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30 review for Untitled (I See London, I See France #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I really, really want to give this book 1 star right now, even though I kind of enjoyed reading it. You see, this is just a novel-long lame cheating apologia, and as I reached the end of this story, I was totally repulsed by all of the pathetic excuses piling on. I was hoping for an ending that would be less... cavalier about being totally crap as a human being. And that applies to many characters in this novel. So, take it as a warning, all who've added this novel to your TBRs expecting a summer I really, really want to give this book 1 star right now, even though I kind of enjoyed reading it. You see, this is just a novel-long lame cheating apologia, and as I reached the end of this story, I was totally repulsed by all of the pathetic excuses piling on. I was hoping for an ending that would be less... cavalier about being totally crap as a human being. And that applies to many characters in this novel. So, take it as a warning, all who've added this novel to your TBRs expecting a summer romance. This isn't it. It's the exact opposite - a story about a summer affair. I also don't like camps, and Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe highlighted for me why. Too much stress, too much bitchiness and bullying, and counselors who only care about hooking up with each other. There are some positive things that did shine through the cheating baloney, like learning to stand up for yourself and against slut-shaming. But I am too mad right now to care about that. But the book is very readable though. 🤷‍♀️

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    One of the worst books I read this year. It's literally just a whole book about cheating and justifying it because their partners are cheating afterwards. I also didn't like how weird the guy was about pressuring her in a way about sex. One of the worst books I read this year. It's literally just a whole book about cheating and justifying it because their partners are cheating afterwards. I also didn't like how weird the guy was about pressuring her in a way about sex.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski is a book I was excited for since I love a a summer camp setting. The descriptions of the camp the main character works at are vivid, and it was easy to imagine being there. However, I disliked her immaturity and the way she continually attempts to justify cheating on her boyfriend. Ultimately, I was disappointed with this one. This book tells the story of a girl who is offered a position as a camp counsello Full Review on The Candid Cover Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski is a book I was excited for since I love a a summer camp setting. The descriptions of the camp the main character works at are vivid, and it was easy to imagine being there. However, I disliked her immaturity and the way she continually attempts to justify cheating on her boyfriend. Ultimately, I was disappointed with this one. This book tells the story of a girl who is offered a position as a camp counsellor while her boyfriend is away in Europe. She is hesitant to accept due to some bad memories associated with the camp from her time there as a camper, but she ultimately takes the job. While at the camp, she tries to reclaim a positive camp experience, and she finds herself getting closer with the camp’s sailing instructor. ❀ EVOKES A SENSE OF NOSTALGIA I love books about summer camp, and the way the camp is depicted in this book is very strong. There are classic camp activities including Colour Wars and a mini canoe trip, and this evoked a sense of nostalgia. At the beginning of every section, the campers’ schedules are shown, and I thought this was a fun detail. Each girl in Sam’s bunk has her own unique quirk, and I loved getting to know everyone at the camp, from counsellors to campers. ❀ IMMATURE MAIN CHARACTER Unfortunately, this immersive camp experience was all I really enjoyed about the book. I had some major issues with Sam and her actions. One thing that bothered me was the fact that there is a disconnect between her age and her actions. She is 19, but her voice reads more like that of a 14 year old. She is in college, but she is still so bothered by a nickname that she was given at camp 8 years ago. I understand that she did not have a positive experience at camp, but I personally didn’t get why she would spend so much time stressing over a nickname from so long ago. Sam does have some redeeming qualities, such as defending her friends, but this was not enough for me to forgive her for another major issue: cheating. ❀ NO CONSEQUENCES FOR ACTIONS Sam spends the entire book cheating on her boyfriend with Gavin, and I didn’t feel like this book did enough to show that it was wrong. I am not a fan of books about cheating, and it’s my bad for picking this one up when the summary implies that this type of content will be in the book, but Sam’s behaviour would have been tolerable (at best) if she faced more consequences. I wasn’t convinced that she understood that what she was doing was wrong, or why it was wrong, and she continues to try and justify her actions. Also, I didn’t like the message she sends that cheating is fine under certain conditions. Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by Sarah Mlynowski is a book that has so much potential with its wholesome camp vibes, but I couldn’t get past the main character’s behaviour. She is immature, and she almost promotes cheating. If you are fine with reading about this topic, you may enjoy this book, but unfortunately, it was not for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Camp plot >>>>> relationship plot. If you don't like cheating, this book is NOT for you. Also, there's a ton of bullying and slut shaming, both in the mc's past camp experiences and how some of the counselors treat another counselor. Camp plot >>>>> relationship plot. If you don't like cheating, this book is NOT for you. Also, there's a ton of bullying and slut shaming, both in the mc's past camp experiences and how some of the counselors treat another counselor.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Triana (bibliomaniacism)

