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Summer on the Short Bus

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  604 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows clos
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Running Press Kids
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  604 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Mar 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Allow me to start by saying that I am well aware that this book isn't supposed to be PC. I have no problem with that. The problem I have is that the author clearly doesn't know what 'un-PC' or ' not politically correct' actually means. She seems to believe that she can say any horrible, rude, insulting thing and suddenly expect everyone to consider it funny simple because she says, 'oh, don't worry, I know it's not PC.' There is a LARGE difference between being rude and being not be politically ...more
Cassie Gutman
Feb 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This cover is so cute. And I had high hopes, I did. I love summer camp, and I love summer camp books. But the execution didn't hold up for me.

I am aware that this is not supposed to be a politically correct novel. And it wasn't. But it still shocked me. Like, made me physically cringe and turn away and put the book down for a while shock me. I was that mad. I was mad at the character, I was mad at the plot, and I was mad at everything, really, in general. But I kept reading because I wanted it t
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
I received an advance copy of this book and I'm upset that I wasted my time reading it.

I might have just written the book off as fluff but then I realized that the author seems to have a huge bias against people who are overweight. The author likes to remind us about certain character's weight every.single. time that character comes up. In my opinion, it's just nasty. Saying a girl's bra can double as a hammock? Having the main character call herself a fat ass after she'
A.G. Howard
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. I got to read an early version and not only did it make me laugh out loud with its irreverent wit, but it made me a little uncomfortable in my own skin for its honesty. The characters and their feelings are so authentic and uncensored that it's painful to watch at times, in that it forces you to reevaluate how you yourself view the world. Ms. Crandell has found a novel approach to remind us that differently-abled people aren’t so different after all, and that even when we're dr ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hands down one of the funniest books I have ever read. This is a lovely coming-of-age novel that will make you laugh until you cry, then laugh some more. I could NOT put it down and gobbled it up in ONE sitting. You are in for a treat when it hits shelves.
A.M. Supinger
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
TRUST ME--read this! It'll make you laugh and cry, maybe at the same time, and leave your head crammed with a whole new perspective.

When you think about summer camp, drool and green thongs aren't normally what come to mind. But Bethany Crandell put a spin on summer, and it all starts with Cricket.

Cricket is the main character: spoiled, snarky, and stuck at Camp I Can as a counselor for a bunch of disabled dweebs. Imagine her joy. But life at Camp I Can isn't all bad. After all, it has it's own r
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
I get that the main character is supposed to be spoiled, point taken. But she's a caricature of even that - I mean, most self-centered and spoiled people really do feel distress when threatened - but she's just a joke/parody of meanness as viewed from outside. The non PC part didn't bother me, but it didn't address the real issues. All the characters were pretty stereotypical (except for one saving grace of a character who became disabled in an accident and admits he was just as bad prior to his ...more
A. Rolland
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In a witty and brutally honest voice—so reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella—Crandell tells us the story of Cricket, a pampered teenager who gets served a dose of reality, which for the first time isn’t fed to her from a silver spoon. Crandell doesn’t hold back when it comes to wording, opinions or descriptions, and if she had, the story would have suffered. Cricket’s candidness is not due to a mean spirit- it’s simply narrating the inner workings of a sheltered, spoiled, self-centered teenager. I fou ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
The main character Cricket Montgomery, is in short, a spoiled bitch. Bethany herself said that the book is a stage for "an honest character to evolve realistically (no matter how ugly). To me though, she didn't evolve.
Cricket starts the book horrified of the campers who are perfectly interesting people. And why is she horrified? For their crimes of being autistic, handicap-able, and in the case of Claire (and this one hits closest to home as I am what the doctors who say obese and the polite wo
Lisa Nocita
Jun 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-2014
Trite and superficial novel about a spoiled rich girl whose daddy "punishes" her by sending her to a camp for children with special needs to work as a counselor for 2(!) weeks. And let me say up front that she doesn't last the entire two weeks either. She never really grows but the hunky Zac Efron look-alike completely falls for her despite her shallow, prejudicial, and immature ways. AND everyone keeps telling her what a special, good person she is! Puh-leez! "You might not believe it, but I'm ...more
Beth  (YA Books Central)
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was not sure what I would think as I began reading Summer On The Short Bus. When reading the synopsis I immediately felt a pull towards the special needs kids and knew that this would be an emotional book. Yet when I began reading this book it was so much more than just a story about special needs kids.

