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The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland

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According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.

Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar.

But amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and as the Michigan summer heats up, the four teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to Grover’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy. But first she must come completely unraveled to have any hope of putting herself back together again.

272 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2016

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About the author

Rebekah Crane

8 books529 followers
Rebekah Crane is the author of The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland and other young-adult novels. She found a passion for this genre while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. She is a former high school English teacher, a yoga instructor, and the mother of two girls. After living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her days tucked behind a laptop at seventy-five hundred feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,220 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
December 13, 2018
This book is about a group of teens each having their own mental health issues.

One of the main characters is Zander, a teen struggling with her mental health. Her parents decide to send her to a special camp for at-risk teens so she can try something new. She acquires some new friends, including Grover Cleveland who she gradually gets closer to as time goes on. The teens have some group sessions together and also have some time alone as well. Surprisingly, Grover opens her up and helps her deal with her feelings. She begins to feel like happiness might be possible for her after all.

I saw a few reviews on this one and thought I’d give it a try. I read it in 2016. I really enjoyed the story as it reminded me of The Breakfast Club, one of my favorite movies. There’s even a reference to the movie in the book. Even though this is YA, I think people older in age can enjoy it as well.

The characters were quite complex. I liked the way they came together and helped heal each other. It would be wonderful if the author would write a second book about what happens with all the teens after camp. Hopeful!


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (December 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1503939820
ISBN-13: 978-1503939820
Profile Image for Melki.
5,667 reviews2,324 followers
December 5, 2016
"She tells me I'm fucking crazy. I tell her that's no secret; we're at a camp for crazy kids. She corrects me and says it's a camp for kids with heightened mental and emotional states."

Yep. Though the camp promises a summer of exploration, adventure, and above all self-discovery, Zander knows she has been banished to a retreat for troubled teens. She's not too happy about it, and many of the chapters begin with her brief "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" letters home.

I seldom read young adult unless my son nudges a John Green book my way. And this one does have a definite Green-vibe to it -- several quirky kids thrown together to socialize, overcome problems, and spout witty quips. Like Green's characters, these kids always say those perfect lines that you and I wouldn't think of til twenty minutes later. It works, to an extent. The characters are likable and interesting, and the author keeps things fairly light, though there are some heavy issues under the surface.

The odds are good that there is a romance with Grover, including , but the real story here is between Zander and her cabin-mate, Cassie, an outspoken girl with an eating disorder. This is the meat of the novel, and it's pretty good - I liked their budding friendship, the give and take, the learning to trust one another.

The ending was a little too pat, a little too coincidental, and a little too hard to believe. Then again, it made me happy. I'm pretty sure I said "Aww."

Dammit, I'm turning into an old softy.

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,411 followers
October 31, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Have you lost your mind?”

“That’s why I’m here, right?”

Before we begin, let me just admit that every time I review a YA book I totally feel a little bit like . . . .

That being said, Imma still read ‘em. Now let’s get on with the show.

There’s bound to be some comparisons to John Green here due to the fact that it features a cast of teenagers who are all a bit . . . . .

If that’s a dealbreaker for you, then do yourself a favor and stay away. However, if you are of a certain age you will not only realize that characters like this existed waaaaay before Mr. Green began writing books, but also that when the ensemble features a bulimic, a cutter, a depressed teenager, a self-diagnosed manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic disaster who some days thinks she’s a boy locked in a girl’s body, a compulsive liar, a potential future schizophrenic and the girl who just "got signed up by her parents" you may end up with some serious déjà vu in the best kind of way . . . . .

The setting is Camp Padua – a summer camp for at-risk teens – and the story focuses on the fact that . . . .

With the end result that . . . . .

I’m sure some readers will take issue with the fact that these children are able to solve a lot of their own problems without medical supervision and that that is not realistic and dangerous and #triggggggggggggered. To those people I say . . . .

Seriously. I just want to enjoy things sometimes. And this one??????

“Do you think the prom queen and the criminal stay together when they go back to school on Monday?”

“I hope so.”

“I hope so too.”

