Harper Mcallister is a sweet but spoiled freshly minted rich girl whose dad decides she needs a shot of reality. His plan: send her to his childhood sleepaway camp, Whispering Pines. Ziplines, mud, bugs, and bears are not Harper's thing and she'll hilarious have to navigate that world without her iPhone or beloved Twitter account. Can she hack it with the help of some former "Sleepaway Girls"? (from Goodreads)
Sleepaway Girls is one of my favorite books. Not because it's a literary masterpiece but because it has great characters and a wonderful setting. It's such a "summer" book that I reread it every year around this time because I love immersing myself in Camp Whispering Pines. When I discovered that Jen Calonita was writing another book set at Whispering Pines I was ecstatic. While I didn't like Summer State of Mind as much as I hoped, it's still a cute novel.
My biggest problem with this book is that it reads really young, almost MG. The characters are 15, the same age as those in Sleepaway Girls, but they seemed so much younger. Part of that is probably due to the fact that the girls in SG are all CITs and have some level of responsibility at the camp. The characters in SSoM are still campers so they don't have to be as mature as their counterparts. Even so, Harper is tough to root for in the beginning; she's extremely materialistic and a little snobby. Luckily, her time at camp changes her for the better!
I wish we got more time with the original "sleepaway girls" even though this novel is only supposed to be a companion to the original. The exploits of Sam and her crew as counselors would have been so much fun to read about and I wish we got that instead! So while I'm grateful for another visit to Whispering Pines, I definitely like the original better.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: personal copy