Review: The Boys of Summer – C.J. Duggan

Posted 10 February, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 24 Comments

Review: The Boys of Summer – C.J. DugganThe Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan
Series: Summer #1
Published by CreateSpace on 17 December 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 321
Format: eBook
Source: Giveaway Win
5 Stars

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

The Boys of Summer is the perfect summer romance: first love, coming of age, growing up, it was such an uplifting and sweet story that made me long for the summers I spent on a small island when I was a teen.

My Boys of Summer review:

First of all, a big thank you to Brandee @ Bookworm Brandee, because she has talked about this series for a long time, and a while ago, I won the books in a giveaway on her blog. I’m so glad I finally read it! Tess is a really great character to follow, the story Boys of Sumer is written in first person point of view, and I really loved to get to know her, and through her eyes the other characters in Onslow. The story is very realistic, both when it comes to the way 17-year-olds would like to spend their summer to the changes in them to the crushes on older boys. I just loved the light-hearted feel to it, and the way Tess interacted with her friends Ellie and Adam, and later with the other characters as she slowly was able to shed her protective shell.

Boys of Summer has everything a summer romance needs, and it does have a very slight ‘Grease’ feel to it. Tess is a smart and nice girl, but she’s very shy, especially after her ex, Scott, starts bothering her at school after their break-up. She’s not comfortable around people she doesn’t know, and she doesn’t even want to have a job for the summer vacation because it’s so out of her comfort zone. Adam and Ellie manage to persuade her to work at Onslow Hotel with them, though, and little by little she becomes more sure of herself, able to get to know new people, and her new-found confidence is simply breath-taking! Her funny banter with Toby and his friends is spot-on, and it really made me feel like I was 17 again, hanging out at the beach by the lake, silently lusting after the older boys at the other side of the beach…

All the relationship troubles, the way other people judge us, and her interactions with Ellie made me love Tess even more. Her insecurities that she was hiding behind a very strong front, her jokes and her crush on Toby were realistically done as well. As summer went on, the little changes in Tess became bigger as she and Toby, as well as his friends, got to know each other better. Feeling accepted for who she was triggered an amazing self-confidence in Tess that is not that easy to come by. And really, even the tension between her and Toby, their awareness towards each other, and the hidden looks just made me ready to swoon. Another point to the story is the safe sex, both in conversations among the teenaged friends, and in their actions, this is always really important to me, so cudos to Ms. Duggan for doing this so well, too.

If you need a little pick-me up in the form of a light-hearted, well-written story with realistic characters and a good storyline, Boys of Summer is it!

Some of my favorite Boys of Summer quotes:

The two shining lights of my two best friends’ personalities seemed to be a good buffer for me. Ellie said I was really intelligent and had the biggest brain out of anyone at school, but I didn’t know about that. We all balanced each other out in some way and watched out for one another, and it was never more evident than in times of peril.

All his summer plans gone, just like that. I should have felt sorry for him. But I didn’t. I didn’t feel any ounce of pity except for myself.

The full-figured lady sported a grey bob that was immaculately kept in place. No, really, it didn’t move, there must have been a full can of hairspray on there. She was clearly highly flammable.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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24 responses to “Review: The Boys of Summer – C.J. Duggan

    • Hehe, Lily, that happens to me sometimes, too. You should definitely read it, then – it was well done and a very good story 🙂

    • You definitely should get and read Boys of Summer while it’s still summer, Melanie! I loved it, Tess was very relatable, and I just enjoyed the whole thing.

  1. *squee* I’m so, so, so happy that you read The Boys of Summer and loved it, Lexxie!! *sigh* And your review is just awesome. You’re right, being accepted really helped Tess gain confidence. You’ve made me want to re-read this series! *ha* I can’t wait for you to continue because I want to see which ends up being your favorite. They’re all wonderful though. Toby and Tess are a great couple. And the 90’s references just made this so relevant to me even if it’s set in Australia. Fantastic review, my dear!! I’m happy to be an enabler! *ha*

    **BIG HUGS**

    • LOL as if we ever have time for a re-read… I loved the 90s references, the way Tess transformed over summer, and the different relationships. I can’t wait to read more 🙂
      *BIG HUGS*

  2. Berls

    I really need to get to this series – I’ve one three of them I think between Brandee and Naomi! And I want to read it, I just haven’t gotten to them yet. Now that you enjoyed it so much that’s like 3 for 3, so I better get on it!

    Berls recently posted: Invaded by Melissa Landers
  3. I just checked. I have this one. What the heck am I waiting for? I love having crushes. In college I aimed for one per class, just made the day even better. I want to meet Tess and I can’t wait for this back and forth with all the characters. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Lexxie! Thanks for bumbing this one up on the list.

    • Ha! Robyn, I always had chrushes from afar, too, it just felt safer somehow 😉 Thanks for stopping by, have a fantastic week.

    • It was so good, Naomi! I grew up with summers like the one Tess had, too, between working, swimming in the lake, and crushing on the older boys 😀

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