Author: J.K. RockRelease Date: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
~Spoilers are hidden! Highlight the page to see them:)~
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.
They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.
But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
In a word: Intense (LOL)
To be honest, I thought this book would be a light and fluffy read, something to make me feel nostalgic for the days of summer past. And it was that- and so much more. I don’t know if it was because I’d been emotionally strung (that House of Hades omg) when I read Camp Boyfriend, but I found it surprisingly intense. (Don’t get me wrong- there were parts that were pretty cute and fluffy, but overall, it was much deeper than my initial impressions.)
Let’s start with Lauren.
I loved her self discovery throughout the book and the awesome message on how being true to yourself doesn’t mean just picking one thing (like a geek or a cheerleader), but being true to all sides of yourself. She was a likeable character, very realistic and relatable, and that made her a great (and funny!) narrator. She was just like any other girl, with regular teen problems, and the authors did an awesome job capturing that.
For some reason, I didn’t swoon over Matt and Seth like I thought I would. (I blame House of Hades. Bob! Scion! Calypso!- but that’s for another review xD). Like Lauren, I was going back and forth between both guys, and even close to the end, I couldn’t tell who she would choose. It could have gone either way. (At the start, I had been rooting for Seth. Why? Matt gave a really bad first impression (he made up for it later, and we see he’s complex character as well), but at the start, I thought Seth would be Lauren’s guy. (That was of course until he took off and left Lauren alone.))
I loved that Lauren’s choice surprised me. One of the things that really stood out to me about this book was the unpredictable nature of it. NO ONE was as they seemed, and it was very refreshing to see massive character development in ALL the characters (not just the main ones).
Another thing I liked about this book was Seth’s and Matt’s lack of perfection. The way Lauren painted both of them, one was seen as the better guy (because she has an obvious bias toward Seth in the beginning- not a spoiler, it’s on the back of the book) and one was seen as eh. As the book progresses, we see that neither one of them is quite who everyone thinks they are. Both the boys had lots of depth to them, more so with Matt I thought (but I’ve heard the prequel Camp Kiss showed a lot more of Seth), and that was one of the reasons why it was hard to see which guy Lauren was going to choose. And that process of choosing between Seth and Matt was INTENSE. (At least for me….xD).
Final thoughts? I loved how the authors showed depth in all their characters and the importance of breaking stereotypes. This was shown the best with Seth and Matt and also with Lauren’s quirky friends. They were cute in the beginning, but as the book went along, they showed their true colors, and NO ONE IS WHAT THEY SEEM. (Remember that;))
Rating: 3 out of 5