Ready For CAMP PAYBACK? Reviews and KINDLE Giveaway

Camp Payback Tour Banner copyHi there! Welcome to my stop on the CAMP PAYBACK blog tour organized by AToMR Book tours. For other stops on the tour, click here. Today’s book is a contemporary YA romance that’s sure to get readers ready for summer!

Camp Payback coverAbout the book:

Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she’s headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall. Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn’t seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp.

But Alex’s trouble-magnet personality and Javier’s need to stay in the background don’t mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry. With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?

My (Recap) Review:

I did a full review on this book last week when it came out, so I’m going to recap what really struck me about this book:  AWARENESS. Alex is a sheltered girl always on the cusp of “breaking out” against her parents’ rules, against any constraint, in truth. She could be-dazzle: It’s All About Alex on her homespun t-shirts. Really. So the thought of going to camp to “live it up” while outside of Momma’s sheltering skirts isn’t a very noble one, even if it’s fully relate-able. No, I started loving Alex when–through some gentle guidance, and a budding affection for Javier–she recognized that taking a step out of the spotlight actually allowed her to shine brighter.

I loved how self-aware Alex became, and how she used her talents and her connection to make camp, and life, better for others–even at the cost of her own perceived happiness. I think this is what endears her to Javier–because he’s all about self-sacrifice.

Javier can’t wait to get his mom home, even if it means working hard to support HER through college. Javi doesn’t have big dreams for himself–and it’s all the sweeter when he gets rewarded for his honest efforts. Javier is not comfortable in the spotlight, but he’s drawn to Alex’s glow. For that he gets a bit of heartache, and a lot of good karma. Eventually…

It’s a sweet, clean read with only references to (potentially) hooking up and a few heart-pounding kisses. Safe for upper MG/all YA readers. For adults, it’s gonna bring you back to  summer camp. And, that’s a good thing.

Interested? You can find CAMP PAYBACK at Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Camp Boyfriend coverThis is the second book in the CAMP BOYFRIEND series. We first meet Alex and the Munchies in CAMP BOYFRIEND as accessory characters. You can find my full review here. While they share some characters, the books stand alone. (I’m a series sucker, so I read both and I liked it that way…)

In CAMP BOYFRIEND, newly transformed cheerleader Lauren must decide which boy she wants to date at camp: her usual boy, Ethan, who knows her as the geeky space-camp-gal or her current beau Matt, the jock who knows her as a glam girl. It seems like a simple choice, at first, but Lauren has a whole lot of issues to contend with: peer pressure, boy pressure, attraction, familiarity, friendship…  Finally, she takes a total “boy break” and finds the comfort within her own skin before she decides.

It’s a fun tour through camp politics, mean girls, and friendship forging. I enjoyed it mucho. You can find CAMP BOYFRIEND at Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

PictureAbout the Author(s)

J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners – and sisters-in-law – Joanne & Karen Rock. Although they started out sharing an annual shopping trip, they ended up discussing their favorite films and books, joining the same book club and talking about writing… a lot. Their debut novel, Camp Boyfriend, is the first in a three-book series plotted during family pool parties. Their creative partnership is unique in that they enjoy passing a book back and forth, each adding a chapter and fine-tuning the chapter before. Years of friendship has yielded a shared voice and vision for their work that makes writing a pleasure. Learn more about Karen and Joanne at http://jkrock.net. And connect with them at their Author Website, Goodreads, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google +, You Tube or Facebook.

camp-payback-blog-tour-grand-prize copy***GIVEAWAY***
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win this AMAZING grand prize:
(1) Kindle
(1) $50 USD Amazon Gift Card
(1) Print copy of CAMP BOYFRIEND and CAMP PAYBACK
(1) I ‘heart’ Camp Boyfriend T-shirt
(This contest is open internationally)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck and, as always, keep reading my friends!

 

AToMRTours_mdm

 

YA Drama Over A CAMP BOYFRIEND–A Review

Hi there! Today is the BOOK BIRTHDAY for CAMP PAYBACK, the second book by JK Rock, a sister-in-law writing team. Because Camp Payback references a lot from the first book, CAMP BOYFRIEND, I thought I’d share my impressions of the first book. Both books are solidly YA, and quality contemporary reads. Tomorrow I’ll review CAMP PAYBACK, but first:

Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend, #1)About the book:

The summer of Lauren’s dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn’t be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren’s nerves and she can’t wait to return to summer camp where she’s valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she’s broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn’t even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn’t giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn’t really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she’s more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren’s friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she’s changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

My review:

Lauren Carlson has had a tough year. Her family moved from New York to Texas, and suddenly all the expectations/patterns changed. Her dad’s too busy working to hang out, and her mom has instituted a plan to girl-ify this would-be astronomer. It works, but as her junior year draws to a close, Lauren isn’t sure she likes her role as a cheerleader with a football boyfriend. In fact, she can’t wait to dump Matt and return to Seth, the boy at camp she’s dated the past two summers.

