Book Review: Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock

(This ARC was provided by NetGalley)

Lauren Carlson is a former geek who transformed herself into a popular cheerleader after relocating to Texas with her family. But when her sophomore year draws to a close, she's eager to dump her quarterback boyfriend, Matt, and the It crowd for her friends at summer camp, who know and love the real Lauren. Most of all, she longs to reunite with Seth, the boy she dates every summer at camp. And this year, she intends to make Seth her full-time boyfriend, not just at camp. But Matt isn't letting her go without a fight because she's the best thing that's ever happened to him, which is news to Lauren. Before long, she finds herself caught in a love triangle between two boys she cares deeply for.

The first chapter presents a promising start to the story. We are introduced to Lauren, who seems to almost despise her hot, popular boyfriend, Matt, and rightly so, because he comes across as an arsehole. An altercation in the school hallway in which Matt's team-mate destroys a future Nobel Prize winner's science model (I may be exaggerating here) and Matt's thumbs-up gesture had me cheering Lauren on when she voiced her plans to dump him.

But then we find out Matt is having family problems and Lauren feels guilty at the prospect of adding to his pain. So she chickens out and doesn't dump him. Instead, she goes along with his plans to join her at summer camp. Wait, but isn't she planning to hook up with Seth at camp? Oh, that's right! Whatever will she do now?

Lauren next decides that she'll break up with Matt and tell him about Seth during the coach trip (bus ride for all you Americans) to camp. But she'll do it just before they arrive so he has time to deal with her betrayal, so she can then run into Seth's arms. But, no, she still can't do it. She can't bring herself to hurt poor Matt. Instead, she strings both boys along for their entire stay at camp, flitting from one boy to the other, sharing kisses and hugs here and there.

I've never really had a problem with love triangles before, but now I can see why some readers flat-out hate them. They can be boring and predictable. By the time both boys came to blows, I didn't really care. All the back and fro between the two boys made me dislike Lauren, so when she finally made her choice, this was my reaction...

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Saying that, it wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't for me. I felt it was more MG than YA. And I didn't particularly like most of the characters, particularly Lauren's friends and their fickleness. Supposedly they've all been friends for years but they're so quick to accuse her of double-crossing them. The only character I liked was Emily. Her interactions with Rob were quite funny.

My rating: