**THIS POST CONTAINS MANY SPOILERS. DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY READ HER BOOK!!**
Waaaay back in August 2009, I read an AMAZING book called Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, that I reviewed and gave 5 stars. There was just one part of the book that I was confused with - when Anna ended up sleeping with Sam. Feel free to read the last paragraph of my review for a further explanation on my thoughts about this issue. Sarah and I had emailed back and forth a lot last year, so I asked her one time about why she included this scene in the book. I came across the email today and wanted to share it with you all. Here is what she had to say:
Thanks for reading Twenty Boy Summer! I *really* appreciate your review, especially since you mentioned that you are a strong believer in abstinence. I know that the "albatross" treatment in the book and the way Anna loses her virginity has been an issue for some readers with similar beliefs who wanted to see more consequences, guilt, sad feelings, or moral lessons from Anna's decision. But in writing the story, I didn't want to convey any messages, lessons, or judgments either way. I just wanted to tell the story of Anna and Frankie and what they go through after losing Matt. In this case, they happened to treat virginity more casually.
As you learned in the book, for Frankie, it was more of a pretend mask to hide behind so no one would know how heartbroken and lost she was after Matt's death. It was an act. For Anna, it was something that she struggled with, looking for anything to hold on to after losing Matt, hiding the secret from Frankie, and then feeling guilty as she started to fall in love with Sam. Anna went along with Frankie's "albatross" thing, but deep down, she did feel her virginity was special, which is why it was so hard for her to move on from Matt (she always assumed it would be him, and that they'd get married one day). Meeting Sam was tough for her b/c she realized she was falling in love with him, and despite all the "albatross ditching" talk with Frankie and her thoughts on how awkward and stressful it all was, she really did want it to be special, and she believed it *was* special with Sam. Ultimately, loving Sam helps her realize that she can move on with her life while still keeping Matt's memory in her heart. It's why at the end, when Frankie gives Anna Matt's blue necklace, she doesn't put it on. She just puts it in her pocket to keep like a special memory rather than something to rule her life. And then she thinks of Sam. :-) Besides, she *might* see Sam again one day. She did have his sweatshirt and his email address. You never know. ;-)
I just thought this was a very insightful perspective about it, especially since it's from the author's point of view! By the way - Sarah is publishing another book soon called Fixing Delilah, which I am so excited about.
- Thursday, November 4, 2010