LEV A C ROSEN
REPRESENTATION: Gay Jewish protagonist, half Korean Jewish love interest and mad diverse supporting characters (Jewish Middle Eastern, Afro-Brazilian, demisexual lesbian, non-binary and I might have forgotten others).
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Contemporary Romance
Okay, I need to preface this by saying: I don’t read an awful lot of contemporary YA so when I like one it means it’s really, really good.
I fucking adored Camp. Like, adored it. I got to the end of my ARC, opened Amazon and pre-ordered a paperback.
Once the things I loved most about Camp, is the cast of characters. There are so many queer characters here. We get to see different ethnicities and orientations, different gender presentations, different personality types, different outlooks, and different interests. And all of the characters are presented as valid, well-rounded, well-developed individuals. There’s no ‘straight best friends’ or ‘the only gay in town’ syndrome and, honestly, it was so refreshingly realistic. Even though they were all so very different, I don’t think there was a single character I disliked, they all won we over completely in their own ways.
All of that aside, I picked up Camp thinking it would be some light, fluffy, summer read. And it is, but it’s also one of the best books I’ve read this year. The writing is brilliantly readable and effortless, and the pacing is fast-moving without sacrificing character moments and development. It’s in turns relatable, heart-warming, and hysterically funny. Camp completely drew me in and I really felt like I was visiting the camp, that I was friends with these characters, and invested in their happiness.
I so happy this book existed and I hope everyone will give it a try. I’m so excited to see the eventual adaptation and hope it becomes a cult hit. Please, if you’re even a little intrigued, go read Camp as soon as you can.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.