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Friday 22 March 2013

Review ~ The Boys of Summer by CJ Duggan {Giveaway}

I am so pleased to be a stop in The Boys of Summer by CJ Duggan tour, as CJ is a debuting Australian YA Author! This tour is hosted by YA Bound. Please follow the remaining stops, tour schedule can be found here

To read a short excerpt and to find out the inspirational story behind The Boys of Summer please click here and to view the Cover Reveal of Summer #2, An Endless Summer here. I'd like to also thank Author, CJ Duggan and host, YA Bound for the tour-wide giveaway which you can enter at the end of this post. 

The Boys of Summer

by CJ Duggan

Series - Summer #1
Published - December 17, 2012


It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘OnslowBoys’. 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 ex­boyfriend, 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 ofworking 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 course language.

~ Buy It Now ~ 

An Endless Summer (Summer #2)

Paperback Princess Review

The Boys of Summer is the first book in the Summer series, by debuting Australian Author, CJ Duggan. I had participated in The Boys of Summer's promotional tour and then soon after the cover reveal for the second book, An Endless of course when the opportunity to participate in this tour came along, I snapped it up immediately, and I'm certainly not disappointed. This book also piqued my interest as it was based in Australia, being a fellow-Aussie I really can relate to the experiences and surrounding in Australian-based novels better.

The Boys of Summer is based in the 1990s at a fictional rural beachside town of Onslow, residential population, less than 3000. The story revolves around three best friends, Ellie, Adam and Tess McGee as they commence their school holidays prior to Year 12, when they finally leave high school. Tess is ready for her Operation of Fun in the Sun when Adam and Ellie pitches to her an alternative, working a summer job at The Onslow Hotel. Despite being a reluctant participant, Tess soon comes around when she realises that summer won't be the same for her anyway, if her two best friends are working and she's not, so she chooses to join them. This is where Tess meets The Onslow Boys, or more specifically, Toby Morrison. 

This book is a fun and light-hearted read. Whilst the concept is certainly far from original, what sets The Boys of Summer apart from the other YA/NA Contemporary Romance is the well-expressed dialogue and interaction between the characters, this is where Duggan really excelled. It is so realistic that you feel she's retelling of previous events that took place and not that of fictional events.

The characters were likeable and it was enjoyable to read about their journey. The light bantering, joking, sassy and sarcastic remarks between them was fun and I truly feel that, that's what set the book apart. I liked Tess and how she was quite flawed, she is your typical "wall flower" quiet, lacks self-esteem and stays within the shadows of her more outgoing friends. However, Tess grows up in The Boys of Summer and seeing her growth is also another enjoyable part of this story. Duggan is a fantastic writer that conveyed Tess' personal growth well, you see and feel it, not just told to you. My other two favourite characters were Sean and Adam.

The romance was also an enjoyable aspect of the story. It brings you back to the heart pulsating days, heart thumping and breathe holding as you read through what Tess is going through. There is no instant love in this book which I'm extremely grateful for. The road for Tess and Toby was sometimes painstakingly long but like I previously said, the interaction and dialogue between the characters made the story so even though the romantic aspect wasn't moving so quickly, the other events through the book still carried the story through. 

The setting was also perfect for the summer activities and romance that took place in this book. The town is small but lots of tourists flock there. You can picture the small town with only one of everything ie. one cafe, one mechanic etc. I really liked Onslow and wish I could go there for holidays. Onslow Hotel overlooking the beach, despite having a steep decline to get there, and all the other details made this setting even more perfect. The way Duggan described it, made you want to visit Onslow and it was just perfect as you can very much visualise the surrounding. 

The Boys of Summer is a fun and light read, perfect for the summer months as you lie on the beach. There are so many fantastic aspects to this book, characterisation, dialogue, setting and climatic romance was all wonderful, so despite there being thousands of summer romance books grazing the shelves at any one time, this is still a very strong contender. Not to mention the beautiful covers! I'm eagerly anticipating reading book 2 in the Summer series, An Endless Summer. The Boys of Summer is an amazing feat for a debuting novel, that will have your heart thumping and your cheeks blushing even past the last page has been turned.

About The Author

CJ Duggan

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.

~ Giveaway ~

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