Publication date: 17th December 2012.
My rating: 4.5 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.
Don’t you just love those nights where a book has you up until the early hours in the morning, when you have to go to work the next day really early but you just don’t care? The Boys of Summer was one of those books. It was fun, had a fresh summery vibe going on that has you aching for the vibrant summer days. I didn’t realise how much I needed a book like this until I picked it up.
The Boys of Summer did take me a while to get into, but bam as soon as the Onslow boys were introduced I knew there would be no going back for me. Tess had agreed with her best friends Adam and Ellie over the summer holidays to work at the Onslow hotel, it’s not how Tess had planned to be spending her summer, but her friends insisted it would be a whole lot of fun and plus at least she would be spending it with her best friends. But she didn’t expect Adam to be involved in a freak accident and be shipped off to his Nan’s for the summer holidays; neither did she expect Ellie to be infatuated with the Onslow boys. But Tess soon realises that there’s something which draws her to 22 year old Toby, despite him having a girlfriend and her acting like a moron in the hotel whenever he makes an appearance. Ellie knows she shouldn’t be hanging out with him and the rest of the boys. But Ellie and Tess promised to make this one summer they wouldn’t forget.
And what a summer it was! Despite the five year age gap I enjoyed every single moment the girls spent with the Onslow boys; Stan, Sean and Toby. They were such decent guys, never to take advantage of the girls, always respected them, but most of all showed them a fun time. Each one of the guys brought something different to the book, they had me in hysterics with their endless banter, brought a smile to my face with their double entendre messages especially from Sean, but most of all I felt like there was something missing when they weren’t around. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Tess was a great mc, she did occasionally over think things and then at other times rush into things without thinking things through. But things were always livelier and upbeat when the boys were around. But despite this book focusing on everyone having a good time, Duggan was also able to weave through a story of heartache. Duggan definitely was able to work with both aspects extremely well. It was awful watching Tess having to go through such a tough time, but the way Tess matured through the book and overcame these issues was done extremely well overall.
Duggan also had a habit of leaving you with a teasing sentence of what’s to come, I liked and didn’t like this aspect as most of the time it left an utter feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach of what could be around the corner.
Overall The Boys of Summer is a perfect example of what summers are meant to be about. With a fantastic set of characters, you will be missing out on a lot of fun by not picking this up.