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Camp by L. C. Rosen

Camp (original 2020; edition 2020)

by L. C. Rosen (Author)

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1072204,891 (3.46)6
Authors:L. C. Rosen (Author)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2020), 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Camp by L. C. Rosen (2020)


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Every summer Randy Kapplehoff goes to a camp for LGTBQ+ teens, a place where he feels safe to be the nail polish wearing, musical theater loving, fabulous fashion rocking gay he truly is (something he can't do at school) along with all the friends he's made there over the years. He's also harbored a massive crush on another camp member for several of those summers, and this year he has a plan to win over the masc4masc playboy and make him fall in love, although that plan means he'll need to put all those things he loves being and doing on hold. A Shakespeare romcom plopped down into a gay summer camp: both main characters pretending to be something they're not, fun side characters with their own romance stories going on, and a play (or musical, in this case) within a play (novel). For me the working through the "it's okay to be the gay you you are, no matter what form of gay that takes" seemed a little belabored and the dialogue around it a bit repetitive and very slightly clunky at times, but for a teen audience who may be struggling with those issues, it's probably just the right amount. And so, I think it's fun and doing important work in the field, and I can happily recommend it. ( )
  electrascaife | Feb 6, 2021 |

When I picked up this book, I knew it would be a good read but nothing could have prepared me for the unique and essential storyline that hit me.

The book was not only fresh but also close to reality. It had one of the best queer representations of all the sapphic books I've read.

Camp is set in a queer camp where queer teens can go to find acceptance and overcome bias by being themselves unapologetically for a month. Like any other camp, it has activities to do but most of all, it uplifts the once that need to be.

The narrator of the book is Randy aka Del aka Randall and he has transformed himself for love. It seems to be working pretty well. What I liked here is that as absurd as it sounds he always maintained that it's not permanent and that he will slowly turn back.

The story does flow in two timelines, the present with Del and the past with the original Randy. I was expecting them to coincide sometime but I realised that it's only to give us a glimpse to the past and an idea about how Randy came to this decision in the first place.

He has got some amazing friends who support him but also give him their honest opinion. What the author managed to do it share the spotlight equally among all the characters. The supporting characters don't even feel like side characters. They glow with their own glitter.

The character development is also immense and commendable. As irritating as Del may seem, he is a teenager and being irritating is almost every teenagers secong nature. So, the author nailed it. But, he also grows so much.

The best part of the story is how we are shown all the sides and edges there are to the life of queer folks. Not everyone is readily accepted and not everyone is free to be who they are even after being out. And this is expressed very well in the book.

We definitely need more books like this. It's the need of the hour.

I rate the book 4/5 for being so important and just.

What I liked about it:

- very easy read
- one of the best queer reps ever
- a realistic story showing us both the sides of the coin
- pleasing ending
- smooth writing
- the unique acknowledgements in the end was amazing
- Friendship goals ( )
  AnrMarri | Sep 24, 2020 |
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