Author: C.J. Duggan
Series: Summer #1
Publication Date: December 17, 2012
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.
I am so in love with this book! I can’t even tell you how glad I am that I read The Boys of Summer. This is one of those rare books that I tried to make last as long as possible because I didn’t want it to end. Everything about this book was brilliant: the characters, the setting, the romance, the friendships. This is without a doubt one of my favorite reads of 2013.
C.J. Duggan played all the emotions in The Boys of Summer perfectly. I smiled, my heart hurt, I cried, I laughed, and I did some major swooning. And it felt so easy and natural. Nothing about this book felt forced or out of place; everything connected and flowed beautifully.
It’s the summer before senior year, and Tess wants to spend it having lazy lake days with her two best friends, Ellie and Adam. Adam, though, has other plans. He talks the girls into working with him in the restaurant at the Onslow Hotel. The job is dreadful, but things look up when she discovers that a group of local guys dubbed “The Onslow Boys” are regulars. Especially one boy in particular: Toby. It turns out to be a summer Tess will never forget. It took me back to the summer before my senior year, which to this day was the best summer of my life. So I definitely felt a strong connection to this book.
The story is told from Tess’s perspective, a 17 year old girl who just wants to blend in and fly under the radar. Unfortunately, her douchey ex-boyfriend keeps putting her in a very unflattering spotlight. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Tess all that much because she seemed so meek and didn’t stick up for herself, but it didn’t take long for me to totally love the girl. I felt protective of her, and proud of how her self-confidence grew throughout the book.
I adored Tess’s best friends, Ellie and Adam. Ellie has a very outgoing and flirtatious personality. She’s a bit boy crazy and I didn’t agree with how she handled a few things, but I totally got it. Tess isn’t the only one who grew over the summer, though. Ellie definitely went through some changes, too, and that made me like her even more. And Adam, oh how I love this boy! He’s the perfect guy friend, and he’s funny as hell. The messages exchanged between Tess and Adam were some of my favorite parts of the book. I need more of him.
Then there are the Onslow Boy: Stan, Sean, Ringer, and of course Toby. This is a great set of guys. Not only are they swoony, but they are the kind of guys that are fun to hang out with. I loved that none of them were jerks, and were just a group of great guys. You can’t help but to love them all. I laughed so hard when Toby first encounters Tess in the book, because it’s so the type of thing I’d do. I think it’s safe to say that I loved all of the characters immensely. Well, except for Angela, she’s a nasty witch. Oh, and Scott, he can jump off a cliff. I had a tiny bit of sympathy for him by the end, though. Very tiny.
I know that what I wrote doesn’t come close to conveying how much I loved this book. I don’t just love The Boys of Summer. I’m in love with it. So do I recommend it? Without a doubt! I am counting down the days until July, so I get my hands on An Endless Summer, the second book in the Summer series. And the cool thing is An Endless Summer takes place 4 years after The Boys of Summer.