There’s something infinitely special with a book like this, one that can portray a myriad of emotions while still sustaining the honesty behind it that is crucial for its success. And I think that was the special ingredient: honesty. Twenty Boy Summer was everything people said it would be, it was heartbreaking, tender, hopeful and heartfelt; I had my doubts going into this but everything washed away with the California waves. I thought the plot behind Matt would be forced and phony, and boy was I glad to be wrong. As Anna shared the little memories of him, however insignificant, I could feel their bond and her grief, the turmoil and guilt she was experiencing… it was touching and flawless. As Anna’s summer passes, her original plan of twenty boys turns into just one, Sam. He is my only nitpick in this novel, but only because of the fact that he’s perfect. Good-looking, nice to a fault, interested, sweet, caring… the character depth was lacking but I’ll admit the surface was all sorts of wonderful. Frankie on the other hand was the opposite, and I honestly think she’s what makes this novel a gem. On the surface, she was shallow and artificial, her vanity was loathsome and I couldn’t see how she and Anna were bffs. However, like I said, it was all on the surface, it the fragile wall she had put up to deal with her own grief and insecurities. Ockler did a great job slowly peeling back the layers of her character, with a bit of Anna’s help. Both girls’ journeys of moving on after the tragedy of Matt’s death were honest, unique, and emotional. Lastly, I can’t help but comment on how much I adore Ockler’s writing style. It was the absolute perfect blend of voice, character, passion and truth, without a single clichéd metaphor in site. I cannot believe this is her debut novel, I'll definitely be reading her future work.