This was the first book I read on Kindle! And I really enjoyed it because using a Kindle kept me off of social media as much (because I low key have an addiction).
Anyway, this book was touching. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the message the author delivered to her readers. Overall, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
This is the story of a teenage girl who gets sent away to a summer camp after an attempt at suicide following the death of her younger sister. At this camp for troubled teens, run by a man named Kerry — who reinforces to the campers that the lost can always be found — our protagonist relearns the feeling of FEELING and meets a group of friends along the way that she will cherish forever.
WARNING: Spoiler alert
Let me begin with our protagonist, Zander. Zander is a sixteen year old girl sent to a summer camp in Michigan for troubled teens where she finds herself slowly but surely opening up after a tragic incident that occurred that forced her parents to reevaluate their daughter's life and send her away.
In the beginning, Zander fears feeling ANYTHING. To her, it is better to feel nothing at all than to risk ever being hurt — which we later learn is the result of the loss of her younger sister.
During her time at this camp, Zander meets Cassie, a bulimic teenager who lives life with her fists in front of her face in order to protect herself. Annoyed at first with Cassie's behavior, Zander eventually realizes that what this girl needs is someone to care for her despite her bitter attitude.
Next, she meets Grover Cleveland — named after "one of the fattest" U.S. presidents. Grover is the boy who signs himself up for this camp out of fear that he will one day become just like his schizophrenic father. His character is quirky and lovable.
Lastly is Bek — the pathological liar who writes letters in French. The group never knows whether or not he is lying or telling the truth but I think they keep him around in hopes that one day they witness him speak the truth. The one truth we do have from him...he is in love with Cassie.
I enjoyed each character and felt that each were fully developed although sometimes it seemed they were slightly predictable and somewhat cliche. Nonetheless, they represented human error and the idea that everyone has a crazy side.
I also enjoyed the fluidity of the writing — the language was very poetic.
What didn't work:
I loved how different this story was and that we weren't dealing with commercial characters — we were dealing with a bulimic, a potential schizophrenic, a pathological liar and a girl who refused to feel her own feelings. But I thought that the story itself was somewhat redundant. It repeated too often this idea that people can be lost but with the help of a team, they can be found — which is true, BUT it almost became so often an idea that it came off to me as a crutch.
If I were to cast this in a film adaptation, these are the actors that I could see playing these characters:
Zander Osborne: Chloe Grace Moretz
Grover Cleveland: Brooklyn Beckham
Cassie: Amandla Stenberg
Alex "Bek" Trebek: Will Poulter
This is a mock up book trailer I made on iMovie just to display a fun visual!