Title: The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
Author: Kim Fu
Publisher: Legend Press
Publication Date: 15th February 2019
A group of young girls descend on a sleepaway camp where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls through and beyond this fateful trip. We see them through successes and failures, loving relationships and heartbreaks; we see what it means to find, and define, oneself, and the ways in which the same experience is refracted through different people.
A portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves, and the pasts we can’t escape.
First of all I have to say that the cover of this book is gorgeous. I love the colours and there’s an almost haunting quality to it that works beautifully for the book. I was really excited to start The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore mostly because the idea of a summer camp fascinates me as an experience. Aside from one or two Girl Guide overnight camps and a Duke of Edinburgh award excursion I have no idea what it would be like to spend a summer with a huge group of other girls. I feel like it would have been a really intense experience and reading this book definitely confirmed that.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore has an intriguing structure with chapters focusing on the incident at camp interspersed between character studies of sorts that focus on the lives of the five central characters. It’s an interesting way to tell this story. As the reader finds out more about the women these girls become it puts a totally different slant on the perception of the events taking place at camp long ago. These chapters give the reader a chance to get an in depth appreciation of how different people think and behave, and more importantly why. All of the sections about the girls are skilfully dealt with, they have a sort of melancholic sadness to them that I loved. They are also quite introspective in the sense that they take a brutally honest look at how these character’s minds work and how a seemingly unrelated trauma at camp has had such a huge impact on them.
Whilst the character chapters are arresting and thought-provoking, I actually found the chapters set at Camp Forevermore even more compelling. The author effectively demonstrates how biting and cruel kids on the cusp of adolescence can be and how much influence their insecurities can have on both themselves and each other. I thought this book captured entirely how people can be pushed to extremes when faced with a completely out of the ordinary situation.
Overall I found The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore really enjoyable. I love a book that gives me an insight into human psychology and the motives behind people’s actions. It is well written and dealt with telling this story in a unique and contemplative manner. If you are a fan of character-driven novels then I would absolutely recommend it.
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I received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion. Thank you to Lucy at Legend Press for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. Please do check out the other stops on the tour!