I have to begin this post by saying that I absolutely loved this book. So this is going to be a rather gushy review, because I really just adored it. Even the cover is perfect. The only thing I really didn't like about it is the title, because I found it off-putting. To me it sounds frivolous, like a cheesy teen romance, but that is nothing like what it is. You'll see.
Anna and Frankie are best friends, and have been forever. They were always joined by Frankie's older brother Matt, an inseparable threesome, until Matt's tragic death the year before. Now it's summer again, and Frankie's family are trying to pull the pieces back together, deciding that the annual family trip to Zanzibar Bay will be the best thing for them. But instead of Matt, this year they will bring Anna. They will be there for 20 days, and Frankie decides that she and Anna will meet 20 boys, and just see what happens. Anna goes along with this, as she has gone along with every wild thing that Frankie has done over the past year. Because she has a secret, one that she is afraid will destroy her friendship.
Anna accidentally fell in love with Matt when she was 10 and he was 12. Last year, on Anna's fifteenth birthday, Matt kissed her for the first time. This began a sweet, and secret, love affair between the two of them. Matt wanted to be the one to tell Frankie, but he wasn't sure how to. He was leaving for college at the end of the summer, and he wanted to make sure he didn't leave on a bad note. He decided that their trip to Zanzibar would be the best time to tell her, and he made Anna promise she wouldn't tell first. But he died the day before they were to leave.
The love story between Anna and Matt is so sweet, and the way that Anna deals with her feelings for Matt, and the new feelings she has for Sam, a boy she meets in Zanzibar, is very well told. All of the things she goes through feel authentic. This really is an excellent book, for teens, but also for adults who enjoy authentic, heartfelt stories. I loved the characters, and the way they grow during these 20 days will change them forever, but for the better.
This book qualifies for many challenges, I'll just list them here: RYOB 2009, The New Author Challenge, The Pub 2009 Challenge, and the A-Z Reading Challenge.