YA Summer Camp TBR

Group of Kids in Canoes in a clear blue lake

All summer long I've been dreaming about camping!

I would love nothing more than to spend a socially distanced summer out by the lake.

I could spend my days canoeing and hiking with my friends and then at night roasting smores around a camp fire, but my all time favorite camping activity is telling ghost stories!

You can't sit around a fire pit at night and not tell ghost stories!!

This year I decided a to compile a list of books all with  "Summer Camp" settings.

Some are really cute summer romances, and then some are the really spooky "ghost stories," whichever you are in the mood for this summer.

You can probably tell from the covers which ones are going to be the spooky ones!

 

Summer Camp Recommendations

Just A Boy and A Girl in A Little Canoe, book cover

Just A Boy and A Girl in A Little Canoe Sarah Mlynowski

Sam’s summer isn’t off to a great start. Her boyfriend, Eli, ditched her for a European backpacking trip, and now she’s a counselor at Camp Blue Springs: the summer camp her eleven-year-old self swore never to return to. Sam expects the next seven weeks to be a total disaster.

That is, until she meets Gavin, the camp’s sailing instructor, who turns her expectations upside down. Gavin may have gotten the job just for his abs. Or that smile. Or the way he fills Sam’s free time with thrilling encounters—swimming under a cascade of stars, whispering secrets over s’mores, embarking on one (very precarious) canoe ride after dark.

It’s absurd. After all, Sam loves Eli. But one totally absurd, completely off-the-wall summer may be just what Sam needs. And maybe, just maybe, it will teach her something about what she really wants.

 

Nobody Knows but You, book cover

Nobody Knows but You Anica Mrose Rissi

Maybe a killer only looks like a killer in the moment just before, during, or after.

Maybe a liar, a good one, never shows it.

Kayla is still holding on to Lainie’s secrets.

After all, Lainie is Kayla’s best friend. And despite Lainie’s painful obsession with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, and the ways he has tried to come between them, friends don’t spill each other’s secrets. They don’t betray each other’s trust.

The murder at the end of the summer doesn’t change all that.

Besides—Kayla knows that the truth is not the whole story.

 

Last Chance Summer, book cover

Last Chance Summer Shannon Klare

Alex is a sheriff's daughter with a less than pristine reputation. When she's caught drinking at a party by her dad’s deputy, she’s in deep trouble. With an already incriminating incident in her past, Alex’s parents ship her off to her aunt’s summer camp to work as a counselor.

What's worse than spending your summer deep in the mosquito-infested woods of Texas?

Being paired with an obnoxious co-counselor who wants nothing to do with you.

Alex is determined to make the best of her summer, even if it means putting up with Grant, who has secrets of his own that he's determined to protect. Can Alex and Grant put their egos to the side and find the bright side of a summer that neither of them signed up for? 

 

The Lake, book cover

The Lake Natasha Preston

Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They're excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it's funny how scared they are of everything--spiders, the surly head counselor, the dark, boys . . . even swimming in the lake! It reminds her a little of how she and Kayla used to be, once. Before . . . it happened.

Because Esme and Kayla did something bad when they were campers. Afterwards, the girls agreed to keep it secret. They've moved on--or so they say--and this summer is going to be great. Two months of sun, s'mores, and flirting with the cute boy counselors. But then they get a note. THE LAKE NEVER FORGETS. And the secret they've kept buried for so many years is about to resurface.

 

We Three, book cover

We Three Markus Harwood-Jones

Jasbina "Jassie" Dhillon is at summer performance camp to address concerns of her parents and teachers over her struggles at school and her lack of close friends. To Jasbina's surprise, she quickly makes two new friends, Ams and Sydney. The problem is that the pair can't seem to stand each other, and Jassie realizes she's got romantic feelings for both of them.

Just as Jassie is worried she may need to choose one over the other, Ams and Syd start to get along -- but a little bit too well. It seems like Jassie may have missed her chance at both love and friendship, since Ams and Syd only seem to have eyes for each other. Jassie is upset until Ams and Syd tell Jassie they want to be with her too.

The three spend their time at camp working out their relationship in the face of the misunderstandings, assumptions and envy of counsellors and fellow campers alike. As camp gets close to ending, Syd proposes that the three of them run away from camp together. Ams feels the only solution is for the three of them to just end their relationship. Jassie, heartbroken and hurt, realizes she needs to find the courage to convince her partners that their love can survive in the real world.

 

The Last Witness, book cover

The Last Witness Claire McFall

Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have awoken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning to seek deadly revenge.

One year later, Heather knows she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point, but she is still waiting for Dougie to wake up from his coma. If he doesn't, how will she prove her sanity—and her innocence?

 

Camp, book cover

Camp Lev AC Rosen

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?

 

Blog Category
Teens

Add new comment

Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.