The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, Kim Fu

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She felt a thrilling, terrifying dissolution of self

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.

* * *
3 / 5

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore had a misleading synopsis. I believe I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I opened it with the correct impression of what it would be about. According to the back, this book is about five girls who attend a camp and go on an overnight kayaking trip to an island. Once there, they find themselves stranded and without adequate adult supervision. And yeah, this does happen, but it takes up about thirty pages of the book.

Sadiq stared back at her, as if he knew something about her that he wished he didn’t, something he could never unknow

What The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore really is is a collection of short stories. Five girls are on that island and one of them is our opening narrator, who tells us about the camp and the kayaking trip. Interspersed between her sections are the stories of the four other girls, from their childhoods to camp to into their futures. Fu traces the lives of four wildly different young women as they grow up and grew old. These stories are imaginative and diverse and charming, but they also didn’t belong to the book I thought I was picking up, a quasi-Lord of the Flies book but with young girls at a camp.

So whilst I liked these diverges into a sort of speculative look at how different people are drawn together and what they might grow up to be, I ended up getting a bit bored, waiting for what I thought was the real story to start. Of course it never really did. The actual part about being lost on the island was pretty dull and anti-climatic.

With a better synopsis that more accurately tells the reader what the book is going to be about, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore could be a fantastic read. But it’s hard to enjoy as it deserves when you’re eagerly waiting for a tale of wilderness survival that never really happens.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

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