Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

The Summer I Wasn't Me Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she's afraid that what's left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there's nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path...

My Review:

I read this book in two days, and these were days when I had school.  The second of these days was a Friday night, so I was able to stay up and finish it.  That was good, because I was hooked on this story at that point, and I couldn't put it down until I finished.  The topics in this were interesting, and the camp was fascinating, though it was also horrible what went on there.


The whole premise of this book is very interesting because it is about a degayifying camp.  I'm guessing there are probably some camps like this in real life, and it's strange to think that some parents think that sending their kid to a camp will turn them straight.  In the book, it's also interesting that several of the counselors claim that they went to New Horizons and are now "cured."  This means they are basically all lying, and they know the camp isn't going to turn the campers straight.  The head of the camp, Mr. Martin, was awful.  He made each camper find a Father Wound, which was the thing that supposedly led to them turning gay.  Then they had to do a role play to help fix their Father Wound.  What he made Lexi do in her role play was horrible and wrong.  Also, Mr. Martin does something to one of the campers near the end that is so completely awful that I can't even imagine it really happening.

Lexi's mom suggests that she goes to this camp after she finds out that Lexi is a lesbian and is unable to accept it.  Lexi's dad had recently died, and Lexi doesn't want to hurt her mother, so she agrees to go.  When she gets there, she does want the degayifying to work at first.  As the book progresses, she changes her mind.  She realizes it isn't working, and is never going to, but she plans on lying to her mom and hiding that her sexuality never changed.  I really liked Lexi.  She was happy being who she was, but she didn't want to hurt her family.  She also disagreed with many of the things the camp did.  The story from the past about Zoe was sad.  It was clear that part of the reason she wanted to change originally was that she didn't want to be hurt by someone like Zoe again.

The friendships is this book were well written.  The campers were split into groups of four with two people of each gender.  Lexi was put in a group with Carolyn, Matthew, and Daniel.  Matthew is a great character.  He was only at the camp because his father made him go there, and he didn't want to change.  He had had a boyfriend for two years, and he was happy being who he was.  He knew that the camp was never going to turn him straight.  Daniel was someone who really wanted the camp to work.  He hated being who he was, and he wanted to become straight.  I liked him until near the end, when he did something that made me dislike him.  The last member of the group was Carolyn.  She was the girl that Lexi felt attracted to when she first saw her at camp.  She did want to change, and she said the reason was that she wanted to get married someday.  Later in the book, it is revealed that she is hiding another reason about why she is at the camp.  Lexi and Carolyn form a friendship that may or may not become something more later in the book.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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