    UPDATE: STILL CANNOT WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR THIS BOOK OMG

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    I thought this was going to be a cute summer camp romance with a bit of drama thrown in to keep things interesting. It did have romance, but it wasn't cute and the drama was more than a bit. The main plot of this is about two camp counselors who cheat on their partners with each other all summer long and don't really feel remorse for it. The other counselors hook up with each other and wow, there's a lot of sex in this. I hate cheating, especially from the main character that I'm supposed to lik I thought this was going to be a cute summer camp romance with a bit of drama thrown in to keep things interesting. It did have romance, but it wasn't cute and the drama was more than a bit. The main plot of this is about two camp counselors who cheat on their partners with each other all summer long and don't really feel remorse for it. The other counselors hook up with each other and wow, there's a lot of sex in this. I hate cheating, especially from the main character that I'm supposed to like. By the end of the story, I didn't want to be in Same's head any more and just hope that she matured and won't be a terrible girlfriend again. I really enjoyed the actual camp parts, like seeing Sam become a mentor to the girls and bond with them. The activities were cute too and made me wish I'd gone to camp as a kid. If the plot was more focused on this aspect, I would have rated this higher. This book wasn't for me and I spent the majority of the time angry at the characters. Now I need a fluffy story to read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Ann

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I finished it but.... why oh why are we writing books for teens encouraging drugs, alcohol and sex. SO much sex. Not to mention cheating! I was hoping that the author would have some major lesson at the end, but alas no. This just was not worth it. The main characters didn't really seem to learn anything from it they all had "happy" endings. I finished it but.... why oh why are we writing books for teens encouraging drugs, alcohol and sex. SO much sex. Not to mention cheating! I was hoping that the author would have some major lesson at the end, but alas no. This just was not worth it. The main characters didn't really seem to learn anything from it they all had "happy" endings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie Elle