Only, Matt has a big surprise. His parents are getting divorced and he needs some space. So, he’s going to the same camp as Lauren. Yay!

Lauren is crushed, but wants to be a good friend to Matt–who is clearly dealing with some bad stuff. So, she never bothers to break up with him. Or, tell him about her long-standing connection to Seth. Imagine both boys’ frustration: Seth’s been looking forward to reuniting for nine months and “his girl” shows up with a boyfriend, meanwhile all the campers know about Lauren and Seth–and aren’t shy about enlightening Matt.

Add to this angsty-issue the pressure Lauren gets from her cabinmates. These girls have spent summers together for years, but the NEW Lauren just blows away her more homely buddies. They are suspicious, and ticked off that she could hurt Seth. Any overture toward friendship with any of the high-gloss chic Diva campers lands Lauren in heat, as well.

This romp of a story comes with a heaping helping of “caught at the worst possible moment” coincidences. I think Lauren was the most timing-challenged would-be glam queen in all of summer camp. Any time she was in even the most innocent of compromising positions, she was witnessed–by friends, enemies, or one of her suitors.

Matt wants to really work on their relationship, and Lauren decides that’s for the best–in the process learning far more about the championship athlete in two weeks than she had in their nine months together. For his part, Matt is totally comfortable with the dressed-down version of his glamour girl, while Seth sometimes has trouble reconciling the chic Lauren with his memories.

There’s a lot of camp drama and shenanigans pitting Lauren between her girls and the Divas, and in the end there’s a rousing musical number, or two, that help to smooth over the heartaches of camp. At the end of the eight weeks, Lauren returns home for her sister’s wedding having given an invite to one of the two boys.

At the very last second we learn who captured Lauren’s heart. It’s a satisfying read. Lots of mean girl vibes overlap with Lauren’s (sometimes oblivious) efforts to bring both halves of her self into order.i really liked how Lauren decided to take a break from both boys just so she could figure out herself. I kinda felt like this got rushed at the end trying to skim 8 weeks into the book, which made the talent show escapade a little forced, but I loved how open Lauren was, and how she continued to build bridges, despite them all getting washed out.

Also, I really liked the candid conversations these teens had, regarding boys, relationships, and sexual activity. It felt very real. I admired Lauren’s moral compass–she was continually be faced with rivals, and while she seethed internally, she remained neutral allowing Matt and Seth to choose other girls if they so desired. Both boys were hot commodities, and had a flock of girls vying for interest, and yet they never flaunted this at Lauren which I also liked. With both boys being so up-standing and kind, it was clear Lauren would have a real catch no matter what her decision was regarding a boyfriend. The end was what I had expected, and it met my expectations, so I wasn’t disappointed. I think teens will like this book.

Interested? You can find CAMP BOYFRIEND on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

J.K. RockAbout these authors:

J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners – and sisters-in-law – Joanne & Karen Rock. After years of comparing notes on their favorites books and films, often dreaming up new endings to suit them, they decided to write their own stories. Their first Young Adult book, CAMP BOYFRIEND, is part of a three-book series. CAMP PAYBACK will be an April 2014 release, and CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT arrives in Fall 2014. Visit the Camp Boyfriend website at http://campboyfriend.net to learn more about the free novellas they are offering readers prior to each full length book. Individually, Joanne Rock is an award winning Harlequin author published in 26 countries and translated into 20 languages. Karen Rock writes critically acclaimed stories for Harlequin Heartwarming including her latest, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends! 🙂

CAMP BOYFRIEND Book Blitz and GIVEAWAY

Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1)
Release Date: 07/02/13
From Spencer Hill Press
Summary from Goodreads:
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn’t be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed
herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren’s nerves and she can’t wait to return to summer camp where she’s valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she’s broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt.
He doesn’t even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn’t giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn’t really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she’s more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren’s friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she’s changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?



Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

“Fun, romantic and giddy, Camp Boyfriend brings
real romance to summer camp with grace, humor and passion.” –
Carrie Jones, New York Times Best-selling Author of the NEED
series


Excerpt:
“If you don’t play football, what will you do this fall?” Thunder rolled through the camp, sending the last of the families scurrying indoors, leaving Matt and I alone in the narrow, shadowed space.
Matt cupped the back of my head and he lowered his nose until it touched mine. “This,” he whispered, then captured my lips in a kiss more electrifying than the war nature waged outside. His mouth was gentle at first, but the pressure grew more insistent until we both gasped for breath. My head whirled and I thought I’d black out until he lowered me to the bench.
The warmth of his bare chest seeped into my soaked tank, the drumming of his heart faster than the clattering rain. His lips left mine and travelled along my jaw to my earlobe. I shuddered when he lightly nibbled, the shock of pleasure intense.
My hands slid along his back, the muscles bunching beneath my touch. I traced the ridge of muscle above his hip and felt him tremble, his breath growing ragged. But when his fingers tugged up the hem of my shirt I was the one who sounded winded. His palms skimmed upward against my ribcage until they cupped my flesh, driving me crazy. Only another kiss kept me from making a noise. The storm was loud, but I didn’t want to risk alerting others that we were behind the water curtain flowing in front of the dugout.
“Matt,” I gasped, loving the feel of his hands on me, the pressure of his hips against mine. I was as hot as a stoked furnace, heat sizzling everywhere at once. My fingers buried themselves in the thick hair at the nape of his neck and I pressed my lips to his, wanting more of him.
He pulled me up and onto his lap. My hair dripped down my back as my head lolled, his mouth leaving a trail of fire along my neck before dipping lower to my clavicle and lower still. I kissed his brow, his temple, and his square jaw while his mouth explored. I wanted it to go on and on, but suddenly he pulled back, his chest rising and falling like one of those old-time bellows I’d seen on a school field trip.
His face was fierce, intense, every handsome feature sharpened. His hungry eyes were backlit with fire as they roamed over me. Why had he stopped?
“Lauren,” he said when it seemed he’d finally caught his breath. I’d never seen him this winded, not even after the endless sprints of football practice. “If we go any farther I won’t be able to stop.” His eyes searched mine, willing me to understand what he was saying.
“Oh.” My cheeks went up in flames and scrambled off his lap. Thank god the heavy waterfall had obscured us from view. I repositioned my bra and tugged down my tank top. I pinched the bridge of my nose, feeling a headache coming on.
“Hey.” Matt lifted my chin until I was forced to meet his warm blue-green eyes, the color as inviting as a Caribbean vacation brochure. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re my girlfriend. I love you.”
My heart seized. He’d dropped the L-bomb. We’d skirted around the word for months, saying things like, “I love that about you” or just a casual “Love ya” that sounded like friends. But this. It was huge. What to say? The obvious answer was no answer, but a fierce need to return the words clawed to the surface and fought its way out.
“I love you too.”
He crushed me against his chest, his hands twining in my frizzing waves. I did love him, I marveled. His warmth. His sense of humor. His strength of purpose and conviction. But was I in love with him? That was the bigger question. One I had no clue how to answer.

About the Authors:

J. K. Rock is the writing partnership of sisters-in-law Joanne & Karen Rock. Separately, they write adult romance. Together, they dream up Young Adult books like CAMP BOYFRIEND, the first in a three-book series. The summer camp stories continue with CAMP PAYBACK (4/14) and CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT (8/14), plus bonus free novellas in between stories. Visit http://campboyfriend.net to learn more about the series and the free prequel novella, CAMP KISS, which you can download here.

***Author Links***
Author
Website
 / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / Karen’s Twitter / Joanne’s Twitter Facebook



***GIVEAWAY***
Grand prize – Signed copies Amanda Ink’s SUN, Jennifer Armentrout writing as J. Lynn’s FRIGID and JK Rock’s CAMP BOYFRIEND. Also included, advance sneak peek copy Laurie Halse Anderson’s THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY and Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian’s FIRE WITH FIRE, plus an “I<3 my Camp Boyfriend” tee shirt, friendship bracelets,  ‘I ❤ Camp’ temporary tattoos, and a bookmark with the download code for CAMP KISS.
Three other winners will receive $10 Amazon gift cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Hosted by: