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Summer #1

The Boys of Summer

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Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

321 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 9, 2012

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About the author

C.J. Duggan

29 books1,160 followers
CJ Duggan is an internationally best-selling author of contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction. From small town dramas to big city dreamers, CJ’s coming-of-age tales are filled with hope and heart, and told by relatable protagonists with strong Australian voices.

A proud Yorta Yorta woman, CJ lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales. When she is not writing you will usually find her rearranging knick-knacks in her home office, or plotting the next weekend escape.

If you love ceramic owls, dusty-pink decor and old typewriters, then CJ wants to be your new best friend.

Follow C.J on her website: www.cjdugganbooks.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 476 reviews
Profile Image for Andie .
261 reviews372 followers
July 21, 2019
Even better the second time around! No it's not one of my favorite summer contemporaries, it is THE favorite! I can't begin to describe how much I love this book. It's one of those stories that sucks you in and next thing you know it's 3am and you've just finished the book in one sitting.

Everything about this book is perfect! Love the Australian setting. The characters, writing, romance, witty banter, was all great! And those Onslow Boys! Major heart eyes for every single one of them. You can't help but to love them all. There's not a single bad guy in the group. Just a bunch of good natured guys having fun. And that's what this book was, FUN!! I can't recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews748 followers
January 28, 2013
4.5 stars

Don’t you just love those nights where a book has you up until the early hours in the morning, when you have to go to work the next day really early but you just don’t care? The Boys of Summer was one of those books. It was fun, had a fresh summery vibe going on that has you aching for the vibrant summer days. I didn’t realise how much I needed a book like this until I picked it up.

The Boys of Summer did take me a while to get into, but bam as soon as the Onslow boys were introduced I knew there would be no going back for me. Tess had agreed with her best friends Adam and Ellie over the summer holidays to work at the Onslow hotel, it’s not how Tess had planned to be spending her summer, but her friends insisted it would be a whole lot of fun and plus at least she would be spending it with her best friends. But she didn’t expect Adam to be involved in a freak accident and be shipped off to his Nan’s for the summer holidays; neither did she expect Ellie to be infatuated with the Onslow boys. But Tess soon realises that there’s something which draws her to 22 year old Toby, despite him having a girlfriend and her acting like a moron in the hotel whenever he makes an appearance. Ellie knows she shouldn’t be hanging out with him and the rest of the boys. But Ellie and Tess promised to make this one summer they wouldn’t forget.

And what a summer it was! Despite the five year age gap I enjoyed every single moment the girls spent with the Onslow boys; Stan, Sean and Toby. They were such decent guys, never to take advantage of the girls, always respected them, but most of all showed them a fun time. Each one of the guys brought something different to the book, they had me in hysterics with their endless banter, brought a smile to my face with their double entendre messages especially from Sean, but most of all I felt like there was something missing when they weren’t around. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Tess was a great mc, she did occasionally over think things and then at other times rush into things without thinking things through. But things were always livelier and upbeat when the boys were around. But despite this book focusing on everyone having a good time, Duggan was also able to weave through a story of heartache. Duggan definitely was able to work with both aspects extremely well. It was awful watching Tess having to go through such a tough time, but the way Tess matured through the book and overcame these issues was done extremely well overall.

Duggan also had a habit of leaving you with a teasing sentence of what’s to come, I liked and didn’t like this aspect as most of the time it left an utter feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach of what could be around the corner.

Overall The Boys of Summer is a perfect example of what summers are meant to be about. With a fantastic set of characters, you will be missing out on a lot of fun by not picking this up.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,253 followers
February 14, 2014
STILL FREE! If you haven't grabbed it yet grab it now!

Tess has an ex-boyfriend from hell who bullies her and gave her a flat chested nick name. She lives in her best friend Ellie's shadow. When summer begins her friend Adam talks her into working at a restaurant instead of spending her time at the lake like she wanted. Tess's summer starts off rather bad and she is feeling down. The first 12% was a bit slow but sometimes slow beginnings are a necessary evil especially with this book. It gave me a chance to get to know Tess which really helped me understand her actions and feelings later on in the book.

As soon as she runs into Toby Morrison I was completely hooked. This was summer romance crack! So addicting and I just couldn't get enough of this one. Toby is Tess's lifelong crush but he is older and has a girlfriend. Toby and his friends nick named "The Onslow Boys" hang out at the restaurant where Tess and Ellie work. Tess and Ellie spend a lot of time hanging out with them and partying. It felt like one of my summers. I worked at a restaurant for my first job and definitely felt Tess's stress. But she gets to see "The Onslow Boys" so soon it's what she is looking forward to. If I had a group of hot boys hanging out at my restaurant it would have definitely made working more fun.

Toby was hard to read at first. I knew he had feelings for Tess and he dropped little hints. His girlfriend was a bit of a nightmare so eventually he does dump her but I guess I was hoping for it sooner. It was hard for me to watch Tess in pain but I felt Tess and Toby grow so much as friends first which always makes a relationship feel that much more real and special. The book dealt really honestly, realistically, and openly about sex and Tess losing her virginity. There was a lot of relationship insecurities though and that goes back to the beginning of the book. Tess still doesn't trust Toby wants her. Tess and Toby never had "The Talk" so Tess makes some mistakes but I always felt they were right and good for each other. Even though Toby is a little bit older it never bothered me.

Ellie was a fun best friend but she really bothered me at times. She was hiding so much but then when Tess didn't want to give her every little detail of her relationship she kind of blew up. Ellie does grow a lot during the book as well. I loved seeing each character grow and change over the summer. Ellie also begins dating one of The Onslow Boys and has her own journey to being confident in a relationship. Even though it was sad and aggravating watching the characters make these mistakes it felt real. First loves are full of a lot of confusion and insecurities. It is hard finding your way in making your first relationship work. I need to squeeze some talk about Sean in here. He was another Onslow Boy and even though the book never really takes a love triangle route I always loved him. He was so much fun and so sweet to Tess that at times I wanted something to happen with them. There were times when I thought something would happen and almost did but Tess's heart was always with Toby and that is where it belonged. The sequel will be a summer reunion four years in the future! I must say I am scared and excited to see where everyone ends up!

What do you say in times like this? "Thanks for last night"? "You were great"? "We should really do this again sometime"? "Thanks for taking my virginity"?
Not that one.

"For a brief moment, you made me believe that I was a somebody, that, above all, I wasn't like the other girls. And I'm not." I stepped forward, so he could hear me over the music. "I know it really doesn't seem that way. And it kills me that I let you down, that I did something so stupid because I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I don't want you thinking I am anything other than who I am, who you got to know this summer."
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Donna.
1,045 reviews558 followers
January 2, 2013
Going into The Boys of Summer I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard it was good but I’ve recently been in a bit of a reading slum where nothing seems to be grabbing my attention, so I was hoping this wasn’t going to be the same and you know what, it wasn't at all. The Boys of Summer was everything I was hoping it would be and more.

The Boys of Summer is a flirty, fun and fantastic read – it’s easily up there with the likes of Jenny Han’s series, The Summer I Turned Pretty and it’s one that captivated me from the start. The book is set in a small fictional town called Onslow and I thought the author did a fantastic job creating a world that was easily imaginable and one that was very appealing to the readers. It seemed like the perfect town and it makes me sad that I don’t have any of them by me.

Not only did the town appeal to me as a reader but, the characters did too and yes, mainly the boys….I loved them…all of them! Tess was also a great character, I could understand her hesitant to a lot of things because of the bullying at school but I believe she needed this summer to become a more confident person and to come out of her shell – and the Onslow boys definitely helped her with that.

All in all, if you’re looking for a lovable and intense read, then this is for you. CJ Duggan has convinced me she belongs in the contemporary market and I cannot wait to read more from her.
Profile Image for Anjana.
Author 3 books260 followers
December 26, 2012
I have spent almost a year looking for a book similar to Jenny Han's Summer Trilogy and I FINALLY found one..and it was even better! I loved, loved, LOVED The Boys of Summer! I devoured it in a single night. This is C. J. Duggan's debut novel, which pretty amazing because it sucked me right in!

Tess doesn't like to draw attention to herself, she prefers being in the background, have fun with her two best friends and drift through high school. However the summer before Year 12, everything changes. Forced by her two best friends, Tess reluctantly takes up a summer job at a local bar in the little town of Onslow and ends up having the best summer of her life.

C. J. Duggan has created an incredibly special, charming town and filled it with fun, lovable characters. I swear, this book just made me wish Onslow was real.
The Boys of Summer is full of humour, all about friendship, first times and of course, boys. I cannot stop gushing about this story, the characters and especially the writing. For me, this wasn't just another read. The Boys of Summer really made an impression because I felt like I lived through that summer and experienced everything right there with Tess. I even felt butterflies in my stomach (yes, over fictional boys and moments), that's how much I was into it!

The Boys of Summer is a must-read for anyone who loves contemporary romance and is definitely one of the best new adult books I've read this year! Believe me, it's all kinds of wonderful and you shouldget this now!

P.S. Australian writers are the best! I can't wait to read more from C. J. Duggan!
Profile Image for Anatea Oroz.
302 reviews515 followers
April 29, 2016
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

When I started The Boys of Summer I expected it to be a sweet New Adult novel with interesting characters and a cute romance. I'm happy to say it was all I hoped it would be.

The book focuses on three friends, Tess, Adam and Ellie and how they spend their summer before their 12th year at High School. While Adam and Ellie are really excited about their summer job at the local Onslow Hotel, Tess isn't quite fond of the idea. But as they start working, they meet The Onslow Boys and her long time crush Toby, Tess finds herself enjoying the job and the time she spends with them.

What I loved the most about this books are the characters and their relationship. C.J. Duggan spent a lot of time developing each and every one of them. Not only Tess, Ellie, Adam and the Onslow Boys, but also other secondary characters too. While Tess, Ellie and Adam have quite different personalities, they do have a strong friendship and they care about each other.
Tess is a little insecure about herself and it was amazing to see how much she changed during the novel. Ellie was outgoing and bubbly and she was the one who encouraged Tess to do most things she normally wouldn't. Adam was a bit of a clown. No matter what he did or said, I always found myself laughing or giggling. The Onslow Boys, even though a few years older, accepted them and never treated them like naive High School kids.

The romance was sweet, and while Ellie and Stan hit it off pretty quickly, Tess and Toby took time while something between happened. It was never dull or boring and I found myself really enjoying it.

To sum it up, The Boys of Summer is a perfect summer read and I think fans of Jenny Han would really enjoy it. I look can't wait to read the next book in the series and I'm happy I'll be reading it in summer.

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Profile Image for Jenn.
1,016 reviews245 followers
February 10, 2014
4 Onslow Boys Stars
MA-YA genre

What I loved:
1. The Onslow Boys: Toby, Stan and Sean.
2. Humor
3. Adam & Ellie. Great set of BFFs.
4. The building of Toby and Tess' relationship. Friendship, flirting to acting upon things to couple status.
5. The author did a good job at making you feel different things for Tess when it came to: the teasing/harassment/bullying, shyness around boys, her feelings for Toby, her confusions towards what was going on between her and Toby, her insecurities, her humiliations, her anger with her friends, to finally her feelings for when they were together.
6. I liked that this was a type of "forbidden" romance between a 17 yr old and a 22 yr old.
7. The ending & epilogue.
Profile Image for Evie.
712 reviews925 followers
February 19, 2013
First reaction: Absolutely delightful! Sweet, sexy and hot, but also thoughtful, funny and clever! One of the best romantic stories I've read since Stealing Parker and Pushing The Limits!
Full review to come!

Full Review:
**WARNING: This review might contain spoilers and an unhealthy dose of rave*

The Boys of Summer is a wonderful example of just how deliciously sexy, sweet and charming summer fling books can be! A book that gives you goose-bumps, makes you swoon over its incredibly handsome male cast, gets you hooked on the clever plot line and, ultimately, sends you out feeling all warm inside, satisfied and with a wide smile on your face.

It's summer and all that seventeen-year-old Tess really feels like doing is hanging out at the lake with her besties, Adam and Ellie. Her version of a perfect summer break includes soaking up the sun, swimming in the cool water, partying and having a fun time with her friends. Her friends, though? Well, they have something entirely different in mind! When Adam and Ellie come up with the idea of getting a summer job at the local hotel (the Onslow Hotel), Tess does not share their excitement. Last thing she wants is to slave away the precious summer days at a dingy hotel, trying to overcome her shyness and social awkwardness to make a few bucks. And the last thing she expects to find there is a new social circle, exciting late-night parties and.. love. What can I say? Life can be full of surprises sometimes!

