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Boys of Summer

Review

Boys of Summer

BOYS OF SUMMER, by Jessica Brody, is definitely a book that got me ready for the summer. And if you're one of the few who isn't ready for beach bashes, swimming and perfect tan-inducing weather, then give this book a chance; you'll be lacing up your board shorts and tripping in your flip-flops in no time!

"[BOYS OF SUMMER's] characters, along with the story itself, are concrete. They are as close to real people as you're going to find on paper."

Jessica Brody has published nine novels to date, most of them from the female perspective. So this was both a refreshing and interesting new venture for the the prolific author. BOYS OF SUMMER revolves around a trio of best guy friends (Grayson, Mike and Ian) as they spend one final summer together at Winlock Harbor, colloquially known as "The Locks." The boys are all headed off in different directions: Grayson is going to play football for Vanderbilt, Mike is off to New York City with his girlfriend and Ian is going to take the world by storm, armed only with his guitar. Everything is pointing to this summer being the best one yet, but things quickly take a turn for the worse. The trio experiences an extensive series of heartbreak, family turmoil and personal injuries. The problem? Not one of the boys is willing to open up about it. Between hanging out at The Locks, watching television, chasing after girls and soaking up the summer, the boys are each suffering silently as their realities take an unfortunate shift. The ultimate test of the summer is whether or not the boys can remain friends after all of the betrayal and heartbreak.

One of the best things (at least, for me) about BOYS OF SUMMER is that the entire story seemed very realistic. There was no improbable tragedy or supernatural event that inspired an unlikely chain of reactions. What the boys faced that summer could have been experienced by anyone. Another great thing about the story is that it shows the fortitude of society's notion of "masculinity." It was extremely telling when not even one of the boys could bear to reveal his inner conflicts to even his closest of friends.

Now, if you're expecting a story with impossible-to-read characters or femme fatales or something of the sort, you won't be finding any of this in BOYS OF SUMMER. The book's characters, along with the story itself, are concrete. They are as close to real people as you're going to find on paper. So it was incredibly easy for me, as it will be for any reader, to understand, feel for and connect with each and every one of the characters.

Easily, BOYS OF SUMMER was 4/5 stars. Maybe it was the realness of the characters. Maybe it was the realness of the story. Or maybe it was the simply the fact that the book, in its entirety, was reminiscent of those long-awaited beach days. Either way, if you're looking for an enjoyable, quick read that will get you ready for the summer, BOYS OF SUMMER is the book for you.

Reviewed by Chris C., Teen Board Member on April 11, 2016

Boys of Summer
by Jessica Brody