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Camp by L C Rosen - Review

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Where did I get it?  I bought it in early January. I loved Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) so I've been meaning to read this for a while. 


What's it about? Randy is sixteen and gay, and every summer for the past four years he's attended four weeks at Camp Outland, a camp specifically for queer teenagers. Randy is a theatre kid and usually spends all four weeks preparing for the show, wearing lots of glitter and nail polish, and basically being fabulous. However, he has a huge crush on Hudson, a boy who also attends the camp. And Hudson doesn't like campy, femme boys. He likes 'straight-acting' masculine boys. He usually gets together with a boy for two weeks, culminating in sex in a private place, and then ignores them for the remainder of camp. 

But, this year Randy has a plan. He is reinventing himself as Del, a boy who likes obstacle courses and hates musical theatre. He's cut his hair, worked out all year, and isn't going to be in the show this year. He's wearing boring preppy clothes and doing all the same electives are Hudson.

His best friends, George and Ashleigh, think the plan is absolutely insane, but they do agree to support Randy. Their cabin counseller, Mark, also thinks it's loopy, and tries to tell Randy that he's better off being himself. But Randy isn't to be deterred, so the plan goes ahead.

And to begin with, it works. Del and Hudson do get close, and start to see each other, and make out all over the place. Randy is determined to not become a two week wonder, but it's obvious that things are going to go wrong. 

I couldn't gel with the book to begin with, and it took me three days to read like 150 pages. But then I got into it, and I wanted to know what would happen, and how everything would get messed up. I do think the end of the book was worth it, and I don't know why I wasn't feeling the beginning. I liked Randall and all his lovely queer friends! 

Please don't ever change yourself just to get a boyfriend or girlfriend or partner! It's not worth it! The right person will love you just for who you are! 


What age range is it for? 15+ 


Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Of course! I think there's queer people of all different kinds - gay, trans, non binary, asexual people. I would have liked a bisexual person! But that's just me being picky. 


Are any main characters people of colour?

Yes, Hudson is mixed race - I think half white and half Korean. He is also Jewish. I think Randy is too. I think George was a person of colour, too. 


Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No I don't think so 


Is there any sex stuff? Yes, it's explicit. I liked it a lot, and there's a lot of emphasis on safe sex, but it is explicit. 


Are drugs mentioned or used? No I don't think so 


Is there any talk of death? No, this is a mostly very uplifting book! 


Are there swear words? A few, not many 

 

What criticisms do I have? I felt there was a bit of repetition towards the beginning which is maybe why I struggled to get into it. But otherwise, none really. 


Would I recommend the book? Yes, but I preferred Jack of Hearts. 


Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I had just been meaning to! 

 

What do I think of the cover? It's really cute! It looks like a camp badge and it has the rainbow on. I like it! 

 

What other books is it like? None spring to mind, I'm sorry. 


How many stars? Three and a half out of five. 

 

Where is the book going now? Oh I'll keep it, don't worry!

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