ARC provided by NetGalley (THREE YEARS ago – JFC I suck!) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Paula.
415 reviews52 followers
January 19, 2017
Sometimes, when we're really lucky, we'll stumble across a book that's meant for us. The kind of book we need to read at that moment in time.

"The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland" by Rebekah Crane was this type of book for me. I'm head-over-heels with the story, the characters - simply with everything. This story had me in tears and seconds later I was laughing out loud. It made me think, it made me feel, it made me swoon, it made me suffer, it made me cheer - it made for a perfect read.
It was about more than just two teenagers falling in love and even though told from the POV of Zander, it was way more than her story. I loved this about the book - even side characters weren't just there to move the story along but played an important role, showing so well that even if someone might have a small part in someone else's life, the impact might be huge.

The story follows Zander, a teenage girl who gets sent to summer camp. But it's not the usual kind of summer camp - it's for teenagers with problems. And I'm not talking the kind of problems of loving Justin Bieber and being heart-broken he doesn't know about your existence. No, I mean real problems. Some of them so big, so serious that a grown-up would crumble under the weight of them.
At camp, Zander meets a number of people, but it's three of them that she gets close to - Grover, Alex and Cassie. All four of them are as different as people can be, but they have one thing in common - they are broken.
Now you might think this would make for a sad or depressing story. And sure, there are parts that broke my heart and took my breath away. But somehow Rebekah Crane managed to include all the sad and heart-breaking parts with tact and respect, and yet make the book utterly charming, funny and sweet.
For most of the book I've just had this huge grin on my face. Maybe because I loved all the characters so much, cared about them and found them extremely likable. Even the ones who were as prickly as a porcupine. I loved their banter, their jokes, but also their friendship, support and growth.
It was amazing to see the characters grow and learn more about themselves and about their life. To learn to trust - in themselves and others. And I did along with them. There were so many quotes in this book that I have highlighted so much it looks as if a rainbow threw up over my Kindle. The story was full of wisdom about things that I've been struggling with - little and big things in every day life. Those quotes resonated with me on a really deep level. Yet it was never preachy. It fit the story and the characters. It fit their situation.

I know I'm rambling, but it's hard to put into words how fantastic this book is.

5+ I-already-miss-Zander-Cassie-Alex-and-Grover stars.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,102 reviews410 followers
November 8, 2017
The premise of this book is the coming together of 4 teenagers suffering from some form of mental instability at a summer camp for mentally ill teens. Loosely referencing the Breakfast Club, the themes of the 80's movies were loudly echoed; teens in pain, grown ups are bumbling idiots and completely clueless to what teens are really doing, teens can facilitate their own therapy and have a happy ending on one Saturday detention or one summer camp. Because mental illness can be resolved with peer acceptance, candy, crackers, and perhaps a daily Prozac.

I realize I am being exceptionally hard on this book but the author took on a lot of heavy issues yet did so without fully addressing any of them. My psychology background had so many issues with the above mentioned holes and stereotypes. The death knell was Cassie's story and resolution. That resolution wouldn't fix her. Or even give her hope. Clearly suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder, it is highly improbable she would respond so well to acceptance, let alone cure her of anorexia. Hers and the other's issues would be much, much more complex than as was presented.

Disclaimer: On the day I read this book, I had been to lunch with a friend who had recently made the heartbreaking decision to rescind parental rights on her 14 year old daughter that she had adopted 11 years ago after being removed from her mother's custody. She tearfully recounted how she arrived at this decision and shared the feelings of utter failure of not being up to the task to heal this child of all her hurt, her RAD, and feeling bled dry. Sacrifice, acceptance, and parental love were not enough. My friend cried and hugged her close, told her she loved her. Her daughter felt no connection to this family. She simply left.

Meanwhile, in my professional realm, I see the complicated mental health issues teenagers are facing daily. One girl is pre-schizophrenic. There are available treatments and early interventions but her parents have paranoia issues and don't want any services. Yes, there is a genetic component to it but it's not as cut and dried as presented in the book. Schizophrenia is not the same as Huntington's Disease. It can manifest itself very differently yet be managed in many cases. It is not an automatic assumption that one will spend every day in a state of psychosis and believing himself to be Jesus.

