Slept Away (英语) 平装 – 2009年5月26日
"Fifteen-year-old Laney's privileged Park Avenue world comes undone when her mother sends her bred-in-the-bone Manhattanite daughter to a rustic camp in the Pennsylvania boonies. The Gossip Girl-lite meets Green Acres premise works...[and] offers quick, humorous escapism." --Booklist
From School Library Journal
Grade 8–10—Fifteen-year-old Laney has plenty to complain about, but readers will tire of her whining and foul language long before the end of her six weeks at a truly abominable summer camp. She starts out as a Manhattan diva with friends who drink too much, then displays the interests of a tween. Jonas Brothers, Disney TV-movies, and a blankie? Her three nasty bunkmates—Aiden, Aidan, and Hayden—wear shorts with suggestive words across their butts, and her cabin leader is a perky pest. Her other bunk mate, Sylvie, who is slightly more rounded, becomes her best friend. Despite camp rules that keep girls and boys separate except for special events, Laney decides to get Sylvie a boyfriend. She finds herself falling for Ryan, a guy she's secretly liked but who is an outcast from her cool crowd in New York. Here in the Poconos, he passes for the hottest thing at camp. To the author's credit, camp activities never improve for Laney but having two friends makes all the difference. That touch of realism and some funny lines and situations are not enough to make up for the unbelievable plot and lack of character development.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
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Julie Kraut lives in Maryland. Growing up, she loved summer camp and willingly wore skorts, embarrassingly enough. Today she’s enthusiastic about cheese, Googling herself, and writing. Slept Away is her second book for young readers. To learn more about Julie, visit www.JulieKraut.com.
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Speaking specifically it took so long to get to the really good parts of the story (the building relationship between Laney and Sylvie as well as the romance between each of them and their respective suitors) that by the time I turned the corner I didn't really care. More than that there was so little time to really explore theses plot lines because we'd spent so much of the story focussing on the same scene (misery at the hands of the trifecta of doom, kavetching about being at camp, fearing instructional swim) that if I heard the words pee-pee one more time I thought I would put the book down for good.
This is what is most unfortunate about Slept Away, that there was such great potential for the story. There were some genuinely interesting and good parts that were simply not explored to their fullest. The romance between Laney and her chosen crush was rushed into a few chapters at the end, the exploration of how she went from truly shallow to a woman who chose friends of character over materialism and social status, and the true revelation that even though she wasn't built for camp she became a better person for having gone and endured. All of that was forsaken for relentless complaining and sarcasm.
On a more positive note, I do think it had moments where the humor shone through, Kraut undoubtedly has a flair for comedy. Also the book was certainly a quick read, I had no problem moving through it. Sadly, it just didn't end up being a book that one hundred percent suited me as a reader. I'll be curious to hear the thoughts of those who read it who are closer to the target age of this book's audience. Did you like the focus of the story or did you want more from it?
This novel was the classic story of spoiled, popular girl living a life outside of her comfort zone - only to learn there's more to life than just materialistic things. There wasn't much creativity in this predictable story, and the plot started to thin halfway through the book. One thing's for sure though: Kraut went the extreme to include references and allusions to pop culture today, on almost every page. For example she incorporated Facebook, iPhones, the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana, and Sarah Jessica Parker into the book. It was kind of weird to read about these things, which I hear about and use everyday. I didn't like it.
I used to go to summer camp every year while in middle school, so it was fun reading about the activities they did at Camp Timber Trails. I got to relive a couple of memories similar to Laney's, and could definitely relate to the sights, sounds, and smells she witnessed there.
Laney's character annoyed me. She was overly sarcastic on each page, and whined way too much. I mean, I understand she was out of her element at camp but after awhile it just got irritating. Sure, there were a few times when I felt sorry for Laney but overall her dramatic self-pity was uncalled for. There are much worse things than going to a sleepaway summer camp! Even after Laney realized that people are more than what they seem, I doubt she's going to go back home as a different person. I'm sure after a few weeks go by, she'll just turn back into the one-sided, gossipy, materialistic girl she was at the beginning. Laney seems like the type easily molded by circumstance and situation - I know the change won't be permanent.
The author put a lot of humor in each page, so I stayed entertained and even chuckled at a few parts. Some of the witty remarks she made sounded like something I would say myself! However, other times it sounded like Kraut was trying too hard to keep a teenage conversation flowing - and ended up making it sound super corny or something an adult says trying to sound "young and hip."
The book as a whole had a feeling of immaturity running through it, that made me question the value and purpose of the novel. But on the surface, Slept Away is a cute and mostly-enjoyable read for summer. I think tweens would like it more than older teenagers because of its lack of substance. It's a light and breezy book, but will quickly fade from my memory.
Being sent to camp Timber Trail is bad enough, but being there with a group of totally uncool girls who think they run the camp (and automatically take a disliking to Laney!), along with getting stuck doing group activities with the kids who are half her age, is horrible. Laney hates camp and can't see how her summer is going to be any fun.
Eventually, Laney becomes friends with one of the girls in her cabin, and then finds out that someone from back home also goes to the camp. Back in the city, Ryan is the most uncool guy around, but at camp he is the hottest and most popular guy there. Laney has never been happier to see him.
At the end of the summer, Laney is left wondering: Can camp cool equal real world cool? And will Ryan and Laney be able to be friends back home? You'll have to read SLEPT AWAY to find out!
With lots of pop culture references, fun in the sun, and a slight bit of romance, this is a great read for a hot summer day!
Reviewed by: Angela S.