By J.K. Rock
Camp Boyfriend #2
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Released April 29, 2014
Published by Spencer Hill
Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she’s headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall. Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn’t seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex’s trouble-magnet personality and Javier’s need to stay in the background don’t mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry. With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?
Where do I start? A bit of background on me. I went to camp from the time I finished the 5th grade until I graduated from high school. After that I was a counselor. I can’t wait for our 3rd grader to be old enough to go to summer camp. My fondest memories of growing up were at summer camp. I got weepy reading the Camp books because a flood memories, good and bad, came flooding back. I had my first real crush at camp and as I look back, that certain boy taught me a lot about myself and him. We are still friends to this day but we had the talk back in our 20’s about the “what if”. Thank goodness it never worked. I treasure him more because of it.
There is something about the friendships and memories that are imbedded in your brain if you have ever been to camp. Alex is just trying to finally be the “bad girl” that everyone thinks she is and sets out to prove it with the one boy that she shouldn’t want. Going away to camp she gets to see her friends and kick it up a bit before being sent off the an all girls school in the fall. Alex was a hoot but underneath all of that bravdo laid a very scared and loveable teenager. Never truly understood by her father and brother, I could relate. I had the same relationship with my mother and brother growing up. My dad totally got me so I had to hold on to. Alex just wanted to be liked and loved for who and what she was in life. Javier made her come alive in that sense. After dealing with the jerk of an ex from the previous year and with the uneasy truce of the Divas, the summer wasn’t going has she planned. Then the new girl Jasmine…oh I loved her. She put the mirror up to Alex’s face and made her figure out what was important. I didn’t like Jasmine at first but once the layers were peeled back from her, I loved her.
Javier was a joy. Loyal, fiercely protective of his mother and just trying to keep his nose clean for the summer…that was until Hurricane Alex showed up and wouldn’t leave him alone. I cheered for him and most importantly that he finally realized that he wasn’t the source of his mother’s problems. Teenagers put so much pressure on themselves when it comes to their parents. Alex was realistic written as the so-called troublemaker but in hindsight, he really wasn’t. Just misunderstood with good intentions.
The twist at the end of the book with Alex and her mother was awesome. I cried for them and hoped that their relationship would move forward. I was a bit surprised by the ending of the book. And yes in a good way. You will have to read it to find out why.
Ms. Rock and Ms. Rock have written a realistic portrayl of what goes on at camp. The West Side Story reference was genius and I’m still thinking of my camp experiences long after I closed the book. Yes, we had the jocks, divas, geeks, nerds and the offbeat counselors. Not to mention that our camp director was actually hot and fun to be around. Yes, we didn’t want the whistle shoved down his throat.
Camp Boyfriend #1
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?
You know what’s special about trying to find yourself? Okay, besides going to summer camp. Seriously though…finding out that the people that you didn’t think had your back, really did. This book was revelation to me. Personally, I straddled the line between geeks and divas growing up. I never really fit in with the whole Diva things, much to my mother’s chargrin. She got a tomboy, not a sorority girl but I did clean up well; still do.
Lauren’s problems start at home. Dealing with a mother that has the right status on the brain, a father that’s never around anymore due to work and a sister getting married, the only thing that keeps her going is summer camp. One problem though, her camp boyfriend Seth doesn’t know about her boyfriend back home. Then to make matters worse, back home boyfriend Matt decides to come to summer camp with her.
Oh lord…this is where the book just took off. Lauren is a different person once she comes back to camp. Popular, a cheerleader the stuff of the Diva’s cabin right? She had always been in the Munchies cabin before but thanks to Matt and the Warriors cabin…she is between two cabins and friends. Not to mention that both Seth and Matt didn’t have a clue about the other.
I really, really loved Lauren’s book. Its about growing up and figuring out who and what you are as a person. Can you really be two people? I think you can but Lauren had to come to grips with her old self and new self. Plus, what about Matt and Seth? Let’s just say that I was definitely in one camp and I still believe that the right boy was chosen. Once that boy saw Lauren for who and what she was and is…its a no brainer!
I really enjoyed getting to know the other campers in the book, too. And yes, they all come back for Alex’s book. 🙂 The ending of the book made me tear up. It was so sweet and endearing that I knew then that everything would be alright for Lauren. Yes, there is romance in the book but overall, its Lauren’s growing up tale about how to come to terms with everything that you are made of and making peace with that.
About the Author
J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners – and sisters-in-law – Joanne & Karen Rock. Although they started out sharing an annual shopping trip, they ended up discussing their favorite films and books, joining the same book club and talking about writing… a lot. Their debut novel, Camp Boyfriend, is the first in a three-book series plotted during family pool parties. Their creative partnership is unique in that they enjoy passing a book back and forth, each adding a chapter and fine-tuning the chapter before. Years of friendship has yielded a shared voice and vision for their work that makes writing a pleasure. Learn more about Karen and Joanne at http://jkrock.net
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