Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Boys of Summer Blog Tour: review of The Boys of Summer (Summer #1) by C.J. Duggan + GIVEAWAY

Welcome to my stop on The Boys of Summer blog tour hosted by YA Bound! Click HERE to check out the full blog tour schedule!

Goodreads rating: 4.03
Kindle edition, 321 pages
Published December 17th 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.

The Boys of Summer is a page-turning summer read that was fun and at times serious. While it was confusing at first taking place in Australia, she didn't use too much lingo, and so I fell into the story quickly. Everything in Onslow is pretty boring, and everything is named after the town, including the hotel. Tess is not excited about being roped into working during the summer. She wanted to go down to the lake and just relax with her two best friends. But they're insistent that working at Onslow Hotel (really it's more like a bar than a hotel) will be way more exciting than tanning at the beach all day and having their last hurrah before they have to graduate the next year. Yeah, she's not exactly going for it. But eventually she's convinced that it'll be worth it by Ellie and Adam, the BF's. Ellie was an interesting character , throughout the entire novel, she's perceived basically as a slut. She goes off with guys, where Tess is always the lookout and gets stuck with the guy's friend who never ends up being that great, and come back disheveled. Because of this, sometimes Tess feels like she has a lot to live up to when it comes to guys. But she never expected the Onslow boys. This story was just so cute and I loved the dynamic between the characters. There were still some serious moments though.

Toby was hot. All older boys are, especially when it comes to a hormonal seventeen-year-old girl. But she definitely remembers Toby. She used to have a cute pre-teen crush on him when he was still in school. When he graduated though, he stayed in town at his father's auto-body shop. The problem, besides the age difference, is that Tess has pretty low self-esteem because her annoying ex has decided to torment her. Now that Tess works at the Onslow Hotel though, she's far away from her ex and around Toby and his friends all the time. I felt really bad for Tess. It's one thing to have a girl say bad things about you, but to have a guy that you used to date say them just sucks. Then Toby comes along and looks at her like she's hot despite their age difference, and her confidence grows and she really comes into her own. I read a review somewhere for this book that mentioned how Toby didn't really notice Tess until she got older and hotter. And I was like, uh, duh! That's how guys work. It's not like he didn't know who she was before, but when it comes to looks, guys are pretty simple creatures. They're going to notice when a girl is hot and when they're not, especially with the age difference between them. The moments between these two were sizzling though; this is definitely a mature YA romance. Their budding attraction was very sweet though, and there were a couple times where I got really mad at Tess (rightfully) and Toby (not rightfully). And the difference in age isn't the only thing that's standing between Toby and Tess being together. Toby has a girlfriend, one that's his age and super hot.

I liked Adam too. In the beginning, he was the perfect guy best friend. Then something happens at a party and Adam gets sent to his grandma's house for six weeks instead of working with Tess and Ellie at the Onslow. But he does reappear during the novel, and is for some reason jealous of what's happening between Tess and Toby. That part seemed kind of weird to me, as he never showed any interest in her before that, or at least from what we saw. But I guess it's something where you never expect one of your friends to get a boyfriend, and when you do, you're just jealous that things aren't going to be the same anymore. I also enjoyed the other Onslow boys, especially Sean. Ellie was totally stuck on Stan, another Onslow boy, but since he couldn't show up on the boat trip (which was such a great scene!), she starts playing with Sean's heart a little as well. But Ellie isn't the only one playing with Sean's heart, especially after Tess and Toby kiss but she thinks she sees something that makes her do something stupid. But I was really happy with the ending, and I hope we get to see Toby and Tess in the next one!

Buy Links:
Add An Endless Summer (Summer #2)

About the Author

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.

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