“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie--she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
Every story is part of a whole, entire life, you know? Happy and sad and tragic and whatever, but an entire life. And books let you know them.
Wow, this is a debut novel and it is amazing. Sarah Ockler’s writing is beautiful and comfortable and poetic. It simply flows. The beauty of that is you can feel everything she describes: the ocean water, the warmth of the sun, the grainy sand, and the wind. It’s breathtaking and real. So is the plot as well as its characters, whose different sides are all revealed.
What made me near tears were the memories and the flashbacks with Matt in it. Knowing that he’s dead and he won’t come back while reading through the reminiscences, I could almost feel what Anna is feeling. And it was really, really sad. Add to that the promise that she has made with Matt, and how she has sworn to keep that promise. She is a special character, though a typical teenager dealing with peer pressure, parties, and boys. Her best friend, Frankie, is such an enjoyment. The things she says will crack you up. It’s never a dull moment with characters that love to talk.
It is needless to say that this novel is bittersweet (in a good way, of course). There are times when you feel the need to cry and then laugh the next. The balance is just perfect. So I would totally recommend this whether or not it’s summer because it’s about the jewels of life: friendship, family, love, and faith in ourselves.
And to throw it in there I just want to say: I feel like flying to California and going to the beach to look for sea glass. That would be splendid.