Book Review: Boys of Summer, edited by Steve Berman

Boys of Summer is the perfect collection of short stories for a hot summer day. After reading it – particularly the last story, “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorry, Blood for Joy,” I had the strongest urge to go swimming in the ocean.

Sadly, a pool had to suffice.

Each story looks at different aspects of summer: vacationing, working, reminiscing on school. You name it. But the one thing they all have in common? Cute gay boys looking for love.

“Bark If You Like Boys” by Sam Cameron features some characters that may be familiar to readers if they have read the authors book Mystery of the Tempest. Denny Anderson, one of the twins, has a short role.

I loved the first story in the collection, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Swamp Thing.” It reminded me of being in Maine with my family. I liked both characters, Shane and Chase, and wish there was a full-length novel with their story. Chase is socially awkward in a way because of his love for amphibians, and Shane desperately wants to fit in. Who doesn’t know that feeling? In the end, as unlikely as it may seem, the two hit it off and discover they have other things in common.

The book is a fast read because of the short nature of the stories. It’s just enough to read one¬†while sitting in the hot summer sun, sip on iced tea, and then go for a dip in the pool or inside to cool off before reading another one. Or you can just read them in one go.

Boys of Summer is available for sale through the Bold Strokes Books website or through Amazon.

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