Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Boys of Summer - Jessica Brody

Boys of Summer
Jessica Brody
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

SIIIIIIGHHHHHHHHH. I tried so hard to like this book because I love easy summer reads and this seemed the type. Hell, summer is even in the name.

Before I delve into the bad, the good: this book was a really quick and easy read. It flowed in a way that only books about a short time span really can, so that was cool. I also liked the attempt at each character developing in their own right -- even the love interests & family members to an extent. This was a breezy book, I can say that much.

Alright alright alright, so the book is about boys during the summertime. So we have three main characters -- Ian. Grayson, and Mike. They all had pretty complex family situations so I did appreciate that. Background which is revealed in the first like, ten seconds of the book so it's not a spoiler I swear: Ian's dad just passed away (he was a soldier) & his mom began drinking because of it, Grayson's mom just left his family without a lot of warning, and his dad is keeping the whole thing under wraps, and Mike's dad just had an accident at work and is basically out of commission in terms of working/taking care of the kids for at least a few months, so money is tight. I liked the diversity of the family issues and I liked that they were all really prevalent in the book and actually make moves to being resolved.

The boys are in the summer before what would be their freshman year of college so you might be able to guess that their hormones are raging. These guys are bffs during the summers only I think, because Mike lives there full time but Ian and Grayson only come to visit. But anyway, one of these bffs date's the other one's sister and another one dates a different bff's ex, and the third one tries to date some random girl but struggles because he still has feelings for his aforementioned ex. Basically their love lives are a shit show, which to be real is what I expect from all breezy summer reads.

So the way this book was set up was alternating PoVs of Grayson, Ian, and Mike. They each had a girl problem they were handling poorly which they kept a secret from the others. They all had a family problem which they kept from the others. They all have like an internal struggle (whether it be a secret, life changing injury, suicidal thoughts, or the desire to run away) which they keep from one another. They're kind of douchy & secretive with one another all through out, which is questionable because I'm like......are you really friends......But anyway. The whole thing just seemed really really formulaic -- here are three secrets. Here are three girl problems. Here are three family issues. Lets combine them all and write them into three PoVs which sound literally the exact same.

My most prominent issue with the book is that it seemed like one voice was telling the whole story, when there were supposed to be three distinct voices. But on top of that, nothing interesting really happened -- literally from the first chapter or two I could tell you exactly how the book would end, with the exception of a couple minor details. It felt so formulaic and generic which I'm sad about because the actual tropes could've been really interesting if it was all resolved differently. Hint: it gets resolved, romantic issue one by one, friend issue one by one, internal struggle issue one by one, and finally family issue one by one. Maybe if it was mixed up a little and had a couple plot twists????

Honestly I don't know. The book was an easy read so I'm not too worked up about it, I just think Brody could do a lot better!! I'll def. look out for other books of hers so I can see if they're any different.

- Amrutha

Does your family have a summer vacation spot?
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