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!

Title: The Boys of Summer

Author: C.J. Duggan

Published: December 17, 2012

Publisher: self-published

Pages: 294

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.

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  • This book was the perfect companion to her Summer-feeling Spring day. For a whole host of reasons, it’s going on Christina’s second shelf.

**Note:** Christina received an eBook of this title from the author in exchange for an honest review during this blog tour hosted by YA Bound. However, that did not influence her review in any way.

The Lowdown: Year Eleven is over, and Tess is really looking forward to her holidays spent being lazy and catching some rays at the lake with her two best friends, Adam and Ellie. However, and much to her dismay, they want to pick up a summer job working for Adam’s uncle and brother at the Onslow Hotel, Bar, & Restaurant. After a ton of begging and persuading on Adam and Ellie’s part and coaxing from her parents about becoming responsible and stepping out from behind her protective bubble, Tess grudgingly agrees.

But her summer starts off nowhere near being stellar. Due to an accident that left Adam’s arm broken and in hot water with his parts, he’s shipped off to his grandma’s house in the city and unlike Tess who is having trouble finding her footing with her new occupation, Ellie is a natural as a waitress. Tess feels like the grand summer of her dreams have all but completely disappeared. That is until ‘The Onslow Boys’ show up and suddenly it seems like this job thing might actually have a silver lining.

What follows is a summer that Tess will never forget. New friendships are forged, some hit rocky grounds, there’s new loves and lost loves, but overall, it’s a story of girl that finds herself.

My Thoughts: *le nostalgic sigh* Man, did this story take me back to the days of my youth. I think every city/town has that group of boys that run together and they’re known for their group. I can remember the boys that were a few years older, the ones my age, the ones younger than me… hell, I can even remember that group of boys from the next town over. They’re the guys that are just known– whether it be for sports, being a band, or just throwing one hell of a party. They’re the guys that all the girls want and all the other guys want to hang with.

This story takes place during that pivotal summer before the dreaded, but exciting senior year when you feel kind of on top of the world and like everything and nothing matters. The atmosphere of the Australian lakeside pulls you in and really makes the reader feel like they’re experiencing all the high and lows that come with Tess’s summer. Parties, friends, the sun off the lake, the bar, every single detail is infused with character and life, and it made me wistful for the long days spent on my own lake and hanging out with friends. And let’s not forget the giddiness of first love and attention from long-time crushes.

Verdict: The author writes with an honest approach to her characters and plot that both infuriated me and pleased me to the nth degree. I say infuriated because at times I wanted to pull my hair out, but upon reflection, there was a realness to how the characters were developed, in their reactions to situations, and to how the story unfolded that I truly appreciated. It was such a fun experience to see Tess step into her own and experience personal growth alongside her best friends.

I marked this down to a four star read because I had a little trouble getting into they rhythm of the book after it started a little slow for me, but once I felt like Ms. Duggan found her writing groove, I was sold. I laughed out loud, flailed, swooned, felt angry, reminisced, got a little teary, and fell in love.  I truly enjoyed getting to know each and every character, and by the end, I loved loved loved the whole lot of them. I definitely feel like you should put this book on your TBR list, and while you’re there, you should add the companion novel An Endless Summer (Summer #2) because you’re going to want more of these characters when they reunite after four years. I can’t wait to see who’s still together and how they’ve stayed connected throughout the years. I’m especially excited to read it because it focuses on Sean, one of my absolute favorites, not only of The Onslow Boys, but of the entire book.

A very special thank you to the author, C.J. Duggan, and YA Bound for allowing The Book Hookup to be a part of this tour and for giving me the great privilege of getting to know these characters and reading their story.

 (…continue below for author info and a chance to win you an eBook of this title…)

Author Bio:

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.

To learn more about the author & her books, look here:

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