    I don't even need to read the blurb for this one. I just know that I LOVED I See London, I See France, and I'll read anything Sarah Mlynowski writes! I don't even need to read the blurb for this one. I just know that I LOVED I See London, I See France, and I'll read anything Sarah Mlynowski writes!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    1/5 stars Wow this book was terrible. I really loved Mlynowski's Whatever After series when I was younger, but her books for young adults have just been such disappointments for me. This book was actually quite similar to her novel I See London, I See France. Both were pitched as summery travel-inspired romances. However, for this novel in particular, quite the opposite is true. I was excited to read what I thought was going to be a cute contemporary about a girl who goes to camp and meets a cute 1/5 stars Wow this book was terrible. I really loved Mlynowski's Whatever After series when I was younger, but her books for young adults have just been such disappointments for me. This book was actually quite similar to her novel I See London, I See France. Both were pitched as summery travel-inspired romances. However, for this novel in particular, quite the opposite is true. I was excited to read what I thought was going to be a cute contemporary about a girl who goes to camp and meets a cute boy. Maybe it's my fault for overlooking the fact that said girl already had a boyfriend before she came to camp, but idk. The whole story is basically about cheating and hooking up. The beginning was fun and held promise. Then once Sam laid eyes on Gavin, everything went downhill from there. For most of the story, Sam and Gavin are making out or hooking up--cheating on their significant others, who ironically are traveling in the same group together in Europe--and trying to justify it, all while being jealous of their own boyfriend/girlfriend because they see pictures on social media of them both hanging out together and with members of the opposite sex. The HYPOCRISY! I mean, really?! Sam in particular really got on my nerves. She's LITERALLY cheating on her boyfriend and all she can think about when looking at his pictures on social media is that he happens to have his arm around some other girl in his travel group. She also keeps trying to draw a line in her relationship with Gavin (i.e. "we're only going to kiss") until, of course, they end up sleeping together. And she keeps justifying the fact that she's cheating on her boyfriend, whom she lies to about the whole affair. She finally tells him the truth and then has the AUDACITY to wonder why he breaks up with her and doesn't want to spend time with her anymore. Like, what did she think was going to happen? Gavin was also kinda a jerk. At one point, his girlfriend calls him from Europe to tell him she met someone else and wants to break up--so she does it the correct way. But--despite the fact that he's been cheating on his girlfriend with Sam--he's pissed that she broke up with HIM. Like, what? I don't even know. The whole story was just the counselors sneaking off to hook up with other people and drinking and doing drugs. I want to know why this activity is allowed to go on at this camp and why the counselors even get "days off" or "breaks" at all. No overnight camp I've ever heard of allows for counselors to sneak off and do whatever the heck they want to without any consequences. One guy, Eric, the camp announcer, is described as always being high. What kind of camp is this?! What really irked me, though, is that by the end of the story, Sam and Gavin hadn't faced any real consequences for their actions, except for Sam's boyfriend breaking up with her. The post-camp epilogue describes a chance meeting in New York between Gavin and Sam in which we learn that Gavin is back with his girlfriend and Sam's now into....Botts--some other (nicer) guy from camp?! The author doesn't assert that cheating is wrong and unfair to all parties involved, or even have her characters learn their lesson. It's just like, whoopsie daisy, I cheated on my boyfriend, but whatever! No biggie! I have nothing against people making mistakes--everyone does, but the point is we LEARN FROM THEM. Also, in the real world, we have to face consequences for our actions. Cheating is dishonorable and petty and immature. Gavin and Sam didn't even really care for one another--all they cared about was hooking up, consequences be damned. At the end of the story, Sam even admits to herself that she doesn't really like Gavin as a person. I think her exact words were, "...he's kind of into himself." Which, again, the irony, lol. Gavin and Sam couldn't just be good significant others for their boyfriend and girlfriend by resisting their attraction to each other. Because in the sexual culture that the world and books, movies, tv, and music like this story and others promote, the only thing that matters is getting what you want when you want it, no matter who you hurt. If you wanna hook up with five different people in one week? Sure, go right ahead! Do you want to cheat on your boyfriend? Yeah, no problem! I guess that's what the young adult genre wants us teens to know...and how disappointing is that?!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cecelia

    Solid three star rating solely because I am trash for summer camp. I wasn't crazy about any of the characters (in fact there were so many and they were all so two-dimensional that it was hard to keep them straight). The plot was extremely basic but honestly it was the perfect palate-cleansing novel. I mindlessly read it in two sittings without any emotional attachment what-so-ever. (Also the title is a nod to one of my literal favorite camp songs so that's the only reason why I ever picked it up. Solid three star rating solely because I am trash for summer camp. I wasn't crazy about any of the characters (in fact there were so many and they were all so two-dimensional that it was hard to keep them straight). The plot was extremely basic but honestly it was the perfect palate-cleansing novel. I mindlessly read it in two sittings without any emotional attachment what-so-ever. (Also the title is a nod to one of my literal favorite camp songs so that's the only reason why I ever picked it up.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    Barf. As other reviewers said, it’s a book about cheating and making excuses about it not being wrong. The first part of the book was annoying with the protagonist inwardly trying to prove herself with her NYC clothes and haircut and then her justifying her actions with Gavin—it’s just innocent flirting, we didn’t kiss, we did kiss but we didn’t take any clothes off, our tops came off but underwear stayed on...oops, his boxers disappeared but my thong stayed on, Eli was probably cheating on me a Barf. As other reviewers said, it’s a book about cheating and making excuses about it not being wrong. The first part of the book was annoying with the protagonist inwardly trying to prove herself with her NYC clothes and haircut and then her justifying her actions with Gavin—it’s just innocent flirting, we didn’t kiss, we did kiss but we didn’t take any clothes off, our tops came off but underwear stayed on...oops, his boxers disappeared but my thong stayed on, Eli was probably cheating on me anyway, etc. And then to have the gall to justify her cheating by saying she and Eli would have probably broken up eventually anyway. Reading this as an adult, I see beyond the juvenile, wrong behavior, but what kind of impact is this making on the actual intended audience? It is not, for certain, a cautionary tale. Add in the underage drinking and smoking pot, “I don’t normally smoke pot, but when I do....” Give me a break. The only positive element I can give is that the camp element is spot on. The author clearly had been to camp before, and this easily transported me back to my camp counseling days. It’s easy to fall into stereotyping and unwanted nicknames in that kind of environment, but the intended message about that was lost with the protagonist’s crappy behavior.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cassie | Lost In Tomes

