Summer State of Mind
author : jen calonita
pages : [paperback] 256
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.
A fresh and funny summer-camp companion novel to Jen Calonita’s hit Sleepaway Girls.
Jen Calonita’s Secrets of My Hollywood Life series was one of my favorite book series growing up. I absolutely loved her writing so I wanted to see what else she has been working on. While I have grown up a little now, I do continuously read YA. Unfortunately it seems like I’ve grown away from Jen Calonita’s writing.
Summer State of Mind is a companion book to Sleepaway Girls, which I did not read but did not need to read in order to understand this novel. I haven’t read many books about summer camps but this one seems like the few I’ve known: A girl doesn’t want to go and ends up learning a lot about herself by the end of the summer. Unfortunately, most of the characters in this book were predictable and cookie cutter, not like the ones from her other series. I really didn’t like Harper and thought that she was getting the summer that she deserved. Honestly, I don’t care if a character has an interest in fashion, but I don’t think all fashionable girls need to suddenly turn airheaded. Everyone in the book kept referring to how the ‘old Harper’ would have done things, but I have no idea what old Harper was like. I don’t know if she liked to drop name brands as often as she does during Summer State of Mind. I don’t know if she would have been smart enough not to wear heels when she was going ziplining. Who does that?
While I do think that this book was predictable and didn’t enjoy it myself, I’m giving it an extra star because I feel like younger girls (younger than fifteen; I’m not certain girls Harper’s age would enjoy reading this) might like the simple story as a nice summer read. There’s nothing special or memorable about this book but if you’re looking for something to take to the beach where you won’t have to follow a complicated plot or complex characters, you could pick up Summer State of Mind.
I still hope to enjoy Calonita’s writing in the future but these companion books are just not doing it for me.