Little Willow (slayground) wrote,
Little Willow

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Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita

Harper McAllister planned on spending the summer hanging out with friends and lounging around at home. A nice, low-key time. But after she goes on an unplanned shopping spree in an effort to impress her rich friends, Harper's dad makes an effort to bring her back down to earth by sending her off to summer camp. Her twin brother, Kyle, is also camp-bound. He's happy about it. Harper, not so much.

The back cover summary of this book, which mentions Prada and the country club, might make Harper sound like a rich snob, but we learn early in the book that her family's wealth is a recent acquisition. Two years ago, her father's wedding video company produced a low-budget music video for a rapper who was unknown at the time. When the song became record of the year, Harper's dad suddenly became the go-to guy for music videos. His production company took off, and his family moved from, quote, "a tiny house in middle-class Mineola to a mansion in J. Lo country." Harper's friends, popular and wealthy, don't bat an eye at price tags. They are used to wearing brand name clothes and going on family vacations to other countries. Two years into this world, Harper has gotten a little used to those things, too, but she hadn't really realized it.

Luckily, Harper's time at camp reminds her of her roots. She's a well-meaning girl, and she tries to bond with her fellow campers (with varying degrees of success) all while attempting to prove to her brother and to herself that she can hack it out here in the wilderness. The longer she's away from the city, the more comfortable she becomes with getting dirt under her fingernails and participating in camp activities. Summer State of Mind is a fun movie-ready, kid-friendly story with lots of sunshine, sibling rivalry, new friends, and first crushes, plus a creative project (yay for teamwork!) towards the end.

(Question: Did anyone else picture Lorde as London Blue, or was that just me?)

Bonus book: Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita is a companion novel to Sleepaway Girls, which also takes place at Whispering Pines. If you read Sleepaway Girls first, you'll recognize Sam and some of the other counselors and camp workers that appear in Summer State of Mind. If you read Summer State of Mind first, you should go pick up Sleepaway Girls and see how it all began!

Contest: Jen Calonita is holding the SUMMER STATE OF MIND SELFIE CONTEST from now until August 25th! Post a selfie of you with Summer State of Mind this summer on Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter, and tag Jen Calonita along with the hashtag #summerselfie and she will retweet your post and you'll be entered in her contest. One winner will receive signed copies of her Belles series, and signed copies of books by some of her favorite YA authors as well. Eight or more books in all! So what do you have to lose? Get snapping and tag @jencalonita when you do! The contest will run until August 25th and is open to US residents only.

Have you ever attended or worked at a summer camp?
Are you the outdoors type, or would you rather stay in?
Have you ever been on a zip-line?
Let me know in the comments below!
Tags: books, contests, pr, reviews, series, websites

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