Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

The Boys of Summer Blog Tour: Review

23 Mar 2013

The Boys of Summer
by C.J Duggan 
Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: December 17th, 2012
Format: Kindle, 321 pages

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.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a relaxing, ‘Summer-y’ book, and even longer since I’ve read one by an Aussie author! The Boys of Summer is the perfect book to read by the pool, or while you’re sunbaking or taking a break from your busy life; it was certainly my guilty pleasure!!

The Boys of Summer and I actually got off to a bad start; Tess was a pathetic and slightly annoying character. She was always relying on her friends to stand up for her, and never even attempted to stand up for herself. Her dialogue was childish at times (I don’t know if it was a 90’s thing, but did 17 year old girls honestly say BOY COOTIES?!). She was so selfish I was tempted to just…stop reading because I couldn’t tolerate her any longer. By page 44, I hated her. HOWEVER, all my hatred towards Tess disappeared when the ‘Onslow Boys’ made their appearance; from then on, I didn’t care how even though it's set in the 90's I couldn't tell until halfway through; I didn’t care how the dialogue sounded fake sometimes; I didn't care how Tess's character was so contradicting...I JUST FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure most teenage girls (who read) love books set in Summer where the main character develops a crush on a hot, charming, unattainable  guy while on holiday ? Well, I certainly do J By the halfway mark, I didn’t care about the flaws…I was so invested in Tess’s Summer experience, there was no room in me to find any faults in the book. Tess’s massive crush on Toby was so relatable (I mean, haven’t we all had a crush on an older, out-of-our-league kind of guy when we were in our early teens/pre-teens?). Every time Toby smiled at her, I genuinely felt her happiness and I was gushing. Every time Toby looked at her and she blushed, I grinned. And every time Toby did something that sent mixed signals to Tess, I felt her confusion and pain.  This one is certainly a book filled with FEELS.

Other things I loved about the book include the year 12 muck up day theme, which was so similar to the theme for my friends’ schools last year. I liked how I’m finally able to go “YES. I KNOW WHAT THIS IS LIKE” unlike with books set in USA where I’m always so envious of the activities that take place over there!

In a nutshell, GO READ THIS BOOK. It’s a fast read, so no one has an excuse to not read this J  Tess & Toby’s Summer romance is one that is not to be missed!

 A massive thank you to YA Bound and C.J Duggan for providing a copy of  The Boys of Summer for review! 


  1. Yay Shirley! I'm so glad to know that despite a rough start, you ending up adoring this book. I was lucky enough to win a copy, so I'm really excited to meet this infamous Onslow boys I've been reading all about. Good to know about Tess's contradictory nature and the fake dialogue upfront, now that I know to expect them, they won't bother me as much:)

  2. This sounds FANTASTIC!!! I've seen nothing but glowing reviews for The Boys of Summer! Toby sounds very, ahem, swoon-worthy indeed. And I know what you mean - I'm always developing a crush on some older guy every week! It sounds like I would really relate to this novel. ;)

    Aside from the "Boy Cooties" thing (no, I'm pretty sure nobody actually says that, unless they are under the age of 7...), I'm glad that you enjoyed this book.

    Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous review with us, Shirley! <3

  3. This book is a downright blog whore lately. It is freaking everywhere. I just need to read it already. I hate to admit this, but I was a teen in the nineties and no way did girls say boy cooties. Not even in Idaho where I grew up. I think Tess would make my behind ache, but who cares if there are hot guys>

  4. YES, YES, YES!!! Your ticking all of my boxes about this novel Shirley. I mean a book to relax and read in the summer and just get totally consumed is by far the best books! Tess does seem a but annoying but whenever the swoon-worthy guys we can't help but root for her! Great review Shirley :D x

  5. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one too, Shirley. This seems to be a hit among most of our friends. I'm a little afraid of how I'll feel about Tess and whether she'll frustrate me or not, but since you ended up loving this in spite of that, I feel a little more assured. Wonderful review! :)

  6. I was so invested in Tess's summer experience, too, that the flaws were irrelevant for the most part! I'm glad you felt the same way, Shirley. :) Wasn't Toby just wonderful? I reacted to everything he said and did pretty much the same way as you. Really looking forward to the next one now! :)

  7. Hah, this sounds like fun. I like how your dislike of the main character disappeared once the hot boys appeared. ;) I've been seeing this book everywhere lately! I might have to check it out.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  8. I'm glad you liked it so much, and from this review I'm thinking it might end up as one of your favourite books of 2013, in which case EXCELLENT! I am actually one of the female readers who doesn't really like summer-time romances- they just don't do anything for me, and I generally don't even like books set in Australia, which is ridiculous in a way because it's where I'm from, and I think this one is not for me, but I'm so glad that so many people seem to love it! Great review!

  9. I think this was a fun, summery read, too!

  10. Ok I'm buying this. I trust your opinion!


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