A review by kricketa
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler


**read an ARC of this**
anna and her neighbors, matt & frankie (francesca), have been best friends for as long as anna can remember. as anna grows up, her feelings for matt get stronger, and on her 15th birthday, matt returns those feelings when he kisses her after an adorable cake-fight.

but how to tell frankie, matt's sister? matt promises that he will take care of it on their family vacation to california, and matt and anna spend the next month sneaking out at night and stealing moments to be together. but before the perino's trip to california, the three friends are involved in a car accident. matt is dead and anna must keep their secret from grieving frankie.

a year later, matt & frankie's parents decide it is time to face their rental house in california without matt. anna is invited along. frankie, who has grown reckless in her year of sorrow, decides that she and anna will meet twenty boys on vacation, and that one of them will take anna's virginity- frankie's having already been given to a german exchange student called johan. anna, unable to tell frankie that there will only ever be one boy for her, agrees to the plan.

the vacation is full of surprises as boys are met, secrets are uncovered, and loss is experienced anew. the perino family and anna struggle with creating new memories when they cannot bear to erase old ones. anna and frankie are wonderful characters: flawed and messy and confusing and real, and their pain never feels contrived or saccharine.

one complaint: the title makes it sound kind of skanky and doesn't really reflect what the book is about. still: highly recommended. out in june 09.