Author: Rebekah Crane
Published: December 1, 2016
ISBN: 1503939820/ ISBN13: 9781503939820
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 did not mean to read this book. But it was available for a discount on my kindle app, and somehow I could not stop reading it once I started. The fact that I did not know what the main character Zander’s background was, and why she ended up at Camp Padua kept me glued to the pages, and tuned into the audio book while in the car.
These kinds of stories also always make me feel better about myself. I would catch myself thinking maybe my life is not so hectic after all. These kids definitely had it worse. I also enjoyed all the statistics and odds provided by Grover throughout the book, as well as the copies of the letters that the kids sent home while they were at camp.
I had several issues with this book. I thought Zander’s attachment to Grover, to Cassie, and to Camp Padua overall felt a little rushed. Maybe the main issue was the time line was very rushed itself. There were things that happened to draw Zander closer to Grover and to Cassie, but I felt like they were not enough to warrant all her feelings towards them. It was all very insta-lovey. I personally hated Cassie, and thought that she was really mean to Zander and to EVERYONE in the book. I applaud Zander for sticking with her, I would’ve given up on her like everyone else in her life has, but we all need someone that will stick by our side no matter what.
This story just did not have any likeable characters, except maybe Grover. It dealt with tough issues such as self harm, domestic abuse, mental illness, and suicide, amongst others. Other YA/Contemporary fans might enjoy this book more than I did, it was a quick read but in my opinion it was way too quick and could’ve gone more in depth into a lot of these issues. Overall, this is not a book I would enthusiastically recommend to others.