Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on July 2nd 2013
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
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?
I had requested this book a few months back and constantly put it aside from my sight because I was afraid of starting it. I don’t like love triangles, the unnecessary angst it brings to the story for it to keep going. Not to mention the various reviews at Goodreads that complained about this book and the romance. But in truth, I liked it. One of the very few times where I can say I enjoyed a story even with that horrible triangle.
Having moved to Texas, Lauren decided to leave behind her former nerdy, glasses, braces, astronomic self behind and become a cheerleader. She climbed into the popular spotlight of high school and had the boyfriend everyone wanted. But once Summer started, she was returning to Camp Juniper Point where she could leave all pretenses behind and meet with her camp boyfriend. This year, her last year, she was planning on taking a long-term relationship with said boyfriend. But she had to dump the quarterback first. For some reason, she couldn’t just dump him because she cared. Because of problems Matt (quarterback) was having, he decided to join Lauren to Camp. Big whoops when everyone sees her different from the Lauren she was the previous year, and with a boyfriend smocking hot. Summer was supposed to be a relief for her, but it turned out to be the contrary. Between boyfriend drama and problems with her friends, Lauren has to decide who she really is, Nerdy Astronomer, or Fashion Cheerleader, choose the according boyfriend, and the clique for her. Or lose it all.
Lauren was a bit annoying at first and I couldn’t really comprehend how she could decide to be this person and then another. Why not be both? Why so much drama when you could do things so much simpler? But the truth folks is that life is more complicated than what it seems. I was a bit hesitant of Lauren but she started to rub off on me. By the end of the book I loved her because I felt myself reflected in her, or at least some of her situations.
It was fun to read of the other characters, even if there were a lot of them. Each one had a different personality and contributed to the story when their time came. Other than Lauren and Matt, my other favorite character was Emily, one of the camp counselors. She was crazy, weird, energetic, supporting, even if a bit of a snooper some times, she was really awesome and always managed to make me laugh.
The plot isn’t just having to choose which boyfriend she’ll end up with it. From something so simple it escalates as the people around her say that Lauren is not the same girl they used to hang out for so many summers. She liked to dance, is a cheerleader, and has a boyfriend who isn’t the guy every one of her camp friends like. It also deals with the ever-present high school drama, cliques. Last school yeah, when I was a Junior, I had this same problem. My circle of friends consisted of four people (including me). And then there was the Beauty Squad of the group. We all took the same classes together, and we all had these prejudiced opinions of each other, you could feel the tension sizzling in the classrooms. There were often fights. By January I began to drift away from my friend circle and hang out with other people. Others who didn’t judge so much. I even hung out with some of the Beauty Squad.
It was almost like on the book. There’s a geek/nerd/weird group, and the divas group. Why can’t both be together? Why can’t there be people who liked both things? My friends circle often made stupid comments about me liking PE and sports and that I’m good at them. But I also love books and geeky things! What’s so bad about both?
Lauren is faced with similar things and by the end, well, not to spoil, it ends good. It deals with that kind of thing so many teens go through in high school. You can’t let yourself be defined by what others expect or want you to do. You don’t always have to be limited to one group of people when you can be friends with all. And you can’t judge others by what they do because, most probably, you do the same things too.
I was team Matt all the way. Though, like I mentioned before, I’m not too fond of love triangles, what I liked of this one was how Lauren dealt with it. At first it was overwhelming and she did stupid things. She’s a teen, you can’t really expect her to be the most perfect person ever. The romance was sweet, frustrating, infuriating, and swoony. Young Adult at it’s best I suppose.
This was a fluffy, cute, food-for–thought book. I loved how everything was solved in the end in the best possible way, and how Lauren evolved as a character. After so many problems with people and who she was, she put a stop to both guys in the love triangle and focused on the only angle that was truly important: herself. Because if you don’t know yourself, if you don’t love who you are and know what you want, how do you expect others to do the same too? Definitely worth reading, specially as a summer read for those having vacations.
Rating: 4 stars
Check out Marianne’s Review of this book, and the sequel, HERE!
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