Mix of Emotions.
CAUTION: SPOILERS (small ones)
Description: According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.
Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar.
But amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and as the Michigan summer heats up, the four teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to Grover’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy. But first she must come completely unraveled to have any hope of putting herself back together again.
I had a really hard time with book and that makes reviewing it even harder. I almost gave up at about 30 pages in because of the writing style, but I didn’t. I am glad I didn’t! While the beginning was extremely hard to read, I ended up really enjoying the rest of it. At about 70 pages, the story really started to pick up and enough information was revealed to keep me reading. There is a reason that the beginning is so jumpy and so hard to read. It makes complete sense by the end of it, but without knowing the reasons I struggled.
Zander has had a rough life, but she does not want to admit it. Cassie has crazier life than anyone should ever have to deal with. Grover is terrified of the future and has his own secrets. Bek is surprisingly the least crazy, but even he has issues! These four characters pull at your heartstrings and really get you thinking.
I’m not typically a fan of the young adult contemporary genre but this book was a pretty good read. I would recommend it.
My rating is