5 Star Review – The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

Posted January 15, 2014 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in All-Time Favorites, Reviews / 5 Comments

5 Star Review – The Boys of Summer by C.J. DugganThe Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan
Series: Summer #1
Also in this series: That One Summer
Published by Self Published on 12/17/12
Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: The Author
My content rating: Mature YA/NA (Contains sex and some mature language)
My rating:
5 Stars

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.


There was something completely wonderful and irresistible about The Boys of Summer.  It was the type of book that made me remember young love – sometimes fondly and sometimes with a slight cringe.  🙂 The synopsis explains to book pretty well, so I’ll get right to my review.

The negatives:

  • Lack of communication.  If you read my reviews often, you know that one of my pet peeves is when a couple has problems based solely on their failure to communicate and actually talk about what’s going on between them.  This does happen a bit in this book, but I found it much more forgivable than usual because I felt like the lack of communication was a bit more warranted here than in some other books – after all, Tess feels very young and a bit out of her league when it comes to The Onslow Boys.  I’ll talk a bit more about this in the next bullet point …


  • Realistic young love.  I think the main reason that I absolutely adored this book was because Tess felt so realistic to me.  I could completely empathize with Tess’ fears and insecurities and I felt like her responses to finding herself thrown in with an older crowd rang true.  It made complete sense to me that Tess felt out of her element and didn’t always know how to act around Toby or what to expect from him.  As I mentioned above, Tess could have avoided some problems by simply talking to Toby and not jumping to conclusions about certain things.  But, for the most part, this seemed realistic to me because Tess was so unsure about her place among this older crowd – she let her insecurities get the best of her and I truly felt for her.  I also thought that Duggan did a fantastic job of portraying young love – how amazing and horrifying it can feel (sometimes both at the same time!).  Tess’ crush on the extremely swoon-worthy Toby was poignant and completely believable – I so wanted her to find her happily ever after!!
  • Awesome friendships.  One of my favorite parts of this book was the friendship between Adam, Ellie and Tess.  These three had such an amazing bond and camaraderie – Adam especially just made me smile every time he showed up in the book!!!  The way they joked with each other, the way they backed each other up through thick and thin, even the way they fought – it all felt so authentic and it made me want to be best friends with them too!  Then there was the male bonding going on with The Onslow Boys – once again, I thought that Duggan nailed it.  It was so refreshing to see some really strong friendships that took center stage in a book – while this story was definitely about the romance, the friendships were never given short shrift!
  • Witty banter.  There was tons of dialogue in this book that just made me smile (or laugh out loud).  Pretty much everything that came out of Adam’s mouth was hilarious and Tess’ flirty banter with The Onslow Boys was always entertaining.  Once again, it just made me wish that I knew these people in real life!!
  • No need for a sequel!  This is definitely a self-contained book.  Don’t get me wrong – I am dying to read the next book in this series (and will be very soon), but we aren’t left with any sort of cliff-hanger and this book stands really well on its own.  The other books in the series are just icing on the cake!

I think I might stop swooning over this book eventually, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon!  I honestly cannot wait to read An Endless Summer now – and I don’t plan on waiting long!!  5/5 stars.

 All -Time Favorite
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***
Watch for the upcoming tour for book #3 in this series – coming to my blog in February!!


5 responses to “5 Star Review – The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

  1. Unfortunately, when I moved to WordPress, my comments didn’t transfer properly. Want to see what people thought of this review? Visit the original post on Blogger HERE.

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