So my big issues were the oversimplification, the stereotypes and cliche's, and biting off more material than could be adequately covered in an easy read, YA genre.

But clearly I have issues.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel.
411 reviews28 followers
November 9, 2016
This was a free Kindle first book. I will read the occasional YA book, but it definitely isn't a genre that I search out. And in this instance, I only chose it because none of the other Kindle first books were appealing at all. And so last night, when I was stressed out and couldn't sleep -- but knew I couldn't handle anything that was long or 'deep', I sat down and blew through this book in one sitting.

I have to say I enjoyed it even though it was predictable and my biggest criticism is that the author didn't give some pretty important issues (mental health) the gravity they deserve. The characters were fairly superficial, but I enjoyed the banter between the main 4 and got drawn into the complexities of that strange and volatile relationship.

Would I recommend to others? I think I would recommend to an adult needing a quick read who understands that mental illness is not something to joke about and is not something that can be 'fixed' with camp games... But I fear that message may be dangerous to a younger audience.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,283 reviews217 followers
January 26, 2023

Zander is sent to a (horribly run) therapeutic camp because her parents "made her go", unlike the other teens who have real problems. The cast of characters include angry anorexic Cassie, the future schizophrenic Grover Cleveland Jr. and compulsive liar Alex Trebek. Over the next five weeks they will become friends and confront their problems.

THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND is a story that desperately wants to be The Breakfast Club for camp. It fails miserably with unrealistic characters, plot and dialogue. Rebekah Crane couldn't have done any research (except perhaps Dr Google) on the psychiatric disorders and treatment of her main characters. Not one iota of progress seems to happen at the "share"-apy groups, yet someone all of the participants have more ability to help each other than the counselor.

The characters are interesting and unique, but their problems are stereotypical. The plot has strong points, particularly the letters home at the beginning of the chapters and the slow unfolding of Zander's issues. The ending was just plain cheesy and somewhat predictable.

I enjoyed Zander's narration. Writing wise, the dialogue was awful, unlike any teenager you'll encounter. Witty banter is great when used sparingly and appropriately. If Crane has used less artificial and more realistic dialogue, she would have improved the storytelling, in my opinion.

THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND might appeal to tweens and younger teens who favor less realistic, Disney type stories.
Profile Image for BabyLunLun.
795 reviews103 followers
June 22, 2017
I love the cover and the story of troubled teenagers in a camp sounds cool. But no I end up not really liking it .

The characters are just sooo very weird, Grover and bek in particular. I can't explain how weird they are but they talk like some pre schoolers although I think they are supposed to be teenagers. I can't understand them and get deep into their head because all they do is make some silly banter. The whole time I am so busy being puzzled at their weirdness that I can't care less about other things. And when they revealed the reason why they got sent to the camp.... I felt nothing. I can't connect with them as they feel very shallow to me.

I expected Rebekah Crane to delve deep into the psychology of teenagers or make this about the common problems faced by at risk teenagers. Make it have more depth and much relatable. But everytime the character have some counseling session they end up bickering and the counselor is too useless to stop it.

The story is ok.... It has some romance and mostly about friendship. But seriously I don't care
Profile Image for Malina Skrobosinski.
240 reviews93 followers
December 15, 2017
"I guess we all have our crazy."

I love it! I have been reading suspense, thrillers, and murder mystery after murder mystery, this is exactly what I needed to break away from them for a bit. This novel is quirky, touching, even somewhat raw, but most of all, it's entertaining.

The character development in this novel is outstanding. This is such a diverse group of teens that have their own issues, but through it all, they find that together they are stronger, and that they aren't so different. Which, as an adult you learn in time, but as a young adult, this isn't such an easy thing to grasp. You feel as though your problems can't compare to someone else's, and that no one could possibly began to understand and accept you. So when then unthinkable happens, that moment when you let someone in, and you discover that they're not so different, and that maybe, just maybe you're not as crazy or fucked up as you thought you were... well, it's pretty overwhelming and life altering. That's exactly what happens to this young group of teens. No one said it would be easy however.

