Friday, May 30, 2014

review: summer state of mind by jen calonita

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Summer State of Mind is Jen Calonita’s second book to take place at Whispering Pines summer camp, but it works great as a standalone because the characters of the first book, Sleepaway Girls, have become minor characters as they are now the counselors and there’s a new group of campers.  This time around the focus is on Harper McAllister, a rich girl who gets deemed “Camping Barbie,” due to her numerous hair products and extensive designer wardrobe.  Harper gets sent to camp as punishment after racking up a huge credit card bill.  She had big plans to spend the summer with her snobby friends, but now she’s forced to spend a month without her phone.  Her twin brother and a boy from school are there too, but it’s her newfound friend Lina who makes camp tolerable when all the other girls in their cabin make fun of her.

Summer State of Mind was a super-fun read.  The camp really comes alive through Calonita’s great descriptions of the lake, cabins, and activities.  The characters were painted well too; I could really picture Harper, Lina, Ethan, and Kyle plus some of the minor characters.  The slow changes that Harper experiences through the novel were developed nicely with her making some missteps along the way rather than being immediately embraced.

About the audiobook:  Eileen Stevens sounded exactly like I thought Harper McAllister should!  Stevens read with the mixture of excitement and dread that seemed perfect for Harper’s character.  Jen Calonita’s Summer State of Mind was published in April 2014 by Blackstone Audio and runs 7 hours.
Review copy provided by Audiobook Jukebox.

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