Page Count: 240 pages
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Age Range: Middle Grade
Series: Camp Rolling Hills #3
Goodreads: Camp Rolling Hills Breakout!
CW: fat shaming
“Summer’s almost over, which means one thing and one thing only: It’s Color War time! Color War is the event of the summer, a massive camp-wide competition that divides the campers into two teams: Blue and White. All of the upper campers are hoping they’ll be selected as Lieutenant, a team leader position and a huge honor. Jenny’s convinced she’s got Lieutenant in the bag, being a “Popular Girl” and all. And Play Dough sure hopes he does, too—members of his family have been White team Lieutenants for generations, and he doesn’t want to disappoint them. But when assignments are announced, both Jenny and Play Dough are in for a big surprise.
With the entire camp now amping up for an all-out war, can they overcome crushing expectations and lead their team . . . to victory?” (Source)
Every time I come home from camp in September I toss around camp lingo to my friends who look at me like I have three heads. Reading this series is like coming home.
Color Wars at camp is ultimately like a national holiday. It’s intense. You get messy. It’s honestly a little terrifying at times. It’s what I imagine sky-diving would be like: exhilarating but also this deep-seeded fear you might not make it out alive.
I was so excited to read this book solely for the Color Wars lingo and activities. Throw in Play Dough, my bb and favorite character and I was PSYCHED.
Jenny quickly became one of my favorite characters too. Honestly, if she was my camper in real-life, I would have a soft spot for. I’m very on brand with my “favorite” campers (even though I know we’re not really supposed to have favorites) but like I can’t help but feel sympathetic for the campers who are like the borderline trouble-makers. Those campers are the kids who typically talk back but also listen when you ask them to do something (they might not listen the first time but they’ll eventually do it!!). In my experience, those campers have some underlying motives to act they way they do.
Davidowitz described Jenny’s character perfectly. She wasn’t my favorite character in the previous two books but I quickly started to root for her in this one when we were privy to her point of view.
Play Dough on the other hand as always been one of my favorite characters (and favorite campers to be honest). But his characterization through the series (and this particular novel in extremity) is thoroughly problematic and forced me to drop my rating down. Play Dough’s weight is often described far more than any other physical appearance of any other character throughout the novel. There was so much unnecessary and harmful focus on Play Dough’s weight in the narration, not just in characters’ speech or thoughts, but in the actual description of scenes as well.
This was ultimately a 5-star read for me but I can’t in good conscious give this the rating I feel like it should be because of the horrendous descriptions of Play Dough throughout the novel (even his name insinuates a negative connotation to his weight ugh). I did really enjoy reading this, but I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend this to anyone outside of the camp world.