Not many books have been able to equal the love I have towards Anna and the French Kiss (So far only Jenny Han's Summer Trilogy did). The Boys of Summer is added to this list now. It is an understatement when I say that I loved this book. I didn't only love this book, I inhaled it and devoured it in a single night. Yup, I messed up my sleeping pattern because I stayed up all night reading it. Every time I would say "This is the last chapter" I get too obsessed to what might happen next and dive into another one.
The story is set in the summer, my favorite contemporary setting right now. Tess gets riled into a summer job by her two best friends, Adam and Ellie. That is why she finds herself at the Onslow Hotel as a waitress that can't seem to even be able to work that monstrous coffee machine. However the upside of working there soon shows up, in the form of Toby Morrison. Tess has been crushing on Toby ever since she can remember but he is much older than her; she's seventeen and he's twenty two. In all honesty I loved the age gap, because as a twenty two year old myself, I find a romance more believable if the guy is older, plus the guys are more mature at that age, something every reader will notice when reading The Boys of Summer.
What made this book different from usual contemporaries are all the secondary characters. Tess's best friends, and Toby's friends who were labeled as the "Onslow Boys" by Ellie, causing a rather embarrassing situation when the boys find that out *snickers*, were all amazing. I wouldn't mind reading companion novels for each one of these secondary characters because the author gives us hints of their backgrounds, problems, and issues that make you want to know more! Now, when both sides get introduced, you instantly feel the tension between Toby and Tess and the readers are put in more tension because Toby actually has a girlfriend. So imagine all those mixed signals that Tess seems to be getting. I loved every single minute and page of it. It reminded me a bit of the movie "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging" which is a british chick flick movie that I love. I seem to love british and Australian contemporary novels and movies huh? Yes, The Boys of Summer is actually set in Australia and I loved the unfamiliar setting.
Back to the Onslow Boys.. There is Toby, Sean, Stan, and Chris. Though we get the most time with Toby and Sean; Sean is the comic relief of this novel.. the flirtatious guy that is fun to be around. I loved Sean, but don't worry, there isn't an actual love triangle so you guys can let out a sigh of relief. Tess was a fabulous protagonist, she is a girl with a major crush on a guy that she somehow ends up hanging out with.. a lot. So imagine all the awkwardness, blushing, stammering and embarrassing thoughts and situations she gets herself into.. especially with a friend like Ellie who seems set on "Operation Toby Morrison".
I honestly couldn't put this book down. It was everything I could think about for the next couple of days after finishing it. Even now I have a sudden urge to re-read it. Something that only happens with Anna and the French Kiss and The Summer trilogy by Jenny Han. Honestly? This book is on my top three favorite contemporary YA books, a genre that I have read countless books from. The Boys of Summer is the perfect book to bring out the inner girl in you in the sense that you can't stop giggling, fanning yourself, and gasping at the hotness of the guys and the chill, summer feel of the book. I would recommend it to all contemporary lovers; I honestly believe everyone would find something they will love in this book. I can't wait for the second installment in this novel. CJ Duggans, you rock! Keep on writing these amazing novels.
In the Hall of Contemporary Fame for me!