Let me start by saying that all the characters in this book are great! The chemistry between them - and not only between Toby and Tess, but also between the secondary cast - is charged with incredible energy, sparkly and spine-tingling. I love summer flings, for they are always so exciting, so light and fluffy. Simply delicious to devour. The Boys of Summer is all that, yes, but it's also so much more than just an entertaining little book. It's clever, thought-provoking and it touches on more serious topics, including losing one's virginity, dealing with social/peer pressure, staying true to oneself and the people around you, all the while trying to figure out if following your heart is the right choice. I especially loved the fact that all the secondary characters were developed with just as much care as the lead ones. I must admit, I strongly disliked Tess' best friend, Ellie, at least for the most part of the book (until I learned more about her motives). She was overly confident, too loud and nosy, and quite self-centred. Not to mention that she appeared to be sleeping around. A lot. At times, she also seemed to be very judgemental towards Tess and I thought that was very hypocritical of her. But then I learned more about Ellie and begun to understand her better. I still can't say that I liked her a whole lot, though (I understand where she was coming from, but don't necessarily sympathize with her motives and intentions), and I feel that she could've handled things better. But hey, her character really adds to the story and the subplot gains a lot of depth thanks to her presence. Plus, the strong, unbreakable friendship between Ellie, Tess and Adam is one of the things I really loved about this book. I loved watching them interact, it reminded me of my own group of friends back from when I was a teenager! Their dialogues (full of inside jokes) were quirky and genuinely hilarious, and the way they supported and completed one another was sweet and heart-warming. In similar way, I loved reading about the Onslow boys and the brotherly bond between them. They were not only hot, disarmingly charming and funny, but also mature, honest and caring. And it's all the little details that C.J. Duggan included in the story that made me love and respect them in the end. So even though a guy breaking up with his girlfriend to be with another girl would usually make me wary, I didn't feel that way in Toby's case. I thought he handled the situation with grace and sensitivity, and I admired him for that. There were moments when his hot-and-cold attitude would throw me off a bit, but once you get to the end and all the cards are laid out, you see him in a totally different light. This book is full of those "Ohhh.. I see now!" moments that turn your perception of certain things and people around. The story is so well thought out, it's impossible not to admire Duggan's plotting skills.

With great energy, fresh summer atmosphere, style and humor, The Boys of Summer is one intoxicating and heart-warming novel. The pages are filled with warm sun, fresh summer breeze, hot sand, sweet uncertainty and shy kisses. The sexual tension is ever-present, though every make-out/sex scene is described tastefully, almost magically (because summer love is nothing short of magical!).

I could go on and on about how amazing, sweet and well-written this book is, but in the end all it comes down to is: You have to get your own copy, like, ASAP. You have to experience this story on your own, meet all the fantastic characters, come to your own conclusions about things. You simply have to read The Boys Of Summer and take this wonderful, mood-lifting and blush-worthy journey yourself. And I'm sure you will love it as much as I did!
Profile Image for Lesley.
528 reviews108 followers
December 16, 2012
I stayed up until 2:37am to finish The Boys of Summer to say I was gripped would be a massive understatement. I swooned, I cried, I laughed and then I swooned a little bit more. At 70% I had to physically put it down to wipe away a little tear after shouting a gigantic "Noooooo!!" at my poor kindle. I loved it, and then I loved it some more.

A real coming of age story, Tess has lived in the shadow of her gorgeous boy crazy BFF Ellie and cool but thoroughly likeable Adam. Tess is hoping that a lazy and fun filled summer will let her forget about the cruel torments from moron ex-boyfriend Scott. Instead, Adam talks Tess and Ellie into working at Onslow hotel where they will be at the mercy of posh tourists and excessive dish washing before he breaks his arm and finds himself packed off to his Nan's house. To Tess the summer looks utterly bleak until the Onslow boys arrive at the hotel's pool room. Tess has crushed on Toby Morrison since forever, but he has a perky blonde girlfriend and Tess has always happily blended into the scenery. But with Onslow Boys Tobey, Stan, Sean and Ringer around Tess's life as a wall flower will change forever and she will never forget this summer. Filled with humour, flirtyness and some seriously heart breakingly good romantic moments The Boys of Summer absolutely blew me away, it's a must read.

My initial thoughts after finishing The Boys of Summer were something along the lines of "I wonder how much exactly an airfare to Australia is?" because I want to live in a town like Onslow (even though I know in my head it's a made up Aussie town). I also want Tess's sense of humour and her ability to deliver the best one liners ever "Remember, boys, hands off your nuts." made me honestly, snort with laughter. Her ability to initially blurt out unintentionally suggestive comments around the Onslow boys which resulted in her cringing even more inside made me love her even more. I also want a best pal like Adam who's adorable and totally on Tess's side, his emails back and forth to Tess had me laughing out loud. I really did want to kick Tess's ex-boyfriend the truly cruel and spineless Scott right up the backside. But most of all, I want an Onslow boy of my own. I really, really wanted to steal head Onslow boy Toby E Morrison because he is undoubtedly the most swoon worthy character I've read in ages. New book boyfriend? why yes, I think so.

Self published by C.J. herself, The Boys of Summer is polished, beautifully written and full of heart. I've loved C.J.'s style of writing since I discovered her on the interwebz, her blog posts are always full of win ranging from her journey as a writer to hilarious posts about her guilty pleasures such as the love of pretty cushions for decorative effect to the crane move in Karate Kid. C.J. has transferred her witty conversational style and ability to tell the most amazing story into her debut novel The Boys of Summer. As a reader I could absolutely picture Onslow in my head, those lazy summer bike rides, swimming at the lake and the towns fireworks display and I thought the supporting characters she created (not just the Onslow boys although I did love them the most!) really added to the story. I have to say though I'm really hoping C.J. writes Sean's story I loved him to bits!

The Boys of Summer is now up there as one of my favourite Aussie YA books alongside Melina Marchetta's Saving Francesca and Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon and it absolutely deserves to be there. If I could give it a squillion stars I would. It's a must read.

Profile Image for Sylvia .
431 reviews116 followers
March 10, 2013
I won this and can't wait to get it!! EEEEPPPP


Okay, after my initial shock of winning this book I was eager to get stuck into it, not really knowing what it was about and who this author was. And then, as I began to read it I was so taken aback by the fact that it was was written by a fellow Aussie! I was so excited to read it even more and I was suddenly laughing out loud and whisked back into the 90's (ahem yes, that's my high school years LOL). This book is so much fun and I loved that I could totally relate to it on so many levels. The slang and witty banter was effortless and the Aussie culture was so evident. It is marvellous to read books by Aussie authors. I swear, my hubby kept looking over at me and wondering why I was grinning and laughing so much. I kept telling him that this is so Aussie LOL and he knew what I meant. Any Aussie who read this would know exactly why I would think it.

The Boys of Summer is set in a rural town called Onslow. A town where there is one main street, one petrol station, one pub/hotel, where all the locals hang out and have fun. Any typical rural town in Australia. So, it's not very unusual that high schoolers hang out with an older crowd! Hey, even in our suburbs here we tended to do that also. Anyways, Tess, our reserved and shy main character, has just finished Year 11 and wants nothing else but to just chill out all summer with her two best friends, Adam and Ellie (the supposed easy girl in school). Until, they both convinced her that it would be better if they worked instead. She reluctantly agrees to being a waitress at the Onslow Hotel, but if it meant earning some cash and hanging out with her friends, she would do it. Never in her wildest dreams would it be absolutely life changing on so many levels. She would finally emerge into the young woman she was always meant to be. No longer was she the wallflower she worked hard to be, but the brash and confident Tess who had even her crush, the older and sexy Toby Morrison, noticing her, for all the right reasons. I loved how their relationship was full of flirtatious banter and subtle tenderness. And when it was hot, it really was hot...nom nom nom!! Toby was reserved in his own right, but so confident at the same time, without going overboard. In fact, he is your typical Aussie young man and I liked that!

