Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
According to Anna's best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance.
Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie -- she's already had her romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
The book follows Anna's journey as she makes attempts to shed the weight of that grief, even though she can't help but cling desperately to it for fear of erasing what once was. She must also wrestle the guilt that comes along with surviving and continuing on with your life even though that person cannot experience it with you. And she attempts to do this alone, since she is the only one who knows about her relationship with Matt.
I liked and sympathized with Anna's character. At times I found the best friend, Frankie, to be a bit much, but not unrealistically so. She's just the type of girl which I find a little annoying, so it's good that her character was able to annoy me in the same way as a real person would. And it made me admire Anna that much more for still seeing the good in her friend no matter how ridiculous she could be at times!
The writing was beautifully done and captured the essence of grieving really well. I laughed. I cried. And by the end of it all, I was left feeling hopeful though not entirely healed, which, I think, is how it should be.