Sunday, April 3, 2011

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

This book had been on my list for a LONG time.  I had it on my wish list at for years, and had tried to find it at the book store unsuccessfully last summer.  Right before the ski trip though I got up the courage to ask the guy at Barnes and Nobel if they carried it after not being able to locate it on my own.  Wouldn't you know it was in the Young Adult section?  Yeah, I am that pathetic 30 year old that still enjoys books written for teens!

Here's a little summary of the book from the author's website:

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Of course I was drawn to it because my high school boyfriend was killed in a car crash and I thought I'd be able to relate to Anna.  But even if that hadn't happened to me I still think I would be intrigued by the plot of this book.

The story was really good.  I didn't relate as much as I thought I would to the character of Anna because our stories were very different.  But I did enjoy her and Frankie's story of their summer on Zanzibar Bay.  It wasn't as light as a "beach book" normally is, nor was it too "teenager-ish" for me.  I loved seeing the dynamics between Anna and Frankie, hearing about their adventures with the boys, the stories of long days on the beach, and the emotions Frankie, her family, and Anna have to process over Matt's death.  And the stories of Anna and Frankie as they start to explore more intimate relationships with boys for the first(?) time.

If you are looking for a good summer read, I'd highly reccommend this book.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein

Every girl I know has had body issues, been obsessed with their weight, felt bad about their weight, and/or been on a diet (or 12) at some point in their life.  Seriously men, you don't need to worry about our weight for us, bring it up, hint at it, point it out, or even mention it because we are hyper aware of the situation and have been since we were kids probably.  Seriously, is this just a girl thing?

That is why I was drawn to this book.  Not because I had ever been to fat camp, but because I can relate to fighting the scale and living in a world where fat is the last thing you want to be. 

The book was a little disappointing for me.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as I had hoped.  The author is really funny and witty and tells a lot of great stories, but I don't know, for some reason I wasn't a huge fan.

Most of the book centers around one of her summers at fat camp.  It brought back memories of summer camps I had been to.  I went to one where we were not allowed meat or caffeine for the week.  It was rough.  I can't imagine one where I had to get weighed all the time and have nothing but diet food!  But her stories are funny and she does give a lot of insight into childhood/teenage weight struggles.

But I think my favorite part of the book was the end where she is all grown up now in her 30s and describes how during her pregnancy her doctor ordered her to gain more weight and she was terrified.  But then she goes on to say "When we die, no one remembers us for what we weighed. Our weight isn't etched into our headstones."  She describes how almost every girl she has known has also had struggles with food, exercise, their body and weight- everything from bulimia to as simple as hiding junk food under the bed so no one would know you broke your diet or obsessively working out several times a day.

I'll try not to get too into my feelings on the whole subject since I could probably go on for hours.  And while I was a little disappointed with the book, I was glad I read it just to see that I'm not the only girl who struggle to find the "happy medium" in the battle of the bulge.

I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.
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