I really enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend that everyone take a chance and dive into a book that will take you to another place that captures the life of your average teenager in a rural town in Australia. The daggy parents, the slaggy best friend, the flip flops, the dry humping in the back of a ute (LOL several times over at the dry humping), the music of the 90's and the mere mention of Monkey Magic made me crack up laughing...I love the many references to Pop Culture of that time. Take a chance on an Aussie book, you will love discovering all of this, I know I loved remembering it. Can't wait to read the next instalment!
Profile Image for Marie.
Author 20 books847 followers
July 17, 2013
This review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.

*I originally rated this book 4.5 stars because it seemed a bit long, but as I wrote my review I realized it really deserves 5 stars because it was pretty damn perfect*

For months, I saw tons of bloggers talking about The Boys of Summer and how amazing it was. I was so intrigued, I bought myself a copy and bumped it up on my tbr list. With all the elements that make contemporary YA my favourite genre, I can honestly say The Boys of Summer is one of my favourite books I’ve read in awhile.

The last thing Tess wanted to do was spend her summer working, but her best friend Adam convinced her and their other bestie, Ellie, that it would be great for the three of them to work together at his uncle’s hotel and restaurant. When she discovers that her long-time crush, Toby, hangs out at the bar with his friends, things begin to change for Tess. During the course of that summer, Toby and the Onslow Boys change her life.

I loved Tess. Loved her. I related to her in so many ways - she was shy, nervous, awkward, unsure of herself. She was worried about messing up or upsetting people, so she kept her head down and basically tried to be invisible. Her voice was so authentic, and I found her a very real and relatable character. I loved watching her growth. She went from letting people walk all over her - including her best friend Ellie - to learning to stand up and speak up for herself. Her transformation over the summer was beautiful to watch.

Then there was Toby. Oh Toby. He was so incredibly swoonworthy. He was about as perfect as a book boy can get without actually being perfect. He had this quiet, understated way about him that made you wonder what he was thinking. I loved his and Tess’s interactions, from the first uncertain moments to the sweet, swoon-inducing moments to the totally steamy, sexy moments. I felt like they weren’t your typical contemporary YA couple, and I loved that.

One thing I look for in books but often find lacking is development of secondary characters. Duggan did a fantastic job in that respect. From Tess’s best friends to the Onslow Boys to the other workers at the hotel, I felt like we got to know all the characters. I really liked Tess’s best friend Adam (he was absolutely hilarious and so cute), and while her other best friend Ellie drove me bonkers at first and made me angry on several occasions, I actually ended up liking her. It was nice to see that not only were the secondary characters fleshed out, they also had some development along with Tess.

The Boys of Summer is the perfect summer (or any time) read. It’s about so many different things - friendship, family, first love, self-discovery. It’s sexy and funny and romantic and swoonworthy and touching. If you’re a fan of mature contemporary YA/NA, The Boys of Summer is a must read.
Profile Image for Sharon L.
595 reviews89 followers
January 9, 2016
This was a really quick sweet slightly nostalgic read.

Tess and Toby's story was sweet and cute and swoony and a little heartbreaking. I really loved the friendships in this book and The Onslow Boys (I want one....)

Huh, summer bliss.

*Off my merry way to read the rest of series. see U around ;)*
Profile Image for Farah.
361 reviews502 followers
January 7, 2013
I was really anxious to read this book as it sounded good. Its actually a teeny bopper book (excuse my phrase.

A whole lot of pages on a 17 year old girl who has almost a life long crush on a 22year old boy named Tobias (this name TOTALLY put me off!!!!!! )
I seriously don't know where was the authors mind when she thought of the characters names. lol- Tobias Ernst HAHAHAHHA!!

Anyway, the entire story is about Tess who starts a summer job at a bar and she gets noticed by Toby. After alot of 'intimate stares' and some flirting and their new found friendship, Toby breaks up with his girlfriend and starts something with Tess.

Then she gives him her Virginity on his old couch and doesnt tell him shes a virgin. As this is Young adult offcourse everything in this book is PG.

There is some confusion betweeen them and she thinks he cheated on her with his ex and she kisses and dry humps his friend till he comes in his pants (hahahahahhahahhaha!!!)

Offcorse Toby finds out and is pissed and breaks up with her. Typical teen- thinks her world is over but its understandable as she liked him forever.

Well... there is a happy ever after, Toby is supposed to leave for a job but doesnt because he wants to be with her and as they say the rest is history....

This is not a bad book if you are about 15 years old.
For anyone older then 15, its a waste of time....
Profile Image for Sara.
941 reviews18 followers
June 24, 2017
This was such a cute, summertime in Australia, fun story. Tess is a 17 year old girl that has been finagled by her friends, Adam and Ellie, into working the summer weekends at the Onslow hotel restraunt.little does she know what the summer has in store for her. Her and Ellie are soon introduced to, and hanging out with who they refer to as the Onslow Boys. And one of them just happens to be Tess' long time crush. After a boat trip, some weekend parties, and an unfortuate bike mishap, Tess and her crush, Toby, start falling more and more for each other. But there are obstacles like a crazy girlfriend, that do not make it easy. This all made for an entertaining love story.

I loved the characters and the friendships and relationships that developed in the story. Tess was pretty funny with her mishaps, and there was fun banter going on with different friends. And I fell in love with the boys. Especially Toby. At one point I almost changed my mind about him, but he pulled through for me in the end. I do wish there was more story for Adam and Sean. I feel like I need their stories of finding love, too. Especially since the author made me love them, too. Great book for older teens.

351 reviews13 followers
December 11, 2012
Super easy read, just what I needed on a hot summer day :)
Was not heavy in drama, or depressing at all.. so if you are looking for a pretty light hearted, humorous, easy going, (teensy bit of angst/drama) book then this is for you.

Sometimes you need a book that is not heavy in a drama and pointless incidents, but a good solid young adult book and I was not disappointed. I laughed, I gasped, I fanned myself, I teen girl'd squealed, I sighed, I grinned.. i did it all.

Great summer book to sink your teeth into !
I give it a solid 4/5!
Profile Image for Mackenzie.
38 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2014
I'm pretty sure that this book was worth 5 stars. I was disappointed that I didn't get into it quicker, it took I think around 5 chapters before I was totally into it and couldn't get enough! While reading this book I had a few emotions mostly stuck their the whole way through. Ok I was becoming jealous of little Tess, I was so upset at Toby and at Sean, I was laughing at the awkwardness of Tess and Toby and Sean and Ellie and everyone but most of all I was just relieved and that was the best feeling. The only fault I can come by would be the way that the writer had spaces between events, like a few pages would be on the Sunday night shift at the Hotel Tess work at and then next minute it was Thursday night or something like that.

Also, the sex scenes are...not descriptive...but purely plain awkward. Just...um...I'm so glad it wasn't me...ahaha!

