A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp."
When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a camp for gifted and talented students, she doesn’t know quite what to expect. Fresh from the heartache of losing her grandmother and missing her best friend, Gloria resolves to make the best of her new circumstances. But some things are proving to be more challenging than she expected. Like the series of mysterious clues left by a certain Professor X before he even shows up to teach his class, Secrets of the Written Word. Or the very sweet, but very conservative, roommate whose coal-industry family champions mountaintop removal. Not to mention the obnoxious Mason, who dresses like the Mad Hatter and immediately gets on Gloria’s nerves — but somehow won’t escape her thoughts. Beautifully told by debut author Sarah Combs, this honest and touching story of growing up is imbued with the serene atmosphere of Kentucky’s natural landscape.
This is one of those quiet books that might not seem like much when you read the plot blurb. It's not "high concept", the fate of the world isn't at stake, in fact, you might glance at this book, think, "hm, this sounds good" and then keep moving on to something shinier or fancier looking.
That would be a huge mistake.
The writing in this book, you guys. OMG the writing. This is one of those books that made me want to be a better writer. It's one of those books that made me stop and linger over beautiful sentence after beautiful sentence. This is a book you savor. This is a book that touches your heart.
The characters are complex, which is one of my favorite things in a book. No one in this book is what he or she seems...they all contain multitudes. And growing with Gloria as she makes this discovery about herself and the people she meets at Geek Camp is truly a wonderful journey.
I can't wait to see what comes in the future from Sarah Combs. This is a debut author to watch...I know there's going to be more beautiful writing from her in the future, and I can't wait to read it.
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