If you remember when Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) came out, you might also remember that I absolutely RAVED about it. I loved the story, the characters and most importantly, the sex positive message. Well, the author is back at it again but with a different message this time.
So Camp is all about Randy and his crush on Hudson and they see each other at Camp Outland, a summer camp for LGBT+ teens. Randy has been in love with Hudson for the last 4 years, but Randy is femme to the max, a big theatre queen and paints his nails with glitter. And Hudson…well Hudson doesn’t like any of that, he’s strictly masc4masc.
But Randy has a plan, he transforms himself into ‘Del’ – a butch, sports loving, straight-presenting buff guy – all to win Hudson’s heart. But can the literall drama queen keep up the one-man act all summer? And will Hudson like Randy, or only Del?
I’ve done a video review of Camp if that’s more your thing – so if you wanna check that out, here you go. If you wanna read my review, just scroll down!
I really enjoyed Camp. I’ll admit that there was a small point where I thought that I wasn’t going to like Camp anywhere near as much as Jack of Hearts, but I was wrong (thankfully!).
Now don’t get me wrong, the plot of Camp is as A-B predictable as you can get. Write down a list of things you think will happen before you read the book and you’ll probably tick each of those off before you finish. But that’s not the point. In fact, it’s kinda where the charm is.
But that could also be in how Lev Rosen writes. His writing is absolutely amazing. I can’t fault it. He finds a way to bring characters to life in such an endearing and believable way.
Camp is as queer of a novel as you can get too, I think there’s literally only one straight character throughout – and even that isn’t a dead cert. But it doesn’t feel like it’s written for a queer-only audience. It for sure has queer readers in mind, because of the message (I’ll get to it later), but straight readers will be given plenty of feels and many thoughts to ponder over throughout Camp. Basically, this book is focused on LGBT+ issues and the community, but it’s not exclusionary of ANYONE in any way.
The message of the book is all about acceptance, self-exploration and self-worth. I love that both of the main characters, and even some of the support characters, go through very real journeys and have their thoughts and outlooks transformed.
If I had to give a negative, I guess that it’s that I’m not so keen on the insta-love aspect of the book, but it’s worth it for the ultimate message of sell-exploration and acceptance. Sure, it’s cheesy, but honestly – it’s still SO relevant. It’s sad, but true. But books like this will help light the way and if just one person gets a deeper meaning and message from this book, then job done well!
Once again, Lev Rosen knocked it out of the park. Camp is magic in book form – unapologetic, queer, glittery, rainbow magic. Obviously this is a 5 star read for me!
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