Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she’s headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall. Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn’t seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex’s trouble-magnet personality and Javier’s need to stay in the background don’t mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry. With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?
When I read Camp Boyfriend I didn’t really know Alex so I didn’t identify with her much, but within the first chapter of Camp Payback I was in tears for her. I, personally, was never the popular kid, I was always “troublemaker” because I never felt heard and had a tendency to act, or speak, before thinking. Sounds like our heroine, right? I think this book will speak to all of those girls(and possibly guys) who are looked over and deemed as “difficult” because they don’t fit the cookie cutter mold because of how they act, or look, or think. Javier didn’t fit the mold because of his anger(which was really frustration in disguise) and Alex didn’t fit her father’s expectations. I was cringing right along with them.
Alex’s new found relationship with her mother was great. We would see where Alex got her strength from, and we were able to see that her mom wasn’t just a “Yes, dear.” kind of wife. The things she did for Javier and Alex were amazing.
Again, in the wonderful sequel, Rock channeled the world of the teenager, but in a sophisticated way. It wasn’t a book filled with “Like” and “Uh”. These characters were learning who they were as people and individuals while dealing with all the hormones! I wonder how we all survived adolescence! Each characters’ situation was unique and was genuine to what teens face these days. It may not be as intense as being embarrassed on national television or steroid use but it touched on situations that young people do face.
I love the conversation between Yasmine and Alex while they are sitting in the sand. Alex realizing, with Yasmine’s help, that going full force all the time may not be the best course. Teenagers just want to be heard and express their opinions and individuality, which is pretty important Alex considering her family life outside of camp, so without meaning to they can come off as pushy and impulsive, when in reality it’s just excitement. This relationship showed that even though we might always like what people have to say it is usually a good thing to have a person in our lives who won’t sugar coat things and who will kick us in the pants and allow us to think outside of the box, and that was Yasmine for Alex. At first Alex believed Yasmine was snobbish and just like her parents, but that wasn’t the case, Yasmine was trying to help, even if her approach was a bit harsh.
I had a lot of favorite parts in this book, but I really did like the end. And without giving too much away, because it’s so sweet, it really gave you a sense that they could make it and we could read about Javier and Alex as an adult couple in a future book. You could see the innocence and the hope, but you could see the love and chemistry between them. Incorporating a movie set and a version of a famous musical was a great twist as well.
The plot was solid and the characters were charming. Camp Payback definitely kept in time to be consistent with the rest of the series. It’s a labor of love for these two ladies and it shows.
This book was a pleasure to read. It was smart, funny, sassy, sincere, and truthful. I can’t wait for the next one!
You can check out other J.K. Rock releases at http://www.jkrock.net