A few weeks ago, I had the great honor of receiving an ARC of CAMP, by Elaine Wolf, and I just finished reading it…like five minutes ago. My thoughts?
I loved it.
I loved it so much, that I am writing about it at three o’clock in the morning.
I never went to sleep away camp. My mother is a teacher, and she always says that she wanted to be able to spend more time with my brother and I over the summer. Day camps? Sure. Eight weeks in Maine? No way. That being said, I’ve always been mystified by sleep away camps, the stories, the movies, the television shows that paint the picturesque perfect summer…quite the opposite of Camp Takwanda for Girls.
Camp Takwanda for Girls is the setting of this novel, and at the heart of it is Amy, a character that makes you want to reach into the page of the book and just give her a huge hug. Amy is sent to Camp against her will. Her parents are sending her to camp in an effort to help her make more friends, to help her branch out, and to allow her to focus on being a teenager, rather than taking care of her younger brother Charlie, who is autistic. Amy is catapulted into a group of teenage lions, and Rory is the leader of the pack, who sees Amy as her next meal. She absolutely terrorizes the girl throughout the entire summer, and it’s just disgusting how mean children can be to one another. Throughout the summer, Rory pushes Amy to her limit, and, at a certain point, Amy starts to push back. Yet just as she’s starting to gain the confidence to stay afloat at Camp Takwanda, her cousin, a fellow camper and Rory’s vicious sidekick, unleashes a bomb about Amy’s mother that turns her world quite literally upside down.
She’s completely believable, relatable, lovable…I have no doubt that the majority of teenagers can relate to at least one aspect of Amy’s character. Her thoughts, her feelings, her personality, her experiences, her relationship with her mother, her relationship with her father, well, there’s something that will resonate with every reader.
This is a story about the horrors of bullying, the bonds of family, the power of memory, and the strength that one can find in the most unlikely places.
Get it now.