Laney Parker is a city girl through and through. For her, summertime means stepping out of her itchy gray school uniform and into a season of tanning at rooftop swimming pools, brunching at sidewalk cafes, and—as soon as the parents leave for the Hamptons—partying at her classmates’ apartments.Review:
But this summer Laney’s mother has other plans for Laney. It’s called Camp Timber Trails and rustic doesn’t even begin to describe the un-air-conditioned log cabin nightmare. Laney is way out of her element—the in-crowd is anything but cool, popularity seems to be determined by swimming skills, and the activities seem more like boot camp than summer camp.
Splattered with tie dye fall out, stripped of her cell, and going through Diet Coke withdrawal, Laney is barely hanging on. Being declared the biggest loser of the bunk is one thing, but when she realizes her summer crush is untouchably uncrushable in the real world, she starts to wonder, can camp cool possibly translate to cool cool?
Summer camp might just turn this city girl’s world upside down!
Books about summer camps always intrigue me. Not only because they are usually set during summer, one of my favorite seasons, but also they always seem to include lots of hijinks and fun. This is what originally drew me to Julie Kraut’s Slept Away. Sadly enough, I did not end up enjoying it as nearly much as I thought I would, but it was still a quick and fun read.
For Laney Parker, city girl extraordinaire, summer plans involving sleepaway camps are never an option. She would much rather be spending the time partying and hanging out with her friends as well as getting some much needed rest. However, this summer these plans are thrown right out the window, as her mother is sending her to a camp called Timber Trails all the way out in wilderness of Pennsylvania. Shocked and angry, Laney pleads with her mother to allow her not to go. However, before Laney knows it, she’s off to Timber Trails to enjoy one fabulous summer. Along the way, she’ll meet some nasty girls, make some surprising allies, and get a chance at a summer romance. Most importantly, though, will this city girl begin to like the camp experience? Will it change her for better or worse? Only time and more pages can tell.
I felt a mixed bag of emotions about Laney’s character, which was one of the big reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I anticipated it. Laney is in most ways a spoiled brat, and while I can see the why she is that way as well as the importance in her being that way in relation to the plot and overall direction of the novel, she continually got on my nerves. You see, she could have had a great camp experience at first, if she would have let herself me happy and not sulked but that didn’t happen until much later. In addition, I disliked how quickly she was to slam people down because of their looks or status. However, she did manage to grow up throughout the novel, and by the end, I did like her character a little more than I did at the beginning.
What saved this novel, in my opinion, were the secondary characters. Sylvie, Laney’s camp friend, was hilarious and never afraid to tell Laney when she was being extreme, which made me like her even more. I also enjoyed the additions of Ryan and Eli. I only wish more was seen of them throughout the novel.
The plot of this was fun in some ways, but in others it felt a bit clichéd, as Julie didn’t really give a new spin to the whole spoiled princess goes to camp and changes her outlook on life storyline. However, I did enjoy the camp setting, as it did bring a laugh or two every once in while due to the different situations. I also enjoyed that before every chapter was a text, letter, etc. between Laney and her mom/dad/friend/etic. It was a cute addition.
In all, while Slept Away is a fun summer read in some ways, it did not contain the spark that I hoped it would. However, I still suggest it to readers who are looking for a fun, quick pool/beach read.
Slept Away is now out!
Source: Author/publisher- thanks Julie and Random House!