Young Adult Book Review: Camp So-And-So
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The following review of Camp So-And-So (Carolrhoda Books, March 1, 2017) by Mary McCoy is by Food, Fitness and Fiction Contributing Editor Joshua Flores (pictured below).
Here is a description of Camp So-And-So from Amazon:
The letters went out in mid-February. Each letter invited its recipient to spend a week at Camp So-and-So, a lakeside retreat for girls nestled high in the Starveling Mountains. Each letter came with a glossy brochure with photographs of young women climbing rocks, performing Shakespearean theatre under the stars, and spiking volleyballs. Each letter was signed in ink by the famed and reclusive businessman and philanthropist, Inge F. Yancey IV.
By the end of the month, twenty-five applications had been completed, signed, and mailed to a post office box in an obscure Appalachian town.
Had any of these girls tried to follow the directions in the brochure and visit the camp for themselves on that day in February, they would have discovered that there was no such town and no such mountain and that no one within a fifty-mile radius had ever heard of Camp So-and-So.
The fireflies are ablaze, the camp fire is roaring, and the summer has just begun. But Camp So-And-So isn’t as rustic and quaint as everyone thinks; something (or someone) dark and hungry for blood lurks in the woods, waiting for its next victim.
In the new novel Camp So-And-So by Mary McCoy, the traditional charm of summer camp and nights in the woods are shattered—the only thing served at this summer camp is a nice dish of death with a side of deception. Camp So-And-So is open for business and the campers are ready for a summer to remember—but only if they can stay alive long enough to remember it.
In Camp So-And-So, nothing is certain and the unexpected is sure to happen. Told through the perspectives of various campers, the horrors of the camp are slowly revealed, each chapter setting the foundation for even more fear-inducing moments. The novel consists of the different experiences of several campers, each chapter transitioning to a different cabin. But with evil forces seeking revenge and a deadly summer just beginning, the kids at Camp So-And-So are in for a summer of danger that includes eerie grounds keepers, dead counselors, and a competition worth dying for.
Reading Camp So-And-So was quite an experience. McCoy’s writing was extremely engaging, and I was glued to the pages, always trying to figure out all of the odd happenings and characters at Camp So-And-So. While I enjoyed the novel, it took some time to get into the plot and, at times, the storytelling felt a bit choppy and confusing. While part of the fun in reading it was trying to figure out the mystery of the book, it was sometimes difficult to understand what was happening and who each character was, since there were so many—some not even having actual names. Despite these drawbacks, Camp So-And-So redeemed itself in the end, answering some of the unanswered questions raised throughout. It was thrilling and creepy—the perfect combination to enjoy on a cold night in front of a fireplace.
With blood and horror soaking every page, McCoy provides young adult audiences with a memorable camp story unlike anything else in the genre. I highly recommend Camp So-And-So for anyone looking for a YA novel that is completely original and horrifying. My only warning is that, after reading it, you’ll never look at summer camp in the same way.
For other reviews of Camp So-And-So, click on the following links:
Learn more about Mary McCoy and her work on her website.
Joshua Flores, a junior from Tustin, California is currently an editor for the Beckman Chronicle and enjoys both reading and writing. He spends most of his free time writing, and coming up with weird characters for the novel he is working on. You can follow him on Instagram at @booklover41899.
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