Camp Boyfriend by J. K. Rock
Series: Camp Payback #1
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: July 2nd 2013
Source: Spencer Hill Contemporary [Netgalley]
Camp Boyfriend was an impulse read after finishing my previous book - because I desperately needed something light and fluffy, which is exactly what Camp Boyfriend was for me.
Camp Boyfriend follows our main character Lauren. In the past year, Lauren has had a complete make over (appearance and personality) after moving across the country, and she's finally one of the popular kids. Lauren has a steady boyfriend - Matt - who's a jock, but she's constantly thinking about Seth - her camp love. Lauren intends to break up with Matt before leaving for camp so she can be with Seth, but her plans change when Matt decides to come to camp with her. While she's at camp, Lauren realises that she doesn't know herself as well as she thought and decides she has to discover herself before she can think about boys.
Honestly, I hated Lauren. Absolutely hated her. She's one of the most annoying characters ever. She was constantly going between Seth and Matt: One minute she was making out with Matt in the rain, and the next she was spending a night stargazing with Seth. This girl could not make up her mind and it annoyed the hell out of me. I never felt any connection to her because she basically had no personality. She kept changing how she acted and I just really didn't like her.
And then we have Seth, Lauren's famous camp boyfriend who I'd love to punch. Lauren sugar-coats Seth and makes him sound like such a sweet guy when really, he's a dick. Within minutes of Lauren and Matt arriving at camp, Seth goes in a huff with her and disappears for a couple of days because "he can't stand the sight of Lauren with another guy". And he said this after he made her feel guilty for being with someone else when it was HIS idea to break up every summer after camp! What an ass. There wasn't a single second I was lured in by him and his charm, and I couldn't believe Lauren was.
Matt is the only reason I kept reading this book. He comes across as the usual jock, but that's because Lauren never even gave him the opportunity to open up, mainly because she wasn't being her true self either. Matt tries his hardest to get to know Lauren, but all she can think about is Seth and basically closes herself off to Matt. But Matt doesn't give up. He knows there's a chance for him and Lauren, they just need to actually get to know each other. Alright, some of the things that Matt comes out with are slightly cheesy, but whatever. I could forgive his cheesiness because he's just such a sweetheart. A genuinely nice and lovely guy. He deserved better.
The story revolved around Lauren's constant waivering between both boys, and also her journey to discovering herself. The boy problems started to get on my nerves because it was extremely clear which guy was perfect for Lauren, but she couldn't see it! And she almost completely messed everything up. Lauren's journey to discovering herself was actually kind of interesting. She didn't fit in completely with her old friends, or the popular group at camp because she was pretending to be someone else. So I did enjoy seeing her journey and the effects of her decisions, but I still didn't like her.
There was something else that pissed me off about this book: every single character was extremely judgmental. No matter how many times Lauren told her friends she hadn't slept with Matt they always responded with eye-rolls, smirks and, my personal favourite, "But who is going to believe you haven't done it with Matt? ... And you expect anyone to believe you're not putting out?". I almost lost it at this point. This is the kind of behaviour I can't stand. So what if she's been with Matt for 8 months. Why does that mean she has to have had sex with him? Honestly, Lauren's friends were awful people. They turned their backs on her for being with Matt, and then for being with Seth. And also for breaking a dream-catcher and losing a volleyball match. It's no wonder she fell in with the popular girls, they were actually a lot nicer (minus Hannah).
The ending was perfect for the characters involved - I still firmly believe that Matt deserves better after all the shit he was put through - and it made me breathe a sigh of relief.
Overall, Camp Boyfriend was a fluffy read full of characters I didn't like (minus Matt), but strangely enough I'm still looking forward to reading the next book - mostly because it follows a different character that I want to know more about.