes threatening to lodge themselves so far in my skull I'd look like the Other Mother in Coraline without the button eyes. Oh, it broke my heart, that's for sure - I couldn't believe I was reading it. And my heart did get put back together when I realized I survived it.

However, I don't know about that sequel idea. I think I'd want to burn every copy.

Thanks for taking the time to tell me your opinion and not being totally rude about it though. So many people these days seem to be fond of blowing their top off out of nowhere. That gets you points. :D

Megan Pegasus Thanks for your honest and articulate review! I always really appreciate when people are able to express themselves exactly how they feel. And I also really like when people show me things that I didn't even think about and you did just that. Just wanted to say thanks and that you're a really good reviewer!

Ariie Chan Megan wrote: "Thanks for your honest and articulate review! I always really appreciate when people are able to express themselves exactly how they feel. And I also really like when people show me things that I d..."

Hey, thanks! I really, really appreciate that. :D

message 7: by Gabriela (new) - added it

Gabriela your review says simply everything I felt. thank you.

Heidi Oh gawd. Thank you for this review. I despised the fact that everyone loved it when I was crying with how horrible it was (i couldn't even finish it.)

Carolina Oh my God! Someone that finally completely understands me!

The part I hate the most was when Anna was thinking about her virginity.

All the paragraph was lame, and the total learning that the author tried to give us was: go and lose your virginity now. It doesn't matter. It will not change you. Is something simple. GO AND DO IT NOW!

And the thing that makes me sad, is that that learning is coming truth: the word virginity is loosing its value, and also the action, in the literature- fictitious or real world. I think the books could help undoing this. But here we have twenty boy summer, though.

message 10: by Jane (new)

Jane I had been about to read this, so thank you for saving me so much time! I absolutely hate books like these... :P blehh.. Great review, btw ^_^

Christina OMG you took the seriously irritated words right out of my mouth! Thank you!!! Another person who understands the depth of how.... I hate to say it (not really)... Terrible this book was! Woman after my own heart.

message 12: by Sarah (new) - rated it 1 star

Sarah thank you for writing this very detailed review which really took all the anger Inside of me because of this book on the other hand I agree with everything because really the book is the equivalent of a huge disappointement

Isolde Marie I totally agreeing with you in all the parts especially the v- card thing. much more with anna's scenes with sam, they way author portray sam with anna lacks closure and bonding with the two. i am getting the feeling sam is probably the kind of a minor character the girl is interacting with before she gets into the right guy, and matt reduce in to an excuse for anna to try not hooking up with sam.

Jenny I believed Anna and Matt's love story because A.They knew each other forever! B. Anna had a crush on him so it made it that much easier.

And the whole thing about not knowing what the book was about? Things can have more than one meaning. Frankie was a slut because that was how it changed her. It made her different and that's her. In the end, they are teens. And the two of them aren't going to perfect little angels, lets face the facts, nobody is. What did you want? did you want it to be a depressed book where Anna never had happiness? The thing is, Frankie was lost! And Anna took it upon herself to help her. when she needed to be helping herself.

Frankie was a bad friend. But when you have been friends since before you can talk, you get use to it. As Anna did. Frankie as i said is not a bad person. something bad happened to her and she handled it differently than some people would.

You are terrible mistaken. obliviously you didn't read the ending. The whole time Anna was depressed! she was keeping a secret she had a notebook that she was writing about all the time. Anna let go of the secret. She became a girl who was sucked into grieving from a girl who turned into someone who loved somebody that passed, than she learned to deal with it.

Lets not forget, if everyone was perfect in books, book would be boring. of course she is going to make mistakes. Just like every human being. And she isn't you.

You argument means nothing. You didn't give the book a chance or you read it to quickly. You just didn't like it because you only like one type of character which is the ones that are perfect in every way. Not trying to be mean, i have my opinions and i want people to read this cuz its a great book.

Alaska Rue Totally agree with you about the V-card thing. But I still think it was better than Twilight, haha

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