Boys of Summer – Jessica Brody


Welcome to Winlock Harbor…

Best friends since they were kids, Grayson, Mike, and Ian were hoping for another epic summer on “The Locks”, filled with clam bakes, bonfires, and late-night swims in the ocean.

But that was before Ian’s dad never returned home from his last deployment. Before Mike had to take on more responsibility in order to help provide for his family. Before Grayson’s accident left him with an injured throwing arm and an uncertain future.

It’s clear this summer on the island is shaping up to be very different from those Grayson, Mike, and Ian have come to rely on. And when the sacred code of dating a friend’s sister or ex is broken, it will push their friendship to the absolute limit, testing their loyalties in a way that could either break them—or save them.


This book was so ANGSTY. These three guys really didn’t treat each other well at all, let alone like “best friends.”

Here’s the thing. We all grow up, make new changes, and grow apart. I’d hate to think that something like the (major climactic moment) would suddenly bring everyone back together again. And even if it did, how long could such a fragile relationship last? I know you can point to the boys’ long history of friendship, but we all change. We grow up and we grow apart. Heck, Grayson mentioned it himself — the person you are at 12 has no idea what you’d want at 18. I’ve read that every cell in your body gets replaced within 7 years. That means 7 years down the line, you’re not even made up of the same cells that make you who you are.

I don’t like how two things solve everything: violence or love. When problems are that deep, a punch isn’t the answer. A kiss isn’t the answer. No one knows how to communicate properly, and I have a major issue with that.

Ian also ground my gears immensely. A death does not give you a free pass to do ANYTHING. Why would Grayson get beat up, but Ian get a free pass? The circumstances are somewhat different, and I guess that would make Grayson a hypocrite if he went after Ian, but still — I thought there would be some payout there. Ian’s mom is truly excruciating to read about. Actually, Grayson’s mother is pretty awful too. I thought there’d be a strong Hidden Meaning in her case, i.e. a history of domestic abuse or something. But no, these parents are pretty much just self-absorbed and worn down. The only happy ones seem to be Mike’s parents, but they have their own struggles.

Julie dear. You’re so sweet and kind. And honestly, you deserve better than freaking MIKE. Jasper and Jake though, they can stay with you.

Overall, this book was a little angsty for my taste. I didn’t care much for the characters, and the denouement went a little too long. There were also too many loopholes (e.g. why would Whitney get on a ferry while Grayson was still there?). Oh well.

Related Reading

  • What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Twenty Boy Summer – Sarah Ockler
  • Proof of Forever – Lexa Hillyer

Rating: 2/5

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