I'd seen this book in Waterstones over and over and never picked it up until one day when I went on a book binge and grabbed a copy. I've always been fascinated with the idea of 'degaying camps' in America but the only other time I'd seen anything about it was when I watched that cheerleader movie. You know the one. It's an amazing movie and everyone should see it. This however, was not anywhere near an amazing book for me.
My main problem with it was the sheer length of the thing. I figured 480 pages wouldn't be so bad, I'd read The Program in a couple of hours before now and that was 405. However, I didn't account for the layout - this book has small writing and a lot of it on each page, making the book even more tedious than it already was. The story itself isn't really that great either.
The way this story is written is a strange one. The rest of the year isn't really mentioned and therefore there are long drawn out descriptions of what she did each summer. Boy are they drawn out. Two summers could take up 100 pages, easy. Strangely though her only character development happened during the summer, so there was a strange effect of her only existing during summer.
The good stuff, the camp that I was waiting for for what felt like forever didn't actually start until around page 260. No, I'm not kidding. Her parents deaths only take up a small portion of the book before they're forgotten so you have to sit page after page, hearing her talk about smoking pot and thinking about Coley. However, the story did pick up a little when she got there but not enough to keep my interest.
Romance. I waited for romance. I hungered for romance. I even drooled a little in the hope that romance would happen. It. Never. Did. I think this was a big mistake because having a good romance in a story can really help keep things moving. There were two important girls in this: Irene, who discovered dinosaur bones, left for a posh school and was never heard of again and Coley, who was never interested due to probably being a supposed bisexual and after the camp thing just ignored Cameron.
There were a lot of characters who should have had a say towards the end and there was so much I wanted to happen that could have happened, had the descriptions not been so drawn out. Irene's and Coley's stories felt unfinished and the story itself ended in a really strange place.