April 16, 2016

Review: Mother-Daughter Book Camp

Mother-Daughter Book Camp (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, #7)
Mother-Daughter Book Camp by Heather Vogel Frederick
Grade: C
Release date: May 3, 2016
An e-galley was provided by the publisher in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: Spend one last summer with the Mother-Daughter Book Club at camp in this bittersweet conclusion to Heather Vogel Frederick’s beloved and bestselling series.

After so many summers together, Emma, Jess, Megan, Becca, and Cassidy are reunited for one final hurrah before they go their separate ways. The plan is to spend their summer as counselors at Camp Lovejoy in a scenic, remote corner of New Hampshire, but things get off to a rocky start when their young charges are stricken with a severe case of homesickness. Hopefully, a little bit of bibliotherapy will do the trick, as the girls bring their longstanding book club to camp.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: It's always disappointing when you don't love a book from your favorite series, and this is the lowest rating I've given any of The Mother-Daughter Book Club books. I'll explain why.
The book jumps from the summer before the girls' junior year of high school to the summer before they head off to college. I didn't mind that entirely; I would've liked to see them continue to have a book club with their mothers, but since it's been so long since book 6 came out, the girls needed to age a bit. There's a lot of telling as Heather summarized what we've missed in the past two years. The romantic relationships aren't exactly the same (I'm happy with those dynamics for the most part), and the girls have college plans. I loved Becca's plotline in that area. She still isn't quite sure what she's going to major in, but she knows what school she's going to and she has a lot of options (business and education are tossed around). Becca has matured the most, and I love her character growth. But I didn't love Emma's plotline; she makes some drastic choices that just don't fit her at all, and she's pretty angsty for most of the book. We didn't really see an angsty phase for any of the girls, but 18 is a bit old to be having one. (Also, on another note, can I just say that I'm shocked Megan and Simon haven't broken up? Don't get me wrong, they're cute, but their relationship has never been solid for me.)
A lot of the plot happenings were too dramatic for me. I don't want to spoil them, but Cassidy hasn't given up her immature pranking ways, and it backfires on Jess (who wasn't even involved in the prank). I hated where that plotline went. And SPOILER ALERT, Cassidy's sister Courtney decides to elope, which just seemed awfully dramatic to me. END SPOILER Finally, the climax was too dramatic and weird for my tastes. This wasn't The Mother-Daughter Book Club I'd come to know and loved.
I appreciated that the girls were sort of the mothers in the scenario, since they were doing the book club with their young campers. But I didn't see the book they read influencing their lives as much as it has in the past. For example, when they read Jane Eyre, they all tried to have backbone like Jane.
There were also some weird writing choices - the girls kept saying "a hop and a skip," and I don't know a single teenager who talks like that. A character kept calling Cassidy "sport" and all I could think of was The Great Gatsby.

The Verdict: As much as I hated that the series ended with Wish You Were Eyre, that book was a much better ending than Mother-Daughter Book Camp.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Yes, so my series will be complete.

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