Young Adult, Contemporary
Part of a Series?:
Technically, it is a sequel/companion novel to Sleepaway Girls but they can be read independently of each other.
You Can Find the Book At:
Summer has finally arrived and fifteen-year-old Harper McCallister intends to spend her days at the mall shopping or by the pool at her country club. But after receiving her latest heart-stopping credit card bill, Harper’s parents makes other plans, and ship her off to camp.
Suddenly, the clueless yet ever-popular Harper is the new girl at the bottom of a social ladder she can’t climb in wedge sandals and expensive clothes. She seems to be winning over super-cute camp “Lifer” Ethan, though, and if she can manage to make a few friends–and stay out of trouble–she just might find a whole new summer state of mind.
I’m just going to say this out, first and foremost: I ADORE Jen Calonita. Her books are more geared toward a younger YA audience but I think that’s why I love her so much. I love that her books are lighthearted and that they make me laugh and they make me feel…carefree. The sort of problems that her characters go through are all important but they aren’t ginormous in nature and I appreciate that.
This is a sequel/companion novel to her standalone, Sleepaway Girls. Brand new characters but there is a lot of throw back to the characters that you grew to love in SG. I would recommend reading Sleepaway Girls first, I think, but its totally not necessary at all. The two stories coincide but exist independently of each other.
That being said, I loved returning to camp Whispering Pines. All these characters in the first book kept talking about waiting all year to get back to camp and I honestly couldn’t understand that. I was never able to go to camp as a kid because camp is SUPER expensive and there are six of us and there’s just no way. But as soon as I started reading Summer State of Mind, when Harper arrives at camp, I was SO stoked. I was so happy to be back at that camp! I had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs when I read Sleepaway Girls and I was really looking forward to doing that again.
The thing that really makes this different from Sleepaway Girls is that you’re rooting for Sam from the very beginning. I loved Sam right away. She reminded me of myself in some way so it was easy to be caught up in her story and to love her. Harper, on the other hand, drives me insane and it took me awhile to get on her side. But I liked that about the book. Harper isn’t an easier character to love, but once you love her, that’s easy.
And its just a quintessential Jen Calonita book. Its lighthearted and fun and it made me laugh. I read it super quickly and that’s what I love about Jen’s books. I don’t always have to read these books with war and epic tragedies and questions about the big morals of life and stuff like that. I love those, obviously, but its fun to just read a book that makes you laugh and Jen has always managed to do that.
So if you’re looking for something fun, with a cute romance, a few pranks and just a down right good time, then this is a book for you. And with summer just around the corner (or you live in California, where its been in the 100s in MAY!), its the perfect book to bring to the beach with you.
4 out of 5 Stars