This is a story about Cricket Montgomery and how she overcomes her selfish, material ways and finds out more about herself than she could ever imagine. Cricket is sent to a summer camp to be a
Paula Stokes
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Call this the year of the unlikable narrator or something--OMG Cricket makes my MC Lainey look like a saint :) Warning--some of Cricket's thoughts about "handicapped hell" will make you uncomfortable, but like the book points out, a lot of people share these feelings, whether or not they admit them.

I love the way Bethany has taken a spoiled rich kid and given her a chance to grow up a little. The bio mentions that Bethany has a differently-abled daughter, so I can only imagine how personal this
4.5 stars for this magnificent book!

At the beginning of this book I didn't like Cricket/Constance. I found her an uppity, little, whiny, spoiled bratty bitch. I can imagine it is a shock to find yourself dumped in a camp for disabled kids, and I can also imagine what a first impression might be scary or what the hell is this, but at least give them a chance, at least give the camp a chance. I didn't like her attitude, miss little princess expected some kind of fancy camp with all kinds of fancy
Kim R.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read a blurb about SOTSB online and thought, what a fresh premise! I REALLY wanted to read and love it.

There were some witty, funny laugh aloud moments toward the beginning. Bethany Crandell gets the voice of a spoiled rich SoCal chick spot on (even thought Cricket is from Chicago, the author is from San Diego.)

BUT, sadly I just didn't like Cricket very much—maybe because her so-called transformation didn't seem all that transformative. For example, during the climatic end-of-camp talent show,
Eric Devine
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Irreverence. Politically incorrect behavior. Snark. All of these are the mix of much of teenage life. And that is why SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS works so well. It is a story of transformation, but not one guided by the watered down, morally perfect teens that so often exist only in fictional pages. The voice is honest, and Cricket is a very unlikable protagonist. She owns herself and her pampered position in the world. And it is wonderful to watch her get knocked off that pedestal and remain there, ...more
Sara Raasch
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: valentines
In a world run by political correctness, walking on eggshells, and other such nonsense, Bethany delivers a truthful and comedic story that is downright refreshing in its realism. The way she accomplishes this is through heart, and lots of it -- every character BURSTS with personality and lovability in their own unique ways. Especially Cricket (BAD. ASS. NAME.) -- not gonna lie, I was concerned I wouldn't like her at first. She's very self-centered, as one can expect from a kid who grew up in ext ...more
This was super cute.

I read a lot of negative reviews before giving this a shot. So I knew that a ton of people were really unhappy with how NOT politically correct this book was. And they're right. Cricket was a raving jackhole. Like unforgivably awful. I don't know if I've ever encountered a more insanely rotten character. She gives Regina George a run for her money.

I felt kind of bad for finding this hilarious. The things she said were so off the wall and so not okay that I couldn't help myse
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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Cricket Montgomery’s designer clad world is turned upside down when her father decides to send her away to a camp for disabled teens for the summer in order to teach her a lesson. Cricket thinks her chauffer has dropped her off in hell—one that will last for the next three weeks.

But as Cricket steps away from the world of designer labels and exotic vacations she begins understand that the campers are just like every other teenager and that they do not let their disabilities from doing i
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was incredibly fortunate to read an early version of Summer on the Short Bus and can easily say it's now one of my favorite books of all time.

Bethany Crandell is an amazing writer, who blows my mind with her talent for combining humor and heartfelt. With "Summer on the Short Bus," Crandell has created a story that makes you laugh until you cry, but also tugs at your heartstrings. However, not once does she ever allow the reader to pity or feel sorry for the underdogs; instead, we're left root
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Let me quote the author's note: "There is nothing politically correct about Summer on the Short Bus, nor is there an intentional message of inclusion in these pages. This story is merely a stage for an honest character to evolve realistically (no matter how ugly); something we don't see enough of these days.

