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March 13, 2013

Review: The Boys of Summer by CJ. Duggans

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)
Title: The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)
Author: CJ. Duggan
Publication date: December 17, 2012
Genre(s): Young/New Adult (Contemporary/Romance)
Source: Author
Format: Digital Copy
Pages: 321
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. 
Not many books have been able to equal the love I have towards Anna and the French Kiss (So far only Jenny Han's Summer Trilogy did). The Boys of Summer is added to this list now. It is an understatement when I say that I loved this book. I didn't only love this book, I inhaled it and devoured it in a single night. Yup, I messed up my sleeping pattern because I stayed up all night reading it. Every time I would say "This is the last chapter" I get too obsessed to what might happen next and dive into another one. 

The story is set in the summer, my favorite contemporary setting right now. Tess gets riled into a summer job by her two best friends, Adam and Ellie. That is why she finds herself at the Onslow Hotel as a waitress that can't seem to even be able to work that monstrous coffee machine. However the upside of working there soon shows up, in the form of Toby Morrison. Tess has been crushing on Toby ever since she can remember but he is much older than her; she's seventeen and he's twenty two. In all honesty I loved the age gap, because as a twenty two year old myself, I find a romance more believable if the guy is older, plus the guys are more mature at that age, something every reader will notice when reading The Boys of Summer. 
What made this book different from usual contemporaries are all the secondary characters. Tess's best friends, and Toby's friends who were labeled as the "Onslow Boys" by Ellie, causing a rather embarrassing situation when the boys find that out *snickers*, were all amazing. I wouldn't mind reading companion novels for each one of these secondary characters because the author gives us hints of their backgrounds, problems, and issues that make you want to know more! Now, when both sides get introduced, you instantly feel the tension between Toby and Tess and the readers are put in more tension because Toby actually has a girlfriend. So imagine all those mixed signals that Tess seems to be getting. I loved every single minute and page of it. It reminded me a bit of the movie "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging" which is a british chick flick movie that I love. I seem to love british and Australian contemporary novels and movies huh? Yes, The Boys of Summer is actually set in Australia and I loved the unfamiliar setting. 
Back to the Onslow Boys.. There is Toby, Sean, Stan, and Chris. Though we get the most time with Toby and Sean; Sean is the comic relief of this novel.. the flirtatious guy that is fun to be around. I loved Sean, but don't worry, there isn't an actual love triangle so you guys can let out a sigh of relief. Tess was a fabulous protagonist, she is a girl with a major crush on a guy that she somehow ends up hanging out with.. a lot. So imagine all the awkwardness, blushing, stammering and embarrassing thoughts and situations she gets herself into.. especially with a friend like Ellie who seems set on "Operation Toby Morrison". 
I honestly couldn't put this book down. It was everything I could think about for the next couple of days after finishing it. Even now I have a sudden urge to re-read it. Something that only happens with Anna and the French Kiss and The Summer trilogy by Jenny Han. Honestly? This book is on my top three favorite contemporary YA books, a genre that I have read countless books from. The Boys of Summer is the perfect book to bring out the inner girl in you in the sense that you can't stop giggling, fanning yourself, and gasping at the hotness of the guys and the chill, summer feel of the book. I would recommend it to all contemporary lovers; I honestly believe everyone would find something they will love in this book. I can't wait for the second installment in this novel. CJ Duggans, you rock! Keep on writing these amazing novels. 
In the Hall of Contemporary Fame for me! 


  1. Your review makes me want to pick up this book and just read! I love YA contemporary books to no end and since I've been thinking of reading as many summer books I can this summer, I'll definitely put this in my list. Great review, Juhina!

    I read that Sean is the main character in the next Summer book so that'll be fun!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  2. Wow, that's high praise! I'll have to add this to my list. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Ahhhhhh YAY JUHINA!!!! I just won a copy of this book and I'm so excited to start it! Anything that rivals Anna and the French kiss for you is something I want to read:) So glad to know that despite all the boys in this story there's no love triangle. YES! *happy dance*

  4. Oh Juhina! You made me so excited to finish this! I'm starting this tonight since I'm part of the blog tour. And saying that this equals to Anna and the French Kiss for you is quite saying a lot. Now I'm feeling all giddy and excited. I'm pretty sure I'm going to devour this Onslow Boys too. Fantastic review! :)

  5. This was so good! I love summer romances! Although I wasn't a fan of Anna or the Summer Trilogy. LOL But this was so addictive! I loved the Onslow Boys!!!

  6. I'm glad you liked it Juhina. It was a great summer book and I loved the setting. I really wish Adam gets his book because he was my absolute favorite character and I couldn't get enough of him.

  7. This review really makes me want to pick up this book. I love contemporaries that take place during summer. I'm going to have to read this very, very soon.

  8. The one more chapter thing never works for me. It's sad. -.-

    Glad you enjoyed THE BOYS OF SUMMER! Now on to adding another book to the TBR shelf. (x Great review! ♥


    Kaede @ Wake Up at Seven

  9. You make it sound really good, I'm definitely picking it up :)

  10. Wow, I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much Juhina! I think I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of this soon, because if book can be compared to Anna and the French Kiss, then I absolutely need to read it! I always fall prey to that 'One more chapter' thing, and then end up staying up until 3 AM. =P Alas, book blogger problems! The romance in this one sounds so adorable, and I don't want to miss out, so this one will have to go on the TBR.

    Lovely review, Juhina! <3

  11. Wow! So glad to know you enjoyed this one! I've been so excited for The Boys Of Summer and now I'm going to try my best to get to it ASAP. Amazing review, Juhina! :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  12. Oh trust me I'm happier than you're right now!! :D I've got this book too and I can't wait to read it so I'm jumping up and down! It sounds magnificent! :) Yeah I need that and I've had a chance to talk with the author and she is so nice! :) Great review Juhina! :)

  13. You make me want to read this book right now! Great review and I will be adding this to my pile!

  14. I need this book, like, NOW! How have I not heard of this before? Oh, my goodness. Wow... I can't believe you found it on the level of Anna and the French Kiss. *faints* Tess sounds like a wonderfully relatable protagonist, and Toby? *swoooon* I'm also a fan of Jenny Han's Summer trilogy, so if this book is anything like her's, then I'm sure to love this book as much as you did!

    Fantastic review, Juhina! :)

  15. Great review! I just added this onto my to read list! I love contemporary books and especially ones that are set in the summer. Also Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favorites so I'm really excited to read this one now!

  16. Oh la la...... I'm really curious to read this one. Summer, boys and Australia! My cup of tea. Thanks for the great review :D


  17. Wow that is really high praise for this book. I'm going to have to add it to my wishlist and if I were you I would check out Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian because I feel it would be right up your alley

    Thanks for the awesome review!

  18. I'm reading this one right now for a Blog Tour and I'm loving it! Great review :)