I hit a milestone today: This is my 500th blog post! Ironic that this milestone comes as I feature a book called MILESTONES, isn’t it?
Can you keep a secret? When 14 year old Faye Martin gets hit by lightening in front of Benji, the boy she’s had a crush on since the 4th grade, her parents inexplicably decide to send her off to summer camp. And not just any summer camp, but one that no one’s ever heard of, in the middle of nowhere where she’ll have no contact with the outside world for months. Her one small consolation is that Benji has been sent there too. Will they be able to unravel the mystery of the unusual camp before it’s too late?
Guest post by Faye Martin, main character of MILESTONESOkay. Introductions are in order. My name is Faye Grace Martin – though only my mother calls me that - and I’m fourteen years old. I’ve been asked to tell you all about my experience at camp Milestone. The thing is: I hate camp Milestone. Better yet, I loathe it. Despise it with every ounce of my soul. So I’d rather not write about it at all. Why should I give this poor excuse for a camp the satisfaction of writing about it? Or glorifying it? No thanks. Instead, I’ll write about another camp. The camp I wish I had gone to instead of camp Milestone. So here it goes. My informal essay about my ideal camp.
My ideal camp is not set in the middle of nowhere. It’s not isolated or secluded or whatever. It’s outside a big city where there are resources. My ideal camp is also “friendly”, and “comfy” and “lovely” and aesthetically pleasing. When you walk onto the camp grounds, you see beauty and nature and trees and you notice amazing activities taking place around you and you feel excitement. You want to be a part of it. You DON’T walk onto the grounds, look around and wonder where the hell you’ve landed. You don’t wonder if your cabin is made of rotting wood or some sort of straw. Because the cabins at my ideal camp are strong and sturdy and made of real wood .
Plus, my ideal camp is awesome. It has a hundreds of campers and dozens of camp counsellors. It doesn’t have a dozen campers and one counsellor. Cause that, my friends, would be weird. Weird and freaky. Oh! You know what else? You can so find my ideal camp on the internet. Yeah! It totally exists online. You can Google it, look it up and find out pertinent information about it. You can see pictures of previous campers and they all look like they’re having a blast. Like they’ve made friends. Awesome friends. The kind of friends you don’t want meeting your school friends. The type you want to keep to yourself and not share with anybody. You know that type, right? The kind you bond with and never let go?
On another note, my ideal camp is not the least bit scary. It doesn’t make you fear for your life. You don’t do crazy tasks and you certainly, certainly have some kind of access to your family and friends. I’m talking internet, cell phone…or heck, even a regular old fashioned phone. Furthermore, my ideal camp is not at all mysterious. What you see is what you get. Because people go to camp to have fun. I mean, isn’t that the entire point? To break free from school, stress and drama? And to have a summer romance or something? An unforgettable summer and yadda yadda? As opposed to freaking out, being more stressed than you ever knew you could be and wondering if you’re going to live? All the while trying to figure why in heaven’s name your parents (YOUR PARENTS!) would choose to send you to a place like this when you know for a fact that they love you? And you are constantly wondering, why, why, why they would this do this to you deliberately if they do in fact love you??? And you can’t help it but you find yourself obsessed!! Constantly second guessing! Constantly searching for evidence, for hints, for ANYTHING AT ALL that would explain why you’ve been sent to this hell hole…. without a phone………. without a clue……….without a paddle……….
THAT would be MY ideal camp in case you’re wondering.
Basically, it’s just a normal camp. A normal safe camp.
Not much to ask, is it?
My reviewOk, so here’s the deal. MILESTONES is incredibly clever and the concept/mystery is well executed and fun to try and figure out. Once you have that “a ha!” moment, everything clicks into place and what seemed pretty random finally starts to make sense. What I’m afraid of though, is that a lot of readers aren’t going to have that much patience. After the first chapter, a choppy, repetitive introduction to Faye where she complains (A LOT) about having to go to camp, I felt like Faye and I had something in common – she didn’t want to go to Camp Milestone and I didn’t want to read about her going to Camp Milestone. Fortunately, we both stuck it out, and in the end, I can say we’re both glad we did (despite what she says about it in her guest post today).
MILESTONES comes out in hardcover on August 1st. This post is a part of the MILESTONES book tour. For a list of the other stops and for more information about this title, go to http://www.eatabook.com/.
I attended many summer camps when I was younger, and the absolute worst has to be "Whistle Camp", a strict church camp in Michigan. I was looking forward to finally spending some quality time with my best friend Sommer who had been vacationing with her family for a whole month, but when we got there, they divided us into teams that shared activities, meals and cabins, splitting Sommer and me up, ensuring that we'd never see each other.
But that wasn't even the worst part - at anytime of day or night, the camp "elders" could blow their whistle and summon us to take our places at the designated spot for our team. Teams were rewarded for being complete and quick and punished for missing members and being slow. Not fun.
At one point, an elder suspiciously asked my friend Margie what she had in her water bottle. Margie being Margie (read: supremely sarcastic), she replied "It's my vodka. I need it to sleep at night." She tucked it in next to her pillow and left the room. When she returned, all her water (yes, it WAS just water) had been poured out.
How about you? Any camp horror stories to rival those of mine and Faye's?