About the book:
Book: Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
Interest: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Running Press Kids, pub. April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback 256 pages & ebook. Review copy provided by the publisher via RockStar Book Tours.
Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.
Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.
10 Reasons to add Summer on the Short Bus to your Spring TBR:
What I Did On My Summer Vacation/ The Plot – Cricket, a spoiled rich girl, gets her Maui trip canceled by her dad, in favor of her working at a summer camp for special needs kids. He wants her to learn to be less self-involved, and Cricket is definitely not on board with this plan, even if it’s only for two weeks. Cricket is a fish out of water and learns a lot during her time at camp.
Underneath the Covers – The cover art is very cute and eye-catching! The swimsuits convey the body conscious thoughts Cricket has, and preconceived notions about some of the kids at camp. The vibrant school bus yellow screams summer as well.
Setting the Tone – Cricket definitely inspires a strong reaction. She is spoiled, self-centered and rude, and blurts out the first thing that comes to mind. The good news is that with her starting out as such a nightmare, her outlook can only improve, and there’s lots of room for character development. Cricket reacts badly to her new surroundings to say the least. It’s refreshing to read about such a straightforward character that says things others don’t dare to say out loud, but I admit it took a while for me to click with her, and I’d guess that’s by design.
Wish You Were Here – Camp I Can – The summer camp (Camp I Can) is run by a woman named Rainbow, and is your typical summer camp, featuring sports, games, movie night, crafts, and a talent show. The campers are all special needs kids, but the message is that the kids have the same hopes and dreams, and interests of any teen.
Finding Love at Summer Camp – Cricket falls for her co-counselor, Zac Efron lookalike, Quinn. When he tells Cricket he likes her, she asks why, and I wondered the same. But he has enough likability for the both of them and makes Cricket more tolerable.
We’re all in this together / Retro Pop Culture – With a Zac Efron lookalike, and Twilight, Karate Kid, Hannah Montana and HSM references aplenty, there’s a retro feel to Summer on the Short Bus that works with the summer camp vibe. It’s like a trip down memory lane.
Summer Camp Sing-Along – Check out the author’s playlist:
Summer Camp Book Club – Summer on the Short Bus is a book that would inspire discussion in a school book club. Students could discuss unlikable characters, the language used in the book, prejudice, assumptions made about persons with disabilities, which HSM film is the best, etc.
Summer Camp Writing – Crandell keeps the tone light and breezy in Short Bus, punctuating her message with a lot of personality. This book could be an easy sell for reluctant readers, and its fast pace keeps you turning pages. The language is bold and makes you pay attention, and a little uncomfortable.
Readalikes – You may enjoy Summer on the Short Bus if you are not easily offended, you enjoy reading about summer camp, are drawn to snarky, unlikeable protagonists, and want to read more about special needs characters. If you liked books like Wonder, Out of My Mind, or Gadget Girl, Short Bus might be a good fit for you.
Author Bethany Crandell in her own words:
I wish I had some mysterious secret to reveal about myself in hopes that you’d find me interesting…but I don’t. When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. And what you get is an irreverent, sarcastic and emotional girl who writes stories about characters with these same traits.
I live in San Diego with my husband, two kiddos, and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. I’m slightly obsessed with John Hughes and the wonderful collection of films he left behind, and I’m confident that Jake Ryan will be showing up on my doorstep any day now…
I firmly believe that prayer solves problems, and that laughter is the best medicine. Along with avocados. Avocados make the world a better place.
I’m represented by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Agency.
Camp Giveaway Time! You could win:
2 Summer Camp Survival Packs and Signed copies of the book!
3 sets of signed swag!
US only please.