    This is NOT the summer romance you're looking for. I like to think I have the bar set pretty low when it comes to fluffy romance reads but this was just not good. I will say the writing style made this easy to read so maybe other works by this author are good but I was not a fan of this story. Our college age MC felt very whiny and immature, makes she terrible choices and I hate how she constantly justifies her cheating throughout the book. The "chemistry" between her and the love interest at cam This is NOT the summer romance you're looking for. I like to think I have the bar set pretty low when it comes to fluffy romance reads but this was just not good. I will say the writing style made this easy to read so maybe other works by this author are good but I was not a fan of this story. Our college age MC felt very whiny and immature, makes she terrible choices and I hate how she constantly justifies her cheating throughout the book. The "chemistry" between her and the love interest at camp doesn't come through the page very well so all the cheating didn't even feel worth it. I don't like being this negative in my reviews but I really don't recommend this one. Content Notes: - Strong Language: bible swears, f-bombs - Substance Use: underage drinking, marijuana - Sexual Content: kissing, intercourse - CHEATING

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thamy

    Not exactly a romance but there's still one. You do get a big yearn to work at a summer camp, be warned. But seriously, this book is basically about a summer affair, if cheating bothers you, do not read. Also be warned this is part of a series. I didn't read the first book (I didn't even know this was a second book...), so believe me when I say they can be read as a standalone. 3.5. I found it interesting to read a YA about a freshman in college, but also consider that her actions are that of a fre Not exactly a romance but there's still one. You do get a big yearn to work at a summer camp, be warned. But seriously, this book is basically about a summer affair, if cheating bothers you, do not read. Also be warned this is part of a series. I didn't read the first book (I didn't even know this was a second book...), so believe me when I say they can be read as a standalone. 3.5. I found it interesting to read a YA about a freshman in college, but also consider that her actions are that of a freshman in college; this book won't be appropriate for younger teenagers. But older teenagers that aren't in colleges yet can still relate, seeing that it takes place in a summer camp, not in a campus I do like this choice, because it always seems that once you're in college stories about you become NA. Of course, there are some YA's with characters this age but they're very rare or worse, they behave as if they're still in high school or less. So this was my first big surprise. The second surprise is that this isn't innocent at all, but it doesn't relate to age. This story is about Sam, who wants to be a teacher and carries a bit of a trauma from her experience in a summer camp many years before. One day, she's invited to go back to work at the same place and she accepts because it'll be a good experience, her boyfriend will spend the summer having fun in Europe without her, and to face those same traumas. There, she meets Gavin, who also has his girlfriend in Europe. The two are undeniably attracted to each other and maybe they're not strong enough to hold on. In other words, this story will talk about cheating, and although Sam is not happy her boyfriend is away, the guy didn't really do anything wrong to deserve it. What should she do? I caught some reviews condemning this read because it seemed pro-cheating. I can't defend it, and I don't think it was that firmly against it. And even though I'm not that bothered in general with this plot line, the fact Sam had no excuses except that Gavin was hot really made me irk a little. Concomitantly, I think it's something that does happen, especially when you're not in a perfect relationship. I do applause the author for being able to build a great setting for the reader to be torn: Eli didn't do anything wrong, but does that mean Sam has to be crucified for a mistake? We're talking about more mature teenagers and how they too can very easily be in her shoes. Isn't it nice to