I’m going to be reviewing both Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind together. The reason I am doing this is because SSOM (Summer State of Mind) is a companion novel to SAG (Sleepaway Girls). In my personal opinion, would read Sleepaway Girls first. I read SAG a few years ago and absolutely loved it! When starting to read SSOM, there were references made to events and characters from SAG, so I decided to reread it and then start Summer State of Mind right after. So let the reviews begin:
Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
First off, if the cover of this book doesn’t grab your attention and make you want to read it then you’re crazy. I love this cover and it’s one of reasons why I read it. Yeah yeah I know…don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Sam’s best friend gets her first boyfriend and to avoid watching the two of them be all lovey dovey all summer, Sam applies to be a CIT (counselor in training) at Whispering Pines, a summer camp. When she gets there she realizes camp isn’t exactly what she was expecting. Queen Bee Ashley seems to be set on ruining Sam’s summer and if she doesn’t, her crush on flirty counselor Hunter might. Luckily she has becomes fast friends with Cole and a few girls in her bunk. They call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.
Okay so from reading the inside cover, I really didn’t expect too much from this book. I thought it would be some cute summer camp story and I was wrong. It was so good and I finished it within the day. I loved Sam and the other Sleepaway Girls. While I didn’t always agree with Sam’s choices, I loved the outcome in the end. It has just the right amount of drama, relationship/boy issues and pranks for a great summer novel. Makes me wish I had gone to camp when I was younger or got a job as a counselor at an overnight camp.
Sleepaway Girls was published in 2009, so when I saw that a companion book was coming out this year I was so excited to head back to Whispering Pines in….
Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita
Now this cover is a little more plain than the first, but the title just screams “READ ME!” to me at least. It just sounds like a perfect summer book, which is definitely turned out to be.
In Summer State of Mind, Harper starts summer off with every intention of spending days either shopping at the mall or lounging by the pool at the country club. After her dad gets her latest and most expensive credit card bill in the mail he decides it’s time for Harper to get back to reality and sends her to Whispering Pines. Now Harper who is used to being the popular girl is at the bottom of the social ladder and the “lifers” in her cabin have no intention of befriending her. The one good thing about camp is “lifer” Ethan who she seems to be winning over and if she can make some friends and look at camp with new eyes she might find a new summer state of mind.
So of course when the book starts off I was all mad at the parents and putting myself in Harper’s situation, but of course once she gets to Whispering Pines I am happy again. Sam and Cole, as well as a few other characters, make their appearances in Summer State of Mind which I did enjoy. *Possible spoiler alert, but I don’t feel like it’s a big deal because it was mentioned in one sentence and that was the end of it* I was a bit disappointed that Sam and Cole were no longer dating. Once again Summer State of Mind had the perfect about of drama, boy issues, and pranks to make a perfect summer book. Summer State of Mind also picks up after Sleepaway Girls although it was published five years later.
I do wish there were more Whispering Pines based books, possibly even if a boy camper’s or counselor’s perspective. I tweeted Jen Calonita after finishing Summer State of Mind asking about another book and she said she hopes and that she loves visiting Whispering Pines. I hope so too because Whispering Pines definitely sounds like the best summer camp to go to.