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Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler Anna, Frankie and Matt have been best friends forever. She and Frankie are like sisters and Matt (Frankie's brother) is her best-friend-that's-a-boy. On her fifteenth birthday, Anna's deepest desire comes true when Matt kisses her. Matt convinces Anna not to tell Frankie about their relationship just yet. He wants to tell her in a few weeks during their annual family vacation to California. Anna doesn't like keeping secrets from Frankie but she agrees, believing that Matt knows what's best for his sister. They spend the next month meeting secretly at night and stealing moments with each other when they can. Then the unthinkable happens. Matt dies, leaving Anna and his family grief-stricken. Anna decides never to tell Frankie about what happened between her and Matt. A year later, Frankie's parents decide to make the trip back out to California and invite Anna along. Frankie decides to make this the Twenty Boy Summer, but how can Anna think about meeting boys when the only one she ever cared about is gone? Contemporary YA fiction isn't usually my favorite but I couldn't put this book down. Twenty Boy Summer is a beautifully written and emotionally intense account of love, friendship, loss and finding the strength to move on. My own heart felt like it was breaking at times and I teared up more than once (which I never do). Both Anna and Frankie are really great characters. They are emotionally complex and are dealing with their loss in different ways. Anna is the strong one, always looking out for Frankie and putting her own feelings away. Instead, she writes in her journal and pens heartfelt letters to Matt that he'll never see. A sweet new summer romance throws Anna into a new maelstrom of emotions. I really understood what Anna was feeling--the conflict and guilt she feels as well as the overwhelming loss of what might have been. Frankie is a fascinating character. It's obvious that the wounds from Matt's death are still raw. She's dealing with it in her own way, becoming a boy crazy super-shopper almost overnight. I admit that I was often annoyed by her, as she seemed oblivious to Anna's feelings most of the time. However, by the end of the book, I started to understand Frankie a little more and she began to grow on me.Despite the heavy subject, this book was surprisingly funny. Anna and Frankie's conversations sound like what I imagine real 16-year-olds sound like. Frankie especially with her strange vocabulary mishaps made me laugh. I also loved the descriptions of the California coast. Ockler's depiction of a summer beach vacation was spot on and it made me want to run out to the boardwalk for an ice cream cone and walk along the shore.Though this book would be great at any time, I recommend reading it outside, at the beach or park if possible. Then settle yourself in for a few hours and let this book transport you to the coast and into an incredibly touching story that will stay with you long after summer is over.