Tuesday, July 16, 2013

**Review ~ The Boys of Summer ~ C.J. Duggan**

Title: The Boys of Summer
Series: Summer Series #1
Author: C.J. Duggan
Release Date:
Genre: YA/NA Crossover
Source: Won Feb. 2013

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.

This week only, The Boys of Summer is available for only 99 cents!

My Review

The Boys of Summer is such a sweet coming of age story. It's a YA/NA crossover and had that element I love so much in New Adult -- characters finding their way in the world, making mistakes along the way, but always perservering. :)

Tess McGee is a delightful character. Watching her blossom from the wallflower she's always been into a beautiful flower was a treat. Tess agrees to spend her summer working at the Onslow Hotel after her two besties, Ellie and Adam, cajole her with promises of fun, sun and boys! Tess begins this summer job with all the confidence of any wallflower, which is to say none. But as the summer wears on, Tess really comes out of her shell. She becomes more skilled not only at her job but in flirting as well.

Ellie helps pave the way where the boys are concerned. She is never short of attention from the boys. And it seems she's rather intent on teaching Tess the skills needed to capture the boys' regard. It all begins with a tiny, white bikini. ;)

Adam, the third the the trio of best friends, is the glue holding the group together. He's always there for both girls and is a buffer between them when needed. Unfortunately, he ends up spending the summer away from home - punishment for a silly teenage stunt that ends with a broken arm.

And the, there's the Onslow Boys. Toby, Sean, Stan and Ringer, they spend most evenings at the Onslow, drinking and playing pool. Ellie catches Stan's eye and this leads to an outing on the lake -- with the aforementioned bikini, where Tess practices her chops at flirting. It is there she catches the attention of a boy...or two.

I adored the relationship between Tess and Ellie. There were times when I'd get irritated with them both. But then I recalled what high school was like - their relationship is a completely realistic portrayal of the complex bond between teenage girls. I also liked the dynamic that Adam added along with his abundant personality. I wish he'd had a more prominent role.

I also relished the interaction between Tess and the Onslow Boys - particularly Toby and Sean. Tess has had a secret crush on Toby for years. And seeing Tess gain confidence in her dealings with him, and Sean, was fascinating. It seems it's easy to shrug off the constraints of high school social strata when dealing with people who have no concept of those constraints.

Toby Morrison was an enigma in a way. He's very quiet and reserved. At times he seemed interested in Tess and then at others, his interest was questionable. It was difficult for Tess to read his emotions and since Toby didn't openly share his feelings with her, Tess didn't always know where she stood with him. 

Sean Murphy stole my heart! His cockiness and ever present snarky dialog with everyone, particularly Tess, was highly amusing. Although I was rooting for Tess and Toby, Sean found a way to worm his way under my skin. 

The Boys of Summer is a well written and entertaining read. The characters are all very engaging. I wouldn't want to be 17-18 again, but Ms. Duggan made reading about that age a pleasure!

FYI, this book is set in Australia so don't be thrown off by the language and phrases or the fact that summer break is in November and December. :)


  1. I've heard really good things about this one, and have been meaning to read it forever. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks, Andrea. I'd been meaning to read it forever too...since I'd won it. And unfortunately, I couldn't remember whose blog I won it on. :( But it was a good read, for sure. I think you'll like it! :)


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