see a more realistic development? Not all boyfriends are abusive, sometimes you're just attracted to someone else. I won't spoil you, but the ending was simply perfect too. Thus, if you're okay with reading a whole book on the development of an affair, do it. There were some other great aspects about this story. To be honest, the "romance" if you can call it wasn't even that good. I couldn't get into Gavin, I just understood he was very sexy and his personality wasn't that bad, but it did stink here and there. What was really, really good here were the descriptions of life in a camp. I've never done it, I'm definitely not outdoorsy enough to seriously consider one, but after some pages, I was dying to go back in time and sign up for one. And Sarah Mlynowski is an author I've admired for many years, no matter the target public she has in a book, I know it'll have a different taste from the others, just enough for us to enjoy but not so much it'd take getting used to it. There are also children here, many, many cute children! I loved the scenes with them, even though there were a lot of names to learn. They were probably why the scenes about the camp were so amusing. This got too long already and I feel there's a lot I wanted to mention as well. I'll just say I really liked the conclusion. If there's a fault was that I wanted to read more about it. There are issues in this read, but the pluses were enough to get a round-up. Also, I can't wait for Mlynowski's next release! Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Sam thought she had the perfect boyfriend, and their summer apart would turn out just fine. They would talk every day, he would send postcards. But, as the summer wore on, there were no postcards, and they spoke less and less. She began to analyze their relationship, found some flaws, and wondered if they would still be together at the end of the summer. I had read the companion of this book, I See London, I See France, and I was interested in learning more about Sam and Gavin after hearing bits Sam thought she had the perfect boyfriend, and their summer apart would turn out just fine. They would talk every day, he would send postcards. But, as the summer wore on, there were no postcards, and they spoke less and less. She began to analyze their relationship, found some flaws, and wondered if they would still be together at the end of the summer. I had read the companion of this book, I See London, I See France, and I was interested in learning more about Sam and Gavin after hearing bits and pieces about them. Though it was fun traveling throughout Europe in the last book, I had an even better time at Camp in this book. Mlynowski did an incredible job immersing me in camp life. I went boating, frog hunting, and even did some arts and crafts. There were pranks, a dance, an overnight, and multiple camp events such as Super Bowl and Color Wars. I really felt like I was living the camp life, and I enjoyed it so much. I also liked getting to know the campers and the counselors. It was an interesting group, and it was fun, that they shared a history together. In fact, needing a summer job wasn't Sam's only motivation for returning to Camp Blue Springs. She wanted the opportunity to show the others how much she had changed, and to sort of redeem herself from that one summer she had spent there. Sam wobbled a bit, but was determined to become a great counselor, and she did. It was fantastic watching her grow and reclaim confidence in herself. I know a lot of people took issue with part of this story. Particularly, the relationship that developed between Sam and Gavin. There's no way to sugar coat it. It really comes down to what you deem a dealbreaker. (view spoiler)[ This book is not for people, who consider cheating a dealbreaker. (hide spoiler)] What I will say is that, though I was disappointed, there was fallout, there were consequences, and I was actually ok with the way things played out. And, well, there was a jump ahead epilogue, which sort of made me a bit giddy. Overall, I had a fantastic time at Camp Blue Springs. I was both disappointed and proud of Sam. She made some poor choices, but she also learned a lot about herself, and I thought the summer was a really important one for her. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra ✨Reading By Starlight✨

