Alternate title I didn’t have the fortitude to go with: more like parentS trap
(I’m funnier in real life.)
As far as summer camp adventures go, hiding out at an academic grind sleepaway camp in order to get to know your SURPRISE FULL-BLOODED SISTER and avoid summer school is kind of… okay, I’m not sure it would have ever occurred to me to do it, but The Youth are better than me.
So there’s Abby. She’s having a bad year. Her beloved grandfather passed. Her grades are tanking–because grief. Her parents are on her case about it–because parents don’t connect grief to academic challenges? She made a move on her best friend, which her other best friend convinced her is no big because it’s not like he liked her anyway. And now, now a random DNA test reveals that she has a full sister she’d never heard of two towns over.
Girl, that’s a lot.
Savannah, the aforementioned secret sister, presses Abby to come to summer camp so they can try to piece together what happened. The girls, like so many siblings who unexpectedly meet at summer camp, strike sparks off one another. Savvy is an Instagram influencer in the “wellness space”. She’s tightly controlled and aware of the image she’s projecting on the world. Abby, on the other hand, is more of a free spirit, clumsy and artistic. She doesn’t want to be noticed. They might look alike, but they’re as different as can be.
The story here is mostly Abby’s, the way this discovery topples the uneasy holding pattern she’s been in following her grandfather’s passing and opens the door to the next phase of her life. Emma Lord does a deft job of illustrating the messy reaction a teenager might have in this type of situation. (Even as I say that, I wish we’d gotten a little more of Savannah’s side. Surely there’s a measure of mess in finding out that one’s parents went on to have several more children together, one immediately after relinquishing you. We get none of that in this book.)
A slightly heavier read than a lot of YA, but none of the adult content that would push this into the New Adult space. I read it twice with about a month in between reads, and both times I remember thinking that the book feels a little long. Still enjoyed it, but it’s one that you need to be able to stay with over time.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in order to facilitate this review.