Boring and bullied Tic-Tac-Tess gets forced into a stupid summer job as a dish-pig/clumsy waitress at the local pub. When her best friends bail on her physically and mentally her hope of having an awesome summer banishes. But that's when she met Toby hot-body-mechanic Morrison. Ok so now I have read 2 books with the male attraction being a mechanic. Is this a hint? Or..?

Now that Tess meets her fantasy crush she has known since she was in grade 6 and he was in grade 12. I know. But along their amazing journey they encountered a heart braking, girlfriend dumping, friend betraying summer that physically makes and brakes Tess and Toby.
“Just be careful, hon,” Rosanna said.
“Oh, are the plates hot?” I flinched back just before my hands made contact.
Rosanna laughed. “No, but hot boys can burn you just as easily."


Toby Morrison

Shut up about this, I did think Adam was hot...


Pretty parker a.k.a Ellie
I'm pretty sure that she is really pretty - wow no pun intended...

So my rating was obviously was going to be a 4 because I couldn't really give a 5, it wasn't in me to do so. But seriously, it is an amazing book and I really would read it, but please, only read if you can stand mild language and a bit of dry-humping/sex. Its not descriptive at all :)
Stay Lovely xo,
Profile Image for Eunice.
255 reviews527 followers
March 18, 2013
3.75 stars

(Join giveaway HERE.)

I wouldn't have read this right away if I haven't been part of the blog tour which I actually forgot I signed up for until I, to my surprise, received a schedule for a tour stop. Haha! Yeah, it was during the few weeks before my practicum ended and my blogging schedule was really a mess. But now, I'm so glad I am part of this tour and that I'll be able to share you how much I enjoyed this book because The Summer Boys is definitely a very lovely read!

It's been quite a while since the last time I read a summer book. The Boys of Summer was definitely a good way to start with them. A lot of my GR friends have enjoyed this very much so I was really excited to start this. And to realized that this book isn't just some ordinary contemporary book, but a summer read, set in Australia, in the 90's (!) is definitely a very very good treat and encouragement to read this book.

The characters of this book are very fascinating to read about. Every one of them complimented each other and made this book shine and stand out. They carried the story very well and have provided so much amusement and laughter in me. Tess was a fantastic MC. The development and changes she'd gone through with the help of her friends and the Onslow boys and how she realized and learned things about herself were very admirable. She had her frustrating moments too but I'm glad how she reflected on it in the end.

The Onslow boys are the gem of this book! Haha! They just made this book feel more summery and light. Full of easy banters, teasing and laughter. Even with the age difference they had with Ellie and Tess they treated them with so much respect. They treated them like equal and not like they're just some naive teenage girls but still took great care of them.

After reading this I felt like I just had my own summer in Onslow! I enjoyed going through different experiences Tess, Ellie, Adam and the Onslow Boys had in their summer. The friendship they formed and the lessons they learned with it was wonderful. The romantic build-up between Toby and Tess too was really sweet. Although I think the conflict around the last part felt a bit too dramatic and frustrating, I'm glad how they pass through with it and how it strengthened more their relationship.

This book is such a lovely summer read. I would gladly recommend this to everyone! Read this. :)

Thank you YA Bound and C.J. Duggan for providing me a copy of this book.

This review is also posted at Book Overdose.
Profile Image for Annie Brewer.
Author 15 books761 followers
January 20, 2014
Can I just say, I'M. IN. LOVE.!!! Like seriously! I loved everything about this book. I'm so giddy right now, I can't even sit still. This story was everything I look for in a romance book. I loved the characters. I loved the humor. I loved the writing style. I loved the romance. I loved it all. I just have this huge ass grin on my face and I'm glad no one can see it cause it looks pretty fucking ridiculous.

Tess, Toby, Stan, Sean, Ellie, Adam, Chris and Ringer were just amazing characters. They each were different and apart from the other. I could always distinguish who they are and I loved that they were different and had their own shit going on.

Tess, Ellie and Adam were best friends for years. They're going on their last year of high school. It's Summer and they're working at the Onslow hotel, where they interact with the 'Onslow Boys' as Ellie calls them. When Adam gets in trouble for getting a little too crazy one night after their shift, he's sent to his Nan's house in the city-leaving Tess and Ellie alone to carry on without him. It's Tess's first job and she's a bit of a clutz and has been walking in Ellie's perfectly beautiful shadow for so long. But this summer, everything changes.

The Onslow boys; Toby, Stan, Sean and Ringer are all about 22 years old. But they find the likes of Tess and Ellie and make it a weekly habit of taking up residence in the Onslow pool room, where they get more acquainted with the girls. Stan and Ellie get together, and things are great and then awkward and filled with unnecessary games (which I really wanted to shake the shit out of Ellie at one point....for fucking with Stan's heart). But eventually, she gets her shit together and everything's groovy again. For the most part.
Tess has secretly crushed on Toby for ages. But he's 5 years older...and has a bitchy girlfriend, who I wanted to sucker-punch in the vag. Anyway, eventually after many encounters with Tess, Toby realizes what a catch she is, compared to the ape he's dating. And finally-does something about it. Well hallelujah! Way to go Toby Morrison. You finally listened to me.

But things happen, and shit hits the fan and all is lost again....

Poor Tess, though I felt bad for Toby too. But then...my heart ached for Sean as well. I honestly thought I felt a love-triangle coming on. But felt relieved when it was short-lived. I have to say though, at times I loved Sean more than Toby. Only because he was so cryptic and hard to read in the beginning. But when he finally opened up and changed, my heart was racing so much. He was such a sweet guy and very respectful.

I don't want to go into the what happened, because honestly? I think everyone should read it. This book was just the perfect mix of EVERYTHING. I didn't want it to end. I love these characters something fierce. I loved the fact that this author is Aussie and she used a lot of Aussie slang (which some might have confused me at times and I had to think hard on what it meant. But thankfully after having many Aussie friends, I figured it out. Yep, I'm smart!). I loved Tess as the main character. Her thoughts were so funny and spot-on to the point of me laughing out loud and nodding my head, knowing I'd have done the same being in her shoes. In the beginning, Scott her ex was a complete asshole and I wanted to tear his face off. But thankfully she had Adam and Ellie to back her up and they were always there for her. Also, Ellie did piss me off at times but I still thought she was a pretty damn good best friend. We can't all be perfect and she owned up to her mistakes, not just with Stan but with Tess too. I wondered a few times if Adam was gay, which I totally would have still loved him. But he didn't ever really have a girlfriend. I think he was a good guy and deserved to be with someone too. He did come back from his Nan's house before the summer was over and I just was waiting for someone to come into his life and sweep them off his feet. Or for him to sweep her off her feet. Whichever. But it never happened. Sean was incredible. He was so damn loyal...actually all the Onslow boys were loyal to each other. They were best friends and their quick and witty banter had me in fits of laughter throughout. I love those boys.