    So I’m actually not 100% sure how I feel about this one... Did I love the camp setting? You bet but... the book felt very juvenile and, after that ending, a little pointless in terms of the romance. Really wanted to love this but it was just kind of okay.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Salma19 (High Lady of the Dawn Court)

    You know what I like to say to books romanticizing cheating? A straight up goodbye. *Cancels library reservation* 😬

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diva Cooper

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. First off, you meet Sam, who doesn't want to be at this camp as a counselor after 8 years because she was bullied there by some other girls in her cabin. Her boyfriend, Eli, is backpacking in Europe with his cousin. We meet her only friend from when she was at camp, Botts, and he is still really chill. I really liked Botts in this book because he's kind of carefree and really good at his job. Botts introduces Sam to Gavin, a super hot sailing instructor who's also a counselor I LOVED THIS BOOK. First off, you meet Sam, who doesn't want to be at this camp as a counselor after 8 years because she was bullied there by some other girls in her cabin. Her boyfriend, Eli, is backpacking in Europe with his cousin. We meet her only friend from when she was at camp, Botts, and he is still really chill. I really liked Botts in this book because he's kind of carefree and really good at his job. Botts introduces Sam to Gavin, a super hot sailing instructor who's also a counselor for her age group. At first, Sam is having a hard time with her campers. They won't listen to her, she forgets to grab her stuff and supplies, and most of them are weird, bratty, spoiled, or always cry. But eventually, they begin to warm up to each other. That was one thing I really liked about this book. Sam rose to the occasion, even when one of her other counselors, Talia, won't really help out that often. She becomes a sort of sister figure in the camper's lives, and I think that's the sweetest thing ever how all the girls look up to her. She quickly becomes a favorite. Going back to Gavin, they start to talk and flirt. Sam doesn't think much of it, thinking it's harmless. They both have girlfriends/boyfriends. But Eli and Sam are starting to get on each other's nerves. Eventually, Gavin and Sam start to hook up, keeping their relationship secret. As the book goes on, the author portrayed their relationship to only be growing. I thought that was just the cutest thing in the world!! Which brings me to my next topic. The ending. I adamantly HATED the ending. It was the worst! Sam and Gavin obviously had something special, because they were both willing to risk their current relationships for each other. Which is why the ending doesn't make sense. Why in the world would Sam not want to be with Gavin? She had just spent 6 months and I had just read 352 pages of their tension rising... For nothing? It makes no sense at all! I understand that the author wanted the last twist, but sometimes just having a happy ending isn't bad. And in the last part of the book, 7 months after, when Sam and Gavin see each other in New York? WHY IS GAVIN BACK TOGETHER WITH HIS OLD GIRLFRIEND??? I thought she fell for this French guy. Chances are, that didn't work out, and she went back to him, begging for forgiveness. I guess it makes sense that he take her back in again because he and Sam were strictly friends, but why were they decided to stay friends in the first place? At the end of the summer, they were both single!!! Going back to New York now. After Sam's little run-in with Gavin, she meets Botts at a restaurant? And it seems like SHE IS STARTING TO HAVE FEELINGS FOR HIM?!?! When, exactly, did that HAPPEN? It was so out of the blue, even though Botts had hinted earlier on in the book that he had a little crush on Sam. But those feelings were never reciprocated! And Sam and Gavin had had too many too-cute moments to let their relationship go to waste. So, now that you know my feelings on the ending (which I HATED with a passion) I actually really liked this book, other than that. I feel like that ending made the perfect set-up for a second book, though. One where she GETS BACK TOGETHER WITH GAVIN, thank you very much.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Finley Barnhart

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. although i was planning on giving this book a four, i loved the plot-twist towards the end. Is she going to end up with Botts? for some reason i’ve had the teensiest feeling that it was possible but pressed it down. i definitely need a second book to see what happens after that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    Read my review on Forever Young Adult: http://foreveryoungadult.com/2020/05/... Read my review on Forever Young Adult: http://foreveryoungadult.com/2020/05/...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alison G.

    Love the summer camp, do not love the cheating.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rmsooon

    It was so bad worst book this year 0 out of 5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Berkley

    Ugh. don't ever read this 🙄. I did not come even close to finishing it, it was so terrible. Ugh. don't ever read this 🙄. I did not come even close to finishing it, it was so terrible.

  23. 4 out of 5

    sirius proserpine

    every time i read a sarah mlynowski book i give up a tiny piece of my soul

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wisty

    4.2 stars I've never been to sleepaway camp and never really had the desire, but I've read a number of books that take place in that setting. This one is the closest to Sleepaway Girls that I've read, which is basically the highest compliment I could possibly give to anything because that was THE book for me way back when. Also, wait, was the main character in that book also named Sam?? Coincidental. Anyway, I LOVED this. Sam was a compelling main character. I loved that she didn't tolerate bullyi 4.2 stars I've never been to sleepaway camp and never really had the desire, but I've read a number of books that take place in that setting. This one is the closest to Sleepaway Girls that I've read, which is basically the highest compliment I could possibly give to anything because that was THE book for me way back when. Also, wait, was the main character in that book also named Sam?? Coincidental. Anyway, I LOVED this. Sam was a compelling main character. I loved that she didn't tolerate bullying, I adored her interactions with the kids, and appreciated the recognition she had of her owns flaws and mistakes. Listen, cheating in relationships is big in this book and I hate that and don't condone it whatsoever. So I'm not saying I'd want to be besties with all these cheaters, but I still managed to enjoy the book a butt ton. Love loved that this was the summer after Sam's freshman year at NYU. Just giving her that extra layer instead of making her a high schooler added a lot. I super appreciate how Mlynowski treats sex as not crazy but also doesn't make anything gratuitous or gross. I like what she does with that. In real life, color war was always my nightmare, so it's a testament to this author that she wrote it in such a fun way. I got a kick out of the Shabbat dinners/used-to-be Jewish camp aspect, and as always, appreciated seeing characters be casually Jewish. I had an inkling about the romantic resolution from the onset but was still pleased by the wonderful little epilogue, where (view spoiler)[ Sam was on her way to meet Botts, the guy who was always super solid and kind! (hide spoiler)] Sam's bunk was hilarious and I was happy this book wasn't about eight-year-olds experiencing interpersonal drama. Sam put a rest to any earlier bullying and it was a very comical group. For me, this was a book I could completely visualize in my head like a movie, and also a book I missed reading once it was over. Lastly, Mlynowski's star-studded acknowledgments, YES. Love when a bunch of authors I like all love each other.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anika

