The Summer Before Boys

The Summer Before Boys
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Published by Simon & Schuster
196 pages. Paperback ARC.
Rating: 4/5

Julia and Eliza are best friends, spending the summer together. Julia’s mother is serving in the National Guard and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza’s father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither one of them is prepared for what it does to their friendship.

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from this when I started it. I didn’t expect it to be so much about Julia’s mother and how she dealt with that. I liked that about it though. It was so nice to see the difference between the Julia that plays make believe with her best friend and the Julia that has so many thoughts and feelings about the war and her mother being in it.

Baskin’s voice in this book was perfect. There was a true feeling of a girl who is starting to grow up, but hasn’t quite made it there yet. Julia has all the normal feelings of a girl her age, especially one dealing with a parent in Iraq. She’s starting to grow out of the childish games and think about other things… like boys. I liked the story a lot because I felt I could relate to it. It brought back memories of being this age and boy crazy. I, too, was boy crazy enough to disregard my friends sometimes, or even be cruel to them. I think a lot of girls have that problem when at this transition age.

The Summer Before Boys is a very realistic look at the very beginning of growing up and of dealing with difficult things at a difficult age. It’s a pretty quick read, perfect for a weekend or a short beach trip. Go pick it up on May 10th!

Prude Filter: Nothing to worry about here!

Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound

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  1. I like the premise of a girl dealing with a parent in the armed forces and even more so that it's her mother who is serving. In most books that deal with relatives in the military (rare as they are) it's almost always a brother or father. What a great reminder that there are plenty of women pulled away from family and children by war as well.

  2. I have seen this book out there a bit lately and have it on my TBR list- it looks like a really lovely read. Excellent review, glad to hear that you liked it so much!

  3. Thanks for this review, l started to read this but was put off a little bit because of how young they are and l have so many books to read l decided to read another one.


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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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