Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Camp by Elaine Wolf


A coming-of-age novel about bullying, mothers and daughters, and the collateral damage of family secrets.

Every secret has a price.

For most girls, sleep away camp is great fun. But for Amy Becker, it’s a nightmare. Amy, whose home life is in turmoil, is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls for the first time as a teenager. Although Amy despises spending summers at home with her German-immigrant mother, who is unduly harsh with Amy’s autistic younger brother, Amy is less than thrilled about going away to camp. At Takawanda she is subjected to a humiliating “initiation” and to relentless bullying by the ringleader of the senior campers. As Amy struggles to stop the mean girls from tormenting her, she becomes more confident. But then her cousin reveals dark secrets about Amy’s mother’s past, setting in motion a tragic event that changes Amy and her family forever.

CAMP is a compelling family drama that will resonate with a wide teenage readership. It will be a strong addition to recommended reading and summer reading lists, and it is appropriate for anti-bullying programs. Mostly, though, CAMP is a mother-daughter story for mothers and daughters to share.

My review
Wow.  I am still reeling.  I am also having a hard time articulating how this story affected me. Wolf captures the darker, less talked about world of teenage girls and bullying in her novel CAMP.  Wolf tells a story of how relentless bullying affects a young woman while she is attending a summer camp.  Wolf subtly gives us the back-story of many of the characters, giving the reader a better understanding of all sides.  This story is deep and complex.  CAMP is so much more than just teenage bullying and camp.  It is about family, secrets, history, friendships, marriage and tragedy. Often sad and sometimes tragic Wolf writes an emotionally driven story that is a must read for all.  I rate it 4.5 stars and think that this novel will stick with me for quite some time. 

View my Q&A and novel showcase with Elaine HERE

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