author: L.C. Rosen
release date: May 28, 2020
setting: summer camp
publisher: Penguin Books
genres: LGBTQIA, contemporary ya, mm romance, humor
I absolutely adored this book and everything it stands for! It gave me all the feels and left me feeling so much hope for the world if more books like this could exist; a more realistic representation in the face of all the fetish-y type queer books. This was perfection.
For four glorious weeks every summer since he came out to his parents at the age of twelve, Randy has been attending Camp Outland. Its the only place he can truly be who he is, singing and dancing in the annual show the campers put on. But this year is different. This year, he is trading in the nail polish, flair and show tunes in order to get Hudson to fall in love with him. Hudson is a straight-acting guy looking for another masculine type, so Randy cuts off his hair, loses some weight and goes by Del this summer.
This book made me laugh out loud and even tear up a bit. While it was a little predictable at times, I loved the over all message. I fell in love with these characters. Randy and his friend group were so great. I wish I had had friends like that growing up.
There are so many things to love about this book. Randy changed a lot about himself outwardly to get Hudson to notice him. And he walks a fine line of going too far, but never truly loses himself and who he knows he is. It all comes down to being yourself and how, not only do people need to love you for you, but allowing others the chance to love YOU and not who you think they want you to be. This book was great in the way of representing how great it is to be who you are and understanding that the journey to finding that identity can be just as important.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?