TWENTY BOY SUMMER
Ockler's strong debut has a plot predicated around a tragedy, but the story rises above gloom and doom and is just a lovely, heartfelt novel. Evenly paced, it expertly explores the many facets of best friendships.
For over a year, Anna has been keeping a secret from her best friend Frankie. Last summer, just before Frankie's brother Matt died unexpectedly, Anna and Matt dated in secret. Keeping this secret will be hard after Anna agrees to go to Zanzibar Bay with Frankie and her family.
With Frankie somewhat changed after her brother's death, she dreams up a "20-boy summer" for herself and Anna. Between them both, they'll meet 20 guys and will hopefully experience a fling or two. But Anna fears that if she meets someone new, she'll lose Matt forever. (LITTLE, BROWN, Jun., 290 pp., $16.99, ISBN: 9780316051590, HC, 14 and Up)