Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
For many teens, going off to summer camp is something of an adventure. There are new friends to be made, new experiences to try out, exciting adventures that await. For others, camp doesn't sound like such fun. And for a smaller, more rare group, summer camp is the equivalent to prison--especially for someone like Cam Phillips. She's being sent off for the summer to Camp Calliope, which is, for all intents and purposes, a fat camp. Her mother wants Cam to stop her "self-destructive" cycle, her father just wants to keep the family peace, and Cam, well, Cam doesn't seem to have much choice in the matter.
Ever since she can remember, Cam has been pudgy. When she was younger, it didn't really bother her, but now that she's a teenager and can see the repulsive way she looks in a two-piece bathing suit, she knows it's not the way she wants to live her life. But she's tried self-control, she's attempted Weight Watchers, she's even gone the route of self-bribery. Nothing seems to work for long, and now her parents have decided that a summer filled with controlled portions of food, plenty of rigorous exercise, and the fresh, clean air of the outdoors is just what she needs.
For Cam, though, Camp Calliope represents something else. What other group of people, anywhere in the world, is discriminated against like overweight individuals? And then, on top of the discrimination, are asked outright to change? So now it's no more french fries, no more ice cream, no more best friend, Evie, who is away at Tennis Camp meeting gorgeous instructors and equally hunky players. Instead, she finds the other camp residents to be a strange mix of overweight, underweight, and everything in between. There's Carla Valentine, who at 5'10" and 120 pounds seems like the least likely to need a fat camp. There's Summer, who is determined to succeed with her weight loss at any and all costs. There's Faith Masters, the only girl who Cam can imagine becoming friends with. And then there's the counselors, and the guy who takes them on hikes, and the one who oversees the rowing, and on and on and on. Last but not least, there's Jesse, the only boy that Cam might be attracted to. Girls and guys don't mix very often at Camp Calliope, but she just might be able to squeeze in some alone time with Jesse.
For Cam, going away to fat camp might not be what she expected after all. There might be weight loss, there might be a healthier style of living, but more importantly, she just might realize that looks aren't everything. For Cam Phillips, Camp Calliope might be filled with friends, fun, and adventure after all.