Friday, January 18, 2013

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

The Boys of Summer (Summer Series, #1)
The Boys of Summer 
by C.J. Duggan

Release Date: December 17, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: eBook
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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.

Tess has an ex-boyfriend from hell who bullies her and gave her a flat chested nick name. She lives in her best friend Ellie's shadow. When summer begins her friend Adam talks her into working at a restaurant instead of spending her time at the lake like she wanted. Tess's summer starts off rather bad and she is feeling down. The first 12% was a bit slow but sometimes slow beginnings are a necessary evil especially with this book. It gave me a chance to get to know Tess which really helped me understand her actions and feelings later on in the book.

As soon as she runs into Toby Morrison I was completely hooked. This was summer romance crack! So addicting and I just couldn't get enough of this one. Toby is Tess's lifelong crush but he is older and has a girlfriend. Toby and his friends nicknamed "The Onslow Boys" hang out at the restaurant where Tess and Ellie work. Tess and Ellie spend a lot of time hanging out with them and partying. It felt like one of my summers. I worked at a restaurant for my first job and definitely felt Tess's stress. But she gets to see "The Onslow Boys" so soon it's what she is looking forward to. If I had a group of hot boys hanging out at my restaurant it would have definitely made working more fun.

Toby was hard to read at first. I knew he had feelings for Tess and he dropped little hints. His girlfriend was a bit of a nightmare so eventually he does dump her but I guess I was hoping for it sooner. It was hard for me to watch Tess in pain but I felt Tess and Toby grow so much as friends first which always makes a relationship feel that much more real and special. The book dealt really honestly, realistically, and openly about sex and Tess losing her virginity. There was a lot of relationship insecurities though and that goes back to the beginning of the book. Tess still doesn't trust Toby wants her. Tess and Toby never had "The Talk" so Tess makes some mistakes but I always felt they were right and good for each other. Even though Toby is a little bit older it never bothered me.

Ellie was a fun best friend but she really bothered me at times. She was hiding so much but then when Tess didn't want to give her every little detail of her relationship she kind of blew up. Ellie does grow a lot during the book as well. I loved seeing each character grow and change over the summer. Ellie also begins dating one of The Onslow Boys and has her own journey to being confident in a relationship. Even though it was sad and aggravating watching the characters make these mistakes it felt real. First loves are full of a lot of confusion and insecurities. It is hard finding your way in making your first relationship work. I need to squeeze some talk about Sean in here. He was another Onslow Boy and even though the book never really takes a love triangle route I always loved him. He was so much fun and so sweet to Tess that at times I wanted something to happen with them. There were times when I thought something would happen and almost did but Tess's heart was always with Toby and that is where it belonged. The sequel will be a summer reunion four years in the future! I must say I am scared and excited to see where everyone ends up!

What do you say in times like this? "Thanks for last night"? "You were great"? "We should really do this again sometime"? "Thanks for taking my virginity"?
Not that one.

"For a brief moment, you made me believe that I was a somebody, that, above all, I wasn't like the other girls. And I'm not." I stepped forward, so he could hear me over the music. "I know it really doesn't seem that way. And it kills me that I let you down, that I did something so stupid because I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I don't want you thinking I am anything other than who I am, who you got to know this summer."

Rating: 5/5


  1. Despite the slow start, I'm glad you enjoyed this in the end! I haven't heard of it before, but it does look like a great summer read. Brilliant review as always!

  2. yay! I am so glad you liked this one! It is high on my to read list as soon as I get my TBR pile down. Hopefully that will be soon.

    Great review!

  3. The Boys of Summer sounds FUN...and HAWT! :) Might need to read it soon to beat the winter blues. Great review, Jen!

  4. I love stories with lifelong crushes or friendships! So happy to hear you enjoyed it so much and I can't wait to read this one too! I think I am going to make summer all about summer contemps. There are just so many and it is a perfect time to read them! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  5. Alright, Boys of Summer sounds exactly perfect for me. And I love the quotes you used! The sequel sounds awesome, I love reunions.
    Great review, Jennifer!

  6. Ah, this sounds like the perfect kind of book for me! I really want it. I’ve seen a couple of reviews on this one but nothing yet from a blogger I trust. I think I’m buying this one this weekend. Great review!

  7. I know he's a bully and I shouldn't be laughing but "flat chested nickname" had me giggling :) I'm glad that this one picked up you after being slow to start. I'm intrigued by the summer reunion in four years, it would be interesting to see what has changed in the characters lives in that time.

  8. Haha - summer romance crack. I am reading this one for sure! I love the sound of having the sequel as a reunion 4 years later.

  9. Well this sounds fun and the boys sound really HOT. I love the idea of this novel and the cover is so pretty.
    Definitely adding this to my TBR
    Your reader,

  10. I have read a couple of reviews on this one lately and it sounds like a wonderful book to read to cure the winter blues. I need a sweet hot read right now! Have a wonderufl weekend.

  11. I love this book just from your review! It sounds a perfect read for me, and I'm even more excited about the 4 year reunion sequel. Thanks!

  12. Oh! This sounds like the perfect read for me. It wasn't on my radar before, but I've just added it to the top of my kindle to buy list! And a four year in the future reunion? UH YES, PLEASE. Fantastic review.

  13. This sounds like a book I would love. The characters seem very real and I love that. And how cool that the sequel is a reunion!! Awesome review!

  14. I really liked the book. The characters all had great personalities. I love stories with good friendships. I can't wait to read the next book.

  15. I am so glad you posted about getting this book because it was really good! Like you, I found Toby a bit difficult, I wanted him to make up his damn mind!

  16. Its great that you loved this book, even though it was slow at first!! Its the first time I hear about this, but im excited to get my hands on it! Lovely review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  17. I´m curious about this book. Great review.

  18. I'm so excited to read this book. It sounds super cute and I just can't resist stories like this one! :) I'm so glad you liked it! Awesome review, Jennifer!

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  19. This book is absoultely amazing! I seriously enjoyed the overall story. The romance between toby and tessa is beautiful as well as the warm friendship and chemistry between the characters in the book. I have alwayed loved summers, and i'm drawn to books that delve into all the excitement and fun that summer brings.


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