I can't effing wait for Sean's book next. I gotta read a couple other books first, but soon I'll be delving back into the world of the Summer Boys!

Great first book! I am sooooo glad I finally read this. I'd been eyeing it for months. Yay! I found a series I'm gonna be revisiting with all the characters. I can't wait. I know I said that already, but I'm so flipping happy. Seriously, this kind of book reminds me of the Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han and that's a favorite of mine. Love love loved this book! So go read it, cause you'll fall in love...with Toby, Sean, Stan and Ringer. And also Tess! I loved her!
Profile Image for Angela Chen.
128 reviews25 followers
December 23, 2012
A 'T' for Tess, a 'T' for Toby.

If a book is able to keep you up until 3 AM to finish reading, then it's a worthy book to read and definitely a must-read! Well, this book is totally amazing!!! I can say it's one of the best summer reads. God, I'm still having Toby withdrawals.


It started with Tess, Ellie and Adam, three best friends of all time, got a job at the Onslow Hotel. Tess, seventeen-year-old, is a shy girl, often terrified of everything and tends to just follow Ellie around. Every weekend, the Onslow Boys; Toby, Sean, Stan and Ringer, hang out at the poolroom in the bar. Turns out Toby is Tess' first love! They eventually get to know each other, spend some time together, and as Tess becomes more mature, her feelings get deeper too. And bam, never did Tess thought that this will be her best summer ever.

C. J. Duggan seriously deserves a four-thumbs-up.

The plot of the story from the beginning until the end is very well-planned. Never once did it make me get bored and skim through it like some books do. I read every single detail of it and relishing the feelings it made me feel. This book is guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, shudder in a good way (lol!), upset, heart-broken, and even cry! I haven't cried so hard over a book in months.


I love the dynamic characters of this book.
Tess who was once a shy and not-so-outgoing girl, turns into a confident, mature, and beautiful woman. I love watching the process.
Ellie who craves attention (especially boys'!), is a very good friend to Tess. And although at the near end of the book she did something unexpected, she finally is able to come clean and be honest with herself and her best friends.
Adam is the wise one, who cheers Tess up, who gives Tess really good advice when it comes to boys, and oh my God! I wish I had a guy best friend like him! I love how he stands by Tess through anything, no matter what.

And for the Onslow Boys...
Toby, (let me breathe in and out for a moment), is one of the famous Onslow Boys, who is really hot, sexy, funny and really mysterious and unreadable at first! My curiosity got the better of me I couldn't put the book down. I love his gestures of affection towards Tess, (God, please let me find a boyfriend like him later on in life, description), (coughs) and how he takes care of her and even saves the damsel in distress on a few occasions! You will love him like Tess does.
Sean, a nice guy, outgoing, witty, and sexy, is a reliable one. I think he kind of has a crush on Tess in the book (even a little bit), or either he's being a great friend who's there when you need him. In any case, he's a guy you will never regret knowing.
As for Stan and Ringer, equally hot, and obviously a catch, they don't appear a lot in this book so I can't really describe their personalities but I hope in the second book C.J. elaborates more about them! :)

I can't wait for the release of the sequel to this series in 2013! (marks my calendar for its release)
A little bit about the next book:
It’s Summer time 4 years on.
And EVERYONE’S coming home.

OH MY GOD. What's going to happen after 4 years? And who are coming home?!
Keep your eyes glued for its release date, mates!

I think this is the longest review I've ever written.
I'm ending it here, so make sure you get your hands on The Boys of Summer ASAP!!
Cheers, C.J.!
Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews369 followers
July 27, 2016
Not many books have been able to equal the love I have towards Anna and the French Kiss (So far only Jenny Han's Summer Trilogy did). The Boys of Summer is added to this list now. It is an understatement when I say that I loved this book. I didn't only love this book, I inhaled it and devoured it in a single night. Yup, I messed up my sleeping pattern because I stayed up all night reading it. Every time I would say "This is the last chapter" I get too obsessed to what might happen next and dive into another one.


The story is set in the summer, my favorite contemporary setting right now. Tess gets riled into a summer job by her two best friends, Adam and Ellie. That is why she finds herself at the Onslow Hotel as a waitress that can't seem to even be able to work that monstrous coffee machine. However the upside of working there soon shows up, in the form of Toby Morrison. Tess has been crushing on Toby ever since she can remember but he is much older than her; she's seventeen and he's twenty two. In all honesty I loved the age gap, because as a twenty two year old myself, I find a romance more believable if the guy is older, plus the guys are more mature at that age, something every reader will notice when reading The Boys of Summer.
What made this book different from usual contemporaries are all the secondary characters. Tess's best friends, and Toby's friends who were labeled as the "Onslow Boys" by Ellie, causing a rather embarrassing situation when the boys find that out *snickers*, were all amazing. I wouldn't mind reading companion novels for each one of these secondary characters because the author gives us hints of their backgrounds, problems, and issues that make you want to know more! Now, when both sides get introduced, you instantly feel the tension between Toby and Tess and the readers are put in more tension because Toby actually has a girlfriend. So imagine all those mixed signals that Tess seems to be getting. I loved every single minute and page of it. It reminded me a bit of the movie "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging" which is a british chick flick movie that I love. I seem to love british and Australian contemporary novels and movies huh? Yes, The Boys of Summer is actually set in Australia and I loved the unfamiliar setting.
Back to the Onslow Boys.. There is Toby, Sean, Stan, and Chris. Though we get the most time with Toby and Sean; Sean is the comic relief of this novel.. the flirtatious guy that is fun to be around. I loved Sean, but don't worry, there isn't an actual love triangle so you guys can let out a sigh of relief. Tess was a fabulous protagonist, she is a girl with a major crush on a guy that she somehow ends up hanging out with.. a lot. So imagine all the awkwardness, blushing, stammering and embarrassing thoughts and situations she gets herself into.. especially with a friend like Ellie who seems set on "Operation Toby Morrison".
I honestly couldn't put this book down. It was everything I could think about for the next couple of days after finishing it. Even now I have a sudden urge to re-read it. Something that only happens with Anna and the French Kiss and The Summer trilogy by Jenny Han. Honestly? This book is on my top three favorite contemporary YA books, a genre that I have read countless books from. The Boys of Summer is the perfect book to bring out the inner girl in you in the sense that you can't stop giggling, fanning yourself, and gasping at the hotness of the guys and the chill, summer feel of the book. I would recommend it to all contemporary lovers; I honestly believe everyone would find something they will love in this book. I can't wait for the second installment in this novel. CJ Duggans, you rock! Keep on writing these amazing novels.

In the Hall of Contemporary Fame for me!
Profile Image for Christy LoveOfBooks.
842 reviews567 followers
July 26, 2016
I am so in love with this book! I can’t even tell you how glad I am that I read The Boys of Summer. This is one of those rare books that I tried to make last as long as possible because I didn’t want it to end. Everything about this book was brilliant: the characters, the setting, the romance, the friendships. This is without a doubt one of my favorite reads of 2013.

