Next-door neighbors Anna and Frankie have felt like sisters all their lives. In Sarah Ockler’s poignant debut novel, Twenty Boy Summer, the girls’ friendship is tested when a freak accident changes their lives forever.
Anna’s longtime crush on Frankie’s older brother, Matt, turns to love when he kisses her on her 15th birthday. They keep their romance a secret, since Matt wants to wait until his family’s summer vacation to break the news to his sister. But the night before the big trip, the three teens experience a tragic car crash which takes Matt’s life.
Now a year later, Anna joins Frankie’s family on their California excursion. While hanging out in all of Matt’s favorite locales, Anna meets Sam and finds instant, mutual attraction. She can’t help but worry, though, that falling in love with Sam means erasing her memories with Matt.
With friendship at the forefront, Anna explores grief and love and the pain and wonders of it all. The teen’s dilemma—how to remember Matt, move on with Sam and still be loyal to Frankie—gives a firm tug on the reader’s heart.