ARC: The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu – review

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I would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Kim Fu for sending me this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Published February 13th, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardback 256 pages

A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp 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—Nita, Kayla, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—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. In diamond-sharp prose, Kim Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves—and the pasts we can’t escape.

I was wildly excited before I began reading this story. I envision a narrative similar to Lord of the Flies but with females (and maybe less death). Unfortunately, this story didn’t meet all of my expectations and thus left me feeling disappointed.

Though I did enjoy the book, which was well written and the character development was fantastic; I needed more narrative of the camping trip. I JUST WANTED MORE.

The structure of the story is split into two different parts, alternating between the time during the camping incident and what happened to each of the young girls, in the future. I really loved that all 5 of the young females are from very different backgrounds. There was an amazing amount of diversity which was made refreshing to read, as well as interesting. You see this in each of their own future chapters. Some character’s stories I really enjoyed reading, my heart went out to them. In different ways, their lives had not turned out exactly how they wanted it to be.

What I, unfortunately, did not like were these chapters were long. In no way did I find them boring, however, I kept finding myself wanting to get back to the action. What did happen to the girls on the island?

I understand why these particular chapters were written. To show how the characters had been affected by the event, though I don’t think it was really achieved. I was majorly annoyed that one of the girls barely got a chapter of her own. Towards the end, I was so invested in their stories that I was screaming when this particular character got the bare minimum.

Obviously, I felt the ending was rushed.

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I wanted the narrative to grip me into a disastrous and deadly setting, but it didn’t happen. I felt as if I was drifting in and out of the narrative.

I didn’t hate it, but the story lacked the excitement and suspense I wanted.

3.5/5

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