C.J. Duggan played all the emotions in The Boys of Summer perfectly. I smiled, my heart hurt, I cried, I laughed, and I did some major swooning. And it felt so easy and natural. Nothing about this book felt forced or out of place; everything connected and flowed beautifully.

It’s the summer before senior year, and Tess wants to spend it having lazy lake days with her two best friends, Ellie and Adam. Adam, though, has other plans. He talks the girls into working with him in the restaurant at the Onslow Hotel. The job is dreadful, but things look up when she discovers that a group of local guys dubbed “The Onslow Boys” are regulars. Especially one boy in particular: Toby. It turns out to be a summer Tess will never forget. It took me back to the summer before my senior year, which to this day was the best summer of my life. So I definitely felt a strong connection to this book.

The story is told from Tess’s perspective, a 17 year old girl who just wants to blend in and fly under the radar. Unfortunately, her douchey ex-boyfriend keeps putting her in a very unflattering spotlight. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Tess all that much because she seemed so meek and didn’t stick up for herself, but it didn’t take long for me to totally love the girl. I felt protective of her, and proud of how her self-confidence grew throughout the book.

I adored Tess’s best friends, Ellie and Adam. Ellie has a very outgoing and flirtatious personality. She’s a bit boy crazy and I didn’t agree with how she handled a few things, but I totally got it. Tess isn’t the only one who grew over the summer, though. Ellie definitely went through some changes, too, and that made me like her even more. And Adam, oh how I love this boy! He’s the perfect guy friend, and he’s funny as hell. The messages exchanged between Tess and Adam were some of my favorite parts of the book. I need more of him.

Then there are the Onslow Boy: Stan, Sean, Ringer, and of course Toby. This is a great set of guys. Not only are they swoony, but they are the kind of guys that are fun to hang out with. I loved that none of them were jerks, and were just a group of great guys. You can’t help but to love them all. I laughed so hard when Toby first encounters Tess in the book, because it’s so the type of thing I’d do. I think it’s safe to say that I loved all of the characters immensely. Well, except for Angela, she’s a nasty witch. Oh, and Scott, he can jump off a cliff. I had a tiny bit of sympathy for him by the end, though. Very tiny.

I know that what I wrote doesn’t come close to conveying how much I loved this book. I don’t just love The Boys of Summer. I’m in love with it. So do I recommend it? Without a doubt! I am counting down the days until July, so I get my hands on An Endless Summer, the second book in the Summer series. And the cool thing is An Endless Summer takes place 4 years after The Boys of Summer.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
April 8, 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book as a gift.)
17-year-old Tess is hoping for a lazy summer when her best friend Adam talks her and their other friend Ellie into working at his uncle’s bar/restaurant - The Onslow Hotel. Knowing that it’s the only way she’ll get to see her best friends over the summer, Tess agrees, only for Adam to then back out of the deal!

Tess and Ellie start work, and Tess is excited and nervous to find Toby Morrison playing pool in the bar, Tess has loved Toby since the first time she saw him as a child, and spending time with him would be amazing; if it wasn’t for his nasty girlfriend Angela.

It seems that Toby has similar feelings for Tess though, and suddenly working over the summer doesn’t seem so bad with Toby hanging around.
Can Tess and Toby be together though? And can they be more than a summer fling?

I really enjoyed this book, it was fun and sweet and intoxicating!

I loved how normal Tess was, and how she didn’t realise how attractive she had become. She was such a nice person and such a good friend to Ellie and Adam, and I really wanted things to work out for her!

The romance between Tess and Toby was slow-building and sweet. I was desperate for them to admit their feelings and get together, and the suspense was sweet torture!

I liked the storyline in this book, and I was glad that a lot of the usual clichés were missing. This would be a great summer holiday read!

Overall; a great YA contemporary romance, fun and sweet and recommended!
8 out of 10.
Profile Image for Abby .
141 reviews
March 16, 2013
this book really gave me goosebumps and made me laugh and cry and everything! best of all it was australian! yaay first ever book from my own country! ahha
the cover of this book was also really cute and i have not wanted a second book this much and cannot wait to read the next serioulsy!

1. i loved tess's and toby's characters so much! toby was such an amazing character that you really want him in real life! and tess is the most relating character ive read. like the situations she went through you would feel how she felt if you were her.
2. i liked how everything turned out all the way through the book! not just the end! it was an amazing book and everyone should serioulsy buy it because you would love it!!!
OVERALL RATING: 5/5 stars for sure !!!! <333
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,628 reviews148 followers
December 20, 2014
This one started so slowly I almost ditched it - I'm so glad I didn't because once it got going it was a lovely sweet story. Even though the main character was only 17, I didn't feel like I was reading the vacuous thoughts of a juvenile, it was better than that. It reminded me of my insecurities at that age and that combined with the warm summer days and the late 1990s setting made me feel nostalgic for those years.
The chemistry between the main characters was great but I was just as interested in the other characters too. I'll definitely be reading more in this series.
No cliffhanger. Recommended.
Profile Image for Stephanie Witter.
Author 17 books731 followers
January 15, 2013
I didn't expect to enjoy this novel so much. It's everything you're looking for in a mature young-adult novel and I'm sad I didn't keep it until next summer because it's everything I'm looking for in a summer read and more.

All the characters bring something to this story and I've got a special shout out for a secondary one - Sean. Don't ask me why but I fell for this one.

I love the voice of the main character and the pace of the story. I was never bored and I'm glad I listened to the recommendation I got. ;)
Profile Image for K.
319 reviews5 followers
July 1, 2016
This book was beautiful. A Beautiful story full of beautiful characters and beautiful moments. It was set in a country town in the 1990s- a setting I can completely relate to: joyriding around town with boys, using ninemsn and having to wait for the dial-up Internet to kick in, the music, the 24 hour Caltex. All of it was a wonderful walk down memory lane, and the love story on top of that made for an excellent read. C.J. Duggan is an excellent author who has easily captured my heart. I can wait to read the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Miodrag ★❥.
149 reviews42 followers
February 7, 2015
You can now read this review on my blog.