    I wanted to like this book, I really did. However, even though there were only a couple of negative aspects, they completely ruined the book. The book is about a girl who returns to her childhood camp while on a her college summer break to become a counselor. She had a horrible experience with the camp when she was younger, as she had received an awful nickname that really affected her even after she left camp. Sam hopes that returning as a counselor she can put those bad days behind her. While s I wanted to like this book, I really did. However, even though there were only a couple of negative aspects, they completely ruined the book. The book is about a girl who returns to her childhood camp while on a her college summer break to become a counselor. She had a horrible experience with the camp when she was younger, as she had received an awful nickname that really affected her even after she left camp. Sam hopes that returning as a counselor she can put those bad days behind her. While she is away at camp her boyfriend of almost a year is backpacking around Europe. Sam starts to become very close with Gavin, who works at the camp, and begins to question her relationship with her boyfriend. I will start with what I liked about the book and why it is 2 stars instead of 1 star. I loved the setting, growing up having gone to summer camp, this book brought back such fun memories for me! The dynamic Sam had the kids was so cute and relatable as I have also been a counselor for camps. The book was also easy to read and I didn't feel like I was forcing myself to continue. Now what I hated. I'll start off with the one small thing, this author completely overuses exclamation marks (more toward the beginning of the book), as someone who LOVES exclamation marks, I understand wanting to use them, but it was just so excessive and unnecessary. Now for the big thing, this book completely glorifies and makes so many excuses for cheating which I do not think is okay in the slightest. Almost all the positive aspects of this novel were overshadowed by the cheating and I was just very frustrated with how it was handled in the book. The author really makes it seem that it is not a huge deal. For that reason, I strongly would not recommend anyone to read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Hackbarth

    I got an e-ARC from Edelweiss Plus in exchange for a review. Thanks, Edelweiss Plus! While her boyfriend, Eli, is backpacking around Europe, Sam has to go back to Camp Blue Springs, a camp she had a bad experience (given a terrible nickname) as a counselor. She expects it to be a disaster, but then she meets the camp’s sailing instructor, Gavin. She begins to fall for him, but wait…doesn’t she still have a boyfriend? And will this camp experience as a counselor be better than her camper experienc I got an e-ARC from Edelweiss Plus in exchange for a review. Thanks, Edelweiss Plus! While her boyfriend, Eli, is backpacking around Europe, Sam has to go back to Camp Blue Springs, a camp she had a bad experience (given a terrible nickname) as a counselor. She expects it to be a disaster, but then she meets the camp’s sailing instructor, Gavin. She begins to fall for him, but wait…doesn’t she still have a boyfriend? And will this camp experience as a counselor be better than her camper experience? This is the second book of the author’s that I’ve read (my first being ‘I See London, I See France’), so I wanted to see how her take on a camp romance would turn out. Although I have to admit, there were some parts I didn’t like (more on that later), overall, it was good. Besides the author, what first drew me to the book is that it’s a camp romance story. I’ve read some that make it work, some that are typical, and some that are unique. When I learned there was a girl with my name in the book (although the character isn’t anything like me beyond that), I just had to read further because it’s a rare and unique experience to see my name in a book. By the end of the book, I found myself wanting to go to that camp and thinking of my past camp experiences (even had myself a camp nickname, though not a terrible one like Sam’s). The ending did surprise me though (no spoilers). I didn’t particularly like the Eli scenes. I found his character too whiny, selfish, and self-absorbed. Between team Eli and team Gavin, I was always on team Gavin. I didn’t like the gossip counselors (not spoiling anything), but I suppose they were typical at camps (though I’ve never been a counselor at one). This is a good camp story with romance in it. 4 out of 5 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Reilly

