Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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

Title: The Boys of Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Series: Summer #1
Release Date: December 17, 2012
Format: eBook, 291 pages
Genre: YA, romance, contemporary, chick lit
Source: blog tour
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

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.

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.
Tess has a crappy life. Especially when her ex, Scott, makes it his goal in life to humiliate her every chance he gets. Which is pretty easy seeing how he's at the summit of the ladder of popularity, and Tess is . . . just Tess. Then her two besties, Adam and Ellie, talk her into a summer job. But there's a group of local boys that seem to make the restaurant job a teensy bit brighter, especially one boy in particular . . .

I can get really picky about romances, but there's a million things that C.J. Duggan did right with Tess and xxx. (I have to put down xxx or it could get a tad spoilery.) They have a perfect sizzling chemistry, and it didn't immediately start that way. I like it when the romance has time to nurture itself as a friendship before stepping the threshold into full-blown dating. And if you get to see the two banter, it's just so adorable! (Please note that I rarely get fangirly like this about a romance, showing how incredible of a writer C.J. Duggan is.)

Something else I really loved about The Boys of Summer is the dialogue and the writing style. Duggan created dynamic characters with witty conversations, and added to Tess' personality with an inner dialogue that I can't help but grin at. As well, Duggan's light writing truly fits the genre, and makes the characters more believable as teenagers. As well, it's a very simple way of writing, not bringing in too many elements to take away from the focal point: Tess and her (maybe not very) horrible summer.

I really want to give The Boys of Summer a gazillion beaming stars for the wonderful journey around with Tess and turn into an oozing blob of melted fangirl, but I don't think that'd be very pretty, the melted fangirl bit. But what I can do is tell you that this is something you definitely want to pick up soon, and fall into Tess' world of snappy tourists, filling restaurant orders, and that one special guy. Contemporary fans will need to watch out for Duggan, the brand new contemporary talent on the block! (Doesn't that sound cheesy . . . Totally non-characteristic, showing the vehement after-effects of The Boys of Summer.)
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