Title: Night Owls and Summer Skies
Author: Rebecca Sullivan
Publication Date: 30 June 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Number of Pages: 288
Summary: From Goodreads: “You have to step off the trail to find your path….
When her mother unceremoniously dumps her at Camp Mapplewood for the summer, Emma Lane’s hopes of repairing their fractured relationship are gone with the wind. Now she’s stuck in the wilderness facing her worst fears. Trees? Terrifying. Spiders? Even worse. And don’t even get Emma started on how she feels about camp activities. But Emma’s got a plan, and she will do anything in her power to get kicked out of camp, from sleeping in to playing practical jokes on her fellow campers. Yet when Emma draws the attention of her illusive and attractive camp counselor Vivian Black, she has to come to terms with the fact that how her summer starts isn’t necessarily how it might end. Will Vivian be the key to unlocking Emma’s fears once and for all?”
Review: Thank you, Wattpad Books and Net Galley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Emma Lane wasn’t looking forward to spending the summer with her mother, but she had some hope that maybe they could start repairing their relationship. When Emma’s mother drops her off at Camp Mapplewood, the place where Emma’s PTSD started, all hope for repairing the relationship is gone. Emma decides that she’s going to do everything she can to get kicked out of camp, but slowly she starts to build friendships, learning new things about herself, and deciding that Camp Mapplewood isn’t that bad after all.
This book took me a little while to get into, but once I did, I thought it was a cute summer read. My favourite thing about this book was the Black siblings and their mother. Camp Mapplewood is operated by Mr. Black, and every year he gets as many family members as possible to help him run it. Walter and Vivian Black are both camp counsellors, Gwen is a camper, and his wife runs the kitchen. I loved the relationship between the Black siblings, and I love that they welcomed Emma into their group. I thought that Mrs. Black was an incredibly nice woman, and I loved seeing her teach Emma how to cook.
It took me a while to warm up to Emma because she had some immature moments in the beginning. The reason for her immaturity was because she wanted to get kicked out of camp, but I wasn’t a fan of reading about it. Once she dropped the idea of getting kicked out, I started to like her a lot more, and I loved how her character developed throughout the book. I liked the anxiety and depression rep in this book, and I thought it was handled well. I also like that the Black siblings knew that something was going on and that they took steps to try to help Emma feel more comfortable with everything.
I loved the relationship between Emma and Vivian, and I thought they made a cute pair. I liked the build-up to their relationship, and I thought it was nice that they became friends first. I also thought it was cute that Gwen and Walter were so supportive of them getting together, and that they kind of helped push them together.
I enjoyed the ending of this book, and I thought what Emma did was super brave. I don’t want to say too much, but I wanted to clap for her because I thought she was awesome.
One thing that I didn’t like about this book was the bullying. There’s a character in this book who is a bully, and she does quite a few terrible things. This character goes out of her way to make Emma and Gwen feel uncomfortable, all in an attempt to reach her own goals. This girl steals, blackmails, lies, and gives non-consensual physical contact. I didn’t like that there was a mean girl clique going on, and it made me uncomfortable at times when reading. I also generally don’t like it when girls hate other girls, so I wasn’t a fan of this part of the storyline.
Another thing that I want to mention is that Emma’s mother is homophobic, does not accept that Emma is a lesbian, and does not take Emma’s mental health seriously. She asks Emma a few times if she has a boyfriend or makes comments about how she’ll have a boyfriend soon. She also doesn’t care that Camp Mapplewood is the place where Emma’s PTSD started and sends her there anyway because she has better things planned for her summer. Overall, Emma’s mother is a terrible person, and she clearly doesn’t care about Emma.
Overall, I thought that this was a cute summer read. I liked the friendship between Emma and the Black family, and I liked the relationship between Emma and Vivian. It did have some moments that I didn’t like, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
Rating: 3.5 Stars!