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The Girl in a Cafe

Loving Books Since Before It Was Cool! All reviews can also be found on my main blog!

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The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1) - C.J. Duggan I cannot begin to describe the love I have for this book. Let's just say if a book can keep you up all night until the sun rises and you can hear your neighbours go to work, then it's definitely a winner. I really don't know how this book escaped my attention, as it's exactly the type that appeals to me. Plus the author is Australian! Where have I been living? Anyway, I found it, I waited (very impatiently) until payday, I bought it and I read it. But no, the buck doesn't stop there. Welcome to the town of Onslow, where the population doesn't go past 3000 unless it's the summer. Tess, who lives in the shadows of her two best friends, Ellie and Adam, gets roped in to working shifts at the local hotel during the summer between Year Eleven and Twelve. At first Tess is reluctant - all she wants is the perfect summer with her besties, not to be harassed by tourists. All that changes when she meets the Onslow Boys - the gorgeous, older guys that hang around the hotel playing pool. Including Toby Morrison, the guy she's had a secret crush on for years.Everything about this book is perfect. Where to start? The characters. Tess is your average seventeen year old, trying to find her place in the world. A disastrous break up with her ex has left her with a horrible nickname and confident levels heading into the minus. But break her out of her shell and she's witty, loquacious and amazing at banter. My perfect girl. Then there's Toby, who has, as Tess so nicely puts it, more mood changes than four seasons in one day. But what I love about Toby is he's not like other boys in 'Mature YA/NA novels' who have chips on their shoulders larger than Texas. He's sexy, funny and witty. He's shy around people he doesn't know, but opens up to those he does. Yeah, he's perfect. I could go on and on about everybody else, but in order not to make this review ten pages long, let's just say that everyone else was perfect. From Tess's best friends Ellie and Adam, who all had their unique attributes and the Onslow Boys - where can I meet a set of them? Puh-lease? I really felt for Sean as well, and definitely think that he needs his own spin off series!The whole story and plot line was amazing. Not once did it lag, or seem like the storyline was going around in circles (like I've noticed some books do). There was a great amount of tension and romance to light hearted bantering, and C.J. has an amazing talent for keeping the reader entranced in the story. I hadn't actually realized too, that the story was set in the 1990s until they started belting out to Wonderwall like it was Gangham Style. The carefree, lazy summer days reminded me so much of my own childhood and what I loved about summer the most (okay, I wasn't their age in the 1990s, but we still silly danced to Kung Foo Fighting too!). CJ captured the perfect summer romance, one that twisted my heart into a million pieces. I loved all the little quips that came from Tess and her friends, a couple of my favourite liners being:"Tess, it's Onslow. People go to the opening of an envelope, seriously, what is there to do in this town?""Toby was behind the wheel. It wasn't a serial killer, it was Toby. "Oh thank God it's you! I thought you were a murderer."The Boys of Summer is a story about self discovery and first true love that will stay with you for a long time after you read it. It will leave you delirious, as if you are experiencing Tess's emotions yourself, and when the book ends you'll have come out of the most amazing dreams ever! A perfect summer read, I know that all I will be doing for the next couple of months is re-reading this, waiting for my own Toby to come along. In the mean time, I'll just wait for the second book in the series, which will more than likely come before Toby does!Watch out Melina Marchetta, CJ Duggan is in town and she's ready to claim the Queen of Australian YA title!