Anna and Frankie are spending twenty days in beautiful Zanzibar Bay and while they are there they plan on meeting twenty boys. Frankie is convinced that at least one of these boys will end up being the perfect summer fling for Anna, who according to Frankie has never had any sort of romance in her life. Anna lightheartedly goes along with Frankie’s plan, but she’s been holding back a secret from Frankie for the past year. The thing is Anna had a secret romance with Frankie’s brother Matt, who died a year ago, and promised him days before his death that she wouldn’t tell Frankie and leave it up to him. Will Anna end up finding a summer fling or will she let her grief over Matt’s death keep her single?
Not only is this an amazing summer read, as it has lovely beaches, hot boys, and lots of fun, but it is also emotionally charged and utterly hard to forget. Debut novelist Sarah Ockler has truly created a one of a kind book that I really enjoyed and know many other readers will as well.
First of all I have to commend the author on her writing style. She created very lifelike scenes and the beach town she created was so real that I could almost feel the sand between my toes. Her characterization was also impeccable as she made all characters seem very real, especially Anna. While Anna couldn’t always show her grief, as no one knew about her and Matt’s relationship, the reader knew all about it and truly felt the same feelings as her. Then there was Frankie, o dear Frankie. She truly went through the classic change that occurs in many girls after they experience grief, but the author really made Frankie unique by the fact that she slowly uncovered the “true” Frankie, who was a great character. My only qualm with her was that I really wish we had gotten to hear part of the story from her perspective, as I truly found her extremely interesting.
As for the plot it was really cute, albeit predictable. I enjoyed the different perspective on grief and liked how in a way Anna and Frankie depended on each other to get through Matt’s death. The only thing is I wish there had been a bit more development of the whole relationship between Anna and her summer boy. It was adorable while it lasted and I couldn’t get enough, but it ended abruptly, leaving the reader wanting more. The ending was also perfect for the book. It provided the closer that Anna and Frankie needed, as did the reader.
Overall this was a great book, which I really enjoyed. If the beautiful cover couldn’t lure you into reading this book I hope you will still give it a chance, as it won’t be a book you’ll forget about soon. I absolutely cannot wait for more from Sarah Ockler as she is a truly talented author.