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?
Note: This review is pretty scathing. My head hurts.
I am astonished that I finished this book. It was that bad. I almost checked out of it several times, but plodded through. These were the longest 324 pages of my life.
This book was 100% YA, huge emphasis on the “young.” Lauren did not read like a rising junior in high school. Everything seemed so juvenile. It was brainless, angsty, and unnecessarily drama-ridden.
Almost all of Lauren’s problems stemmed from her poor communication skills and over-analysis of every situation… with gaping holes, assumptions everywhere, and logical fallacies thrown into the mix. I couldn’t sympathize with this protagonist when her problems were of her own doing. Why couldn’t she be straight with either of her love interests or her friends? Why did she constantly lament that her situations were “complicated”? So many issues would have been resolved if only she were straight-up.
With such an unlikable protagonist, I was really surprised that Matt and Seth fought for her so much. She was self-centered (and admitted this to herself) and didn’t appear to have any redeeming qualities for either of them. The authors touched upon the serious issues that both boys faced among their family lives, yet cruelly strung them along by Lauren for the course of the whole novel. Lauren acted as if she had the toughest life in the world.
Her “friends” were no better. It is too far-fetched for me to believe that the “Munchies” could forgive the “Divas” for their truly nasty and juvenile pranks (like itching cream? What is this, middle school?). Likewise, I couldn’t sympathize with the Munchies for their judgmental and holier-than-thou attitudes either. Friend-related issues were left completely unresolved. Alex, for example, clearly had problems with her family, what with and her desire to rebel and lust after Vijay. Lauren appeared to have no concern for her friends’ lives, which made me curious as to why they continued to seek her out. Then again, I don’t know why Lauren would want to be friends with any of them either.
Matt and Seth both made their intentions with Lauren glaringly obvious ALL THE TIME. She frequently pushed them both away, then lamented her “sad love life” when they so much as talked to other girls. She saw Matt serenading her, then assumed he was with Hannah. Lauren hatched a plan to “get Matt back,” but in the interim, pushed him away when he asked her again to resume their relationship. I didn’t understand Lauren. That was exactly what she wanted, and made plans in hopes for their reconciliation, yet pushed Matt away when given that same opportunity in such a simple and clear-cut manner. For that matter, her jealousy over Hannah was completely unwarranted. Matt attended Lauren’s summer camp to be with Lauren, not for any other reason. He wanted to stay, sacrificing summer practice because there was a chance that he and Lauren could stay together. There was nothing to signal that he was “interested in someone else” like Lauren feared.
That was merely one of many far-fetched events in the story. If Gollum was such an attentive drill-sergeant, how did he keep losing the campers? And why was it okay for Seth to leave for practically a week without any notice, when losing Eli for 10 minutes was a major crisis? Brittany lamented that Eli was dead, for goodness sakes. That was out-of-the-blue. Many of the events in the book did not line up with character motivations or simply did not make any sense. Evidently, these plot points were meant to drive the story and cause the characters to react in certain ways… but they were ineffective on all accounts.
I was really excited to read this book after reading dozens of glowing reviews. But I can’t think of a single enjoyable or redeeming scene in this book. It was contrived, juvenile, and senseless. I’m being very repetitive at this point (much like the book, hah), but I can’t emphasize enough how much displeasure and annoyance I garnered from Camp Boyfriend.
- If you really want to torture yourself further, read Callum & Harper – Fisher Amelie. That’s the only book I can think of that could possibly be as horrendous as this book.
- But please, save yourself the trouble.