My summary: Spoiled rich kid goes to a summer camp for teens with disabilities, meets really hot boy, dates really hot boy, says something stupid, gets boy mad at her, and changes so that she
Jun 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
DNF around 25% - the MC was too obnoxious, all character felt like cardboard cut outs without depth and without personality saying thing what the author thought a nice person should say... i don't feel like this one's worth my time! ...more
Makenzie Hofacker
Aug 10, 2022 rated it liked it
This book was truly difficult to read for the first half or so! But that’s not to say it was a bad book or I wanted to stop reading. It’s because seeing how some people view people with disabilities is difficult! I loved getting to see the changes Cricket went through in this book, first with how she treated her fellow camp leaders, how she treated the campers, and even to how she treated herself. I am so glad that I got to see her slowly change, especially after wanting to fight her while I rea ...more
Jayvee  "Writer For Misfits"
Trying to change for the better seems to be a challenge for most people because they think it might break a ritual, a sense of self or a characteristic they hold. For the protagonist of Bethany Crandell's Summer On The Short Bus, Cricket, it holds very true.

So, take the rich, spoiled girl, Cricket Montgomery and toss her into a summer camp full of teenagers with special needs, along with the mysterious head of the camp, a chef who is head over heels for Madonna, a doctor with a fascination for B
I got Summer on the Short Bus shortly after release last year but for one reason or another it got buried under more books in my Kindle library and remained unread. Then I took part on the 1 year anniversary blitz for it and thought that it was about time I read it and it took over my Sunday!

Constance "Cricket" Montgomery is a spoiled brat with an hilarious and offensive inner (and outer) monologue that made her feel extremely real and infuriating and that once confronted with a summer sentence
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Cricket is a spoiled rich girl who gets in trouble and has to spend 2 weeks working at a summer camp for children with disabilities. I've never read a book with such an unlikable main character but I kept reading because I figured that was the point. Start out hating the main character so that you can really appreciate her growth to become a better person. But the problem is her motivations to become a better person was a boy. And not just some average camp counselor. This guy supposedly looks l ...more
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am so glad that Cricket did not turn out to be a royal pain in the butt. Otherwise she would have brought this book down some and I would have wanted her to go on a one way trip to nowhere on the short bus. Claire and Madeline were another story. They did bring the fun. I loved Claire and her chirping in response to Cricket’s name. Then there is Quinn aka Zac Efron look alike. Yes, I did watch all of the High School Musical movies and thought Zac was cute. The more grownup movies that Zac has ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
This book was fantastic.

I've never laughed so hard before whole reading. Within the first 50 pages I found myself wanting to quote all of the things and I woke up the dog with all of my cackling. Twice.

Being inside Cricket's head was a lot of fun. The snark is strong with that one. She's a bit of a shallow bitch in the beginning, but it's quite a fun journey she's on. And don't get me started on Quinn...all I will say about him is that I've already got a request in to Bethany for him, so that
May 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
What a horror.
Don't go there. PLEASE.

EDIT 2014/07/21 - Some clarifications

The idea was interesting - but executed just terribly.
I'd love to read a decent book dealing with special needs people. Hell, I'd love to work at this kind of camp!
I loved those kids, with bright and colourful personalities.

The main character? Flat cardboard cutout. No development.
Outdated culture references.
Author seems to not know what "politically correct" IS.

This book is plain terrible
Jen Mech
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Gladly, I read the author's note first. While I appreciate what the author was trying to do with being unapologetic. I despised Cricket for every aspect of her personality, not just her horrifying comments about her charges. She was a spoiled brat throughout, Quinn would never have forgiven her, and anyone that says I love you after 13 days is wildly naive. I rolled my eyes through most of the book. The only redeeming points in the book were the realistic descriptions and personalities of the ca ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! To all the negative comments - seriously? It is one thing to share your opinion because you have a right; but it's another thing when you're digging so deep into this book and trying to find EVERY little thing wrong with it. Of course not EVERYTHING is going to be *on point*.... As a teenager who has an Autistic twin brother, this book is very relatable to me and the situations I've dealt with other people like Cricket! it shows a great moral and lesson to everyone ...more
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Bethany lives in San Diego with her husband, teenage daughters, and two destructive puppies. She eats more than she cooks, watches more than she reads, and spends a ridiculous amount of time under the hairdryer.

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