    An extra .5☆ because of its setting. I am so conflicted about this book. I loved so much the story about being at camp...Sam is a great camp counselor and her girls love her. I loved that Sam called out bullying every time it happened, and she wouldn't stand for slut-shaming the "weird" (but big-hearted) Janelle for having several hookups throughout the summer. It is very hard to reconcile Sam's good qualities with her stupid fascination with Gavin the sailing instructor and all the ways she trie An extra .5☆ because of its setting. I am so conflicted about this book. I loved so much the story about being at camp...Sam is a great camp counselor and her girls love her. I loved that Sam called out bullying every time it happened, and she wouldn't stand for slut-shaming the "weird" (but big-hearted) Janelle for having several hookups throughout the summer. It is very hard to reconcile Sam's good qualities with her stupid fascination with Gavin the sailing instructor and all the ways she tried to believe she wasn't cheating on her boyfriend Eli...even when she sleeps with him. Like I get it, you're 19 and you have hormones and Gavin is hot. But maybe Sam is kind of a crappy person, or MAYBE Mylnowski kind of just wrote her really bad and schizophrenic. I almost quit reading on page 236, where Sam is all, "but we're still only kissing"...until her top comes off...and then the underwear comes off... She says something like having sex with someone besides Eli would be the "worst kind of cheating." And then they lay naked together and finally hook up. I'm like Sam, honey, there aren't "degrees" in cheating. And that's where I just got so annoyed with her I almost threw the book at the wall. So why did I finish reading it? Not because I gave a rat's ass about Sam and her "crisis of conscience," that's for sure. Mainly, I just wanted to stay at that idyllic camp setting until the summer was over. I guess this book would be considered "slice of life" or "coming of age." But that part is so not done well. I really would have preferred the book to have been about her life as a camp counselor, and bypassed the stupid cheating angle altogether.

  28. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    yeah so I was so excited for this one, especially because the first book crept up on me. but idk I knew there was a cheating plot line and that's not necessarily a deal breaker for me but I don't think this book handled it the best most of the time. I do think it's important to show that people around this age (17-20) can have fun and make mistakes! but I feel like there were a lot of :/// parts to the cheating plot line and felt more messy than anything. maybe because gavin barely felt developed yeah so I was so excited for this one, especially because the first book crept up on me. but idk I knew there was a cheating plot line and that's not necessarily a deal breaker for me but I don't think this book handled it the best most of the time. I do think it's important to show that people around this age (17-20) can have fun and make mistakes! but I feel like there were a lot of :/// parts to the cheating plot line and felt more messy than anything. maybe because gavin barely felt developed? like there's this one line towards the end: The thing about Gavin—I like how he sees me, and who I am with him, but I’m not actually sure I necessarily like him. He’s kind of into himself. He cares too much about how he looks and what people think, and “being cool.” but where was this established? I never got the sense that gavin cared about how he looks or what other people think. anyways I'm always glad to have more 18-20-year-olds in ya but this one didn't really land with me. I did like that one line about sydney (from the first book) in the epilogue :')) I would totally read a book that delves into that because I loved her and her love interest in the first book and I want to see more of them!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Fleming

    Okay I'm recommending this because of the top comment on Goodreads and I'm about to make some frenemies... If you are looking for a book to read around the pool or campfire, I got you. This summer camp counselor is right up your alley. Smores and canoe trips are what we all need right now. The negative reviews complain about Sam having an affair and all I can say is... good. Your teens and 20s are about having sexy summertime romances, not waiting around for a boyfriend who screws off to Europe. R Okay I'm recommending this because of the top comment on Goodreads and I'm about to make some frenemies... If you are looking for a book to read around the pool or campfire, I got you. This summer camp counselor is right up your alley. Smores and canoe trips are what we all need right now. The negative reviews complain about Sam having an affair and all I can say is... good. Your teens and 20s are about having sexy summertime romances, not waiting around for a boyfriend who screws off to Europe. Read this for the revenge romance and summer time fun, not for morality.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This one is so difficult to rate. I absolutely loved the camp aspect and it really made me want to go to one since it looked so much fun and I loved the frienships throughout the book. I saw it coming when I saw the title and found out Sam had a boyfriend, but come on was this whole cheating thing really necessary? And then in the end she doesn't even up with either of the guys but with someone else (did not see any chemistry in that relationship whatsoever) This one is so difficult to rate. I absolutely loved the camp aspect and it really made me want to go to one since it looked so much fun and I loved the frienships throughout the book. I saw it coming when I saw the title and found out Sam had a boyfriend, but come on was this whole cheating thing really necessary? And then in the end she doesn't even up with either of the guys but with someone else (did not see any chemistry in that relationship whatsoever)

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