Monday, March 3, 2014

Summer on the Short Bus

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pages: 256
Keywords: summer, camp, popularity
Format Read: ARC via author/publisher in exchange for honest review (thank you!)
Get It: Book Depository

Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.
Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.

This cover is so cute. And I had high hopes, I did. I love summer camp, and I love summer camp books. But the execution didn't hold up for me.

I am aware that this is not supposed to be a politically correct novel. And it wasn't. But it still shocked me. Like, made me physically cringe and turn away and put the book down for a while shock me. I was that mad. I was mad at the character, I was mad at the plot, and I was mad at everything, really, in general. But I kept reading because I wanted it to get better.

But there were quite a few issues I had with this along the way. There were tons of really specific pop culture references from like, my 8th grade year. So 2005? High School Musical and Hollaback Girl were a couple of them. But it wasn't just random references, it was really specific details that you wouldn't know unless you've watched/heard it multiple times. And kids with support needs are not that behind in pop culture references. I worked at a summer camp with similar circumstances, and our kids were super up-to-date and knew more than I did about what was cool.

In addition, these were TERRIBLE camp counselors. They could just sneak away and leave the kids alone in the cabin in the middle of the night? Swear in front of them? Make jokes and not act as though they are standing right there? It was totally ridiculous and unbelievable, I can't believe anyone would trust their children with these kids.

The other major issue I had was the time span. The book implies this is an entire summer. She acts like it is an entire summer. The book takes place over the course of two weeks. TWO. WEEKS. This was like worse than instalove. Fastest story I've ever read, actually. And she complained so much, but it was two weeks. And all that happened, there's no way she went through that many changes in two weeks.

Read When: Honestly, my recommendation would be to skip it. This put me in a serious book slump, and I don't like to be in book slumps. :(

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