The Onslow boys... ahh I'm in love with those boys! <3
STARS: 5 Onslow-ish stars

This is my first book that I'm reading from an Australian author (or maybe not? I think it is), anyway C.J. Duggan is one really good writer, I would lie if I tell that I didn't like this book, this is one really perfect book for summer, with romance, fun and all other summer things, I loved it! I'm coming back for more! <3


Boy, oh Boy. First thing that I loved about this book is that everything went slow, I hate when I start reading romance book and two MC's after 'chapter 2' start kissing or telling "I love you", I mean "COME ON? it's too fast."
Getting to know Tess and her ex-douchebag boyfriend and his jerk friend and what they done to her in school... I was mad at those boys, bullying and everything. But you know I liked this girl from the start, and her two friends Adam and Ellie. Many things happen after summer comes and school's out. Three friends planned to work at Onslow hotel, but 'something' happens to Adam and he got grounded and sent in city to granny, that got Tess pretty worried because she wanted to work with both of them. Real fun begins when Tess and Ellie 'meet' the Onslow Boys, especially when Tess dream boy come true and all of a sudden she is talking with her crush from years ago and with his friends. They really have so much fun. It was so interesting. The Onslow boys are awesome, I love you Stan, Sean, Ringer, Toby and we could add grumpy Chris there too. I like that you know, nothing happened between Tess and Toby while he still had his bitchy girlfriend Angela, and I liked that kiss happened close to the end and then some more drama. I mostly like this book because it wasn't all 'DRAMA' written on it, because I kinda hate books with too much drama. This book just got everything right and everything was as I like, it was funny read, full of romance, partying, working, spending summer with friends, enjoying free time, getting here and there heart broken, fight with friend... ahh and so on. BEST SUMMER EVER!


My favorite part, this book really had some good characters. Let's start with Tess, I mean GIRL, she was totally different person after summer ended, damn girl, and of course in a good way. Before she met Onslow boys, she was a shadow, shy person, wearing things 'to not be recognized', bullied by her jerk of ex-boyfriend, but after she met boys, she totally started to be herself, work in the hotel, then later with her parents too, still she was at the start a bit shy, but she started to like her new friends, started to wear what she likes and she started to 'melt down' and be someone, because she isn't no one (Thanks mostly to Toby that helped her to see that), she is one pretty great person and she was one pretty good character. I loved this character, and this is a surprise, because mostly I hate a little MC's, but she, I couldn't hate this girl. Then there's, Adam, LOL-ing all around, this guy is SO FUNNY, I like when author adds some fun in romance books, and he totally made me laugh, so hard (Heads up: He goes to city to 'visit' granny but he comes back XD). Ellie I didn't like so much at the start, not a fan of her, and I have hate/love relationship with this character, But, you know me, at the end, I liked her too. Stars of this book, The Onslow boys, they just made my summer even hotter. Toby was really really good and I loved moments with him and Tess and I liked this guy, he was decent, good, sexy (they all are XD), funny... ahh Toby. Then, Sean, ok one of my favorites, this guy is good with making jokes and talkative and good too, all boys are good. Ringer, ok, we didn't got so much of Ringer and I kinda hated that, he have a girlfriend Amanda, but I expected more of him, maybe in next books. At the end, ohh Stan, another good guy who starts going out and making out with Ellie and of course he is good too. No, no, I totally forgot Chris, this grumpy boy, at the start he was all 'closed-up' and boss-y, but later we get to know him a bit, he is not all that, he's good too, but again I want to know more. LOL Also, there's Uncle Eric, Amy, Claire, Rosanna... and on.

I think characters of this book is what made this book this good to me, I totally loved every each of them (ok expect bitchy Angela, her friends, Scott (Tess's ex) and his friends) and even those that I hated made this story and book what it is. A good summer read, romance book. You'll have so much fun with this book guys, maybe you will not love it like I did, but you can't hate it, it's just that you simply can't hate Onslow boys. :P

RECOMMENDATION: If you are looking for nice summer read, one romance book, with funny moments, good characters, good story, then you found it, you found everything in this book. Check it out, it's really GOOOOOOOOOOD. (:
Profile Image for Dani H.
455 reviews192 followers
April 15, 2013
Like this review? I have more! Check out my blog, Pen to Paper.

I first heard about this book when a blogger friend of mine reviewed it, and rated it pretty highly. The first thing that grabbed me about the book was the cover - but not just because it's so pretty - because it also looked like just the kind of book I needed to read at the time. Reading the synopsis confirmed that. When I finally started reading it, I knew I'd made the right decision.

I fell in love with this story from the very first chapter - the writing is warm, friendly and easy to read, and it drew me immediately into Tess' story. However, what really made this love at first read were the characters - Tess and her two best friends, Ellie and Adam.
They all came across as instantly real and loveable, and I couldn't help but want to hang out with them - luckily, by reading the book, that's exactly what I got to do!
I really enjoyed the friendship that the three of them had - their personalities seemed both to fit and balance each other out nicely. Adam definitely made me laugh, but he's not just the joker of the trio, as he proved with a certain locker-related revenge stunt he pulled, defending Tess. Ellie was equally supportive, and it really warmed my heart to see three teens who would do so much for one another.

Of course, the friendship between Tess, Ellie and Adam is all very well and good, but what I also wanted and couldn't wait for, was the arrival of the infamous Onslow boys! Fortunately, I didn't have long to wait!
They are a lot older than the trio of friends we've already met, being in their early twenties, but the two groups get on brilliantly straight away, and they almost become one big group. Almost, but not quite. There were always going to be a few bumps in the road, and one of them is Angela Vickers, the not-so-pleasant girlfriend of Toby Morrison, the Onslow boy that Tess can't tear her eyes away from. Could it be possible that, despite the beautiful girlfriend, Toby feels the same way about Tess? Does it matter, when there's a girlfriend in the picture? I hoped all the way through that something would happen so that Tess and Toby could get closer. The chemistry between the two of them throughout the book was intoxicating, especially when certain creases had been ironed out, and I honestly couldn't help but feel the same nervous butterflies that Tess did every time they were together.

I really enjoyed the way that Tess' character evolved because of Toby and the Onslow boys. She started off as quite a shy character, not wanting to draw attention to herself, happy to let her friends be the bright lights beside her, and describing herself as a wallflower. She was quite content with that. But once she, Ellie and Adam get a job at the Onslow hotel for the summer, and they meet the Onslow boys, (after some gentle persuasion from Ellie) Tess started to come out of her shell, which was awesome to see. Obviously change wasn't going to come without its drama, but this made things more interesting, and Tess just grew all the more because of this drama.
I don't want to give any more away about the character relationships, though, because the twists and turns that they take are what makes this book so good!

I found the setting for the story particularly interesting - not just because it's set in Australia (a place that I don't often read about) - but also because it's set during the 1990s. I thought having a contemporary romance set twenty years ago was a really interesting idea, but I'm not quite so sure that it's one I fully understand the motive behind. There didn't seem to be much point to this, and I think the story would have remained essentially the same had it been set now.
I suppose it was interesting imagining the story set during the decade in which I was born and grew up, though, and it was definitely a choice that makes the novel unique.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel - it had everything a YA contemporary romance needs; a well-rounded, loveable group of characters (with a couple of exceptions, to provide conflict and drama), a beautiful, summery setting, a smoking-hot group of boys and some seriously steamy chemistry!
It was the breath of fresh air that I needed.
If you're a fan of YA contemporary, or romance, you definitely need to pick this up - it'll have you laughing and blushing all at once, and it'll definitely warm your heart!
A fabulous and fun read, perfect for the coming summer months!
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