"Because reality might be ugly, but sometimes we can be broken and beautiful."

BTW... can I just say how much I love the cover!!! So adorable!

13 reviews1 follower
November 5, 2016
Loved this book! HIGHLY recommended.

I'm searching for adjectives to adequately describe this book. Heartwarming, charming, funny, tragic... The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland is sort of a coming-of-age story about loss, courage, trust, love and acceptance. Zander, the main character, has been sent to a summer camp for adolescents with emotional issues, including her cabin-mate Cassie who is an abrasive anorexic, a compulsive liar possibly named Alex Trebek and his friend, Grover Cleveland. This book reminds you that everyone is fighting their own battle and that simply caring can make all the difference... Five stars. Now I need to text my daughter and tell her to read this book.
Profile Image for Joan.
59 reviews6 followers
December 21, 2016
Someone recommended this to me, then Amazon offered me the book for free. Skip it. This book is racist white savior garbage. The story is about a summer camp for troubled kids, where the most troubled kid is black. Her character is made entirely of ugly stereotypes of black women, right down to anger and homophobia. The narrator then saves her life, and invites her to come live with her wholesome white family that only eats kale.
Profile Image for Melissa.
446 reviews
December 20, 2017
I'm not even sure how this got into my Audible library. Must've been a daily deal where I clicked the "buy" button at 5 a.m. on a Monday and forgot I'd done so. Basically, a nope for me. Aside from the sexual references, this book was just YA to the extreme, which just ain't my thing. Thankfully, it was short.
Profile Image for Ezi Chinny.
2,518 reviews414 followers
January 28, 2018
Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy reading about the damaged teenagers in a summer camp for troubled teens. Their various neurosis grated my nerves and i just couldn’t get into this book.

*Received from Amazon Prime First Reads
1,229 reviews27 followers
November 2, 2016
Welcome to Camp Crazy. (The nurse has your meds.)

Camp Padua is a summer camp for troubled teens. The "guests" are cutters or purgers or anorexics or manic-depressives or compulsive liars. They break rules in bizarre and attention-getting ways. And some have tried to break Rule #1: Thou Shalt Not Kill Thyself. Whatever normal is between the ages of 12 and 20, they're not it. They come - willingly or not - to the Michigan woods to swim and do crafts and shoot rubber-tipped arrows and swat mosquitoes and be healed of their demons.

Newcomer Zander from Arizona sticks out because she seems so normal. A straight-A student, she dutifully follows her mother's stringent eating rules. She wins swim meets to please her father and allows her handsome boyfriend to fondle her. She's the perfect teen daughter every parent dreams of, so what's she doing at a camp full of crazy kids?

In reality, Zander's passive sweetness hides a tragic family secret. All of the teens at Camp Padua have something in common. All have been damaged by the adults in their lives. As is so often the case, it's the parents and step-parents who should be at camp trying to come to grips with their emotional and mental problems. The kids are just collateral damage.

But grown-ups don't go to summer camp. They're busy with other things - struggling with new marriages or babies, in mental hospitals or prisons, on the street, or working to pay for that expensive summer camp. It's the children who must learn to live with unbearable situations. They must change because their parents can't or won't.

The counselors at Camp Padua try hard. They're earnest young people who want to help. They have degrees in adolescent psychology and know all the latest jargon. They even throw in a bit of Christian theology, apparently figuring that it can't hurt and might help. If some of them have their own scars, they keep them well hidden until a crisis brings everything out into the open.

They try to provide a warm, accepting atmosphere complete with "share-apy" sessions designed to encourage the teens to discuss their feelings and deal with them. The teens DO confide their secrets, but to each other of course Like all teens in every society at every time, they see adults as the enemy, people to be called on only as a last resort. The life of the camp goes on, with the teens forming alliances and love affairs of which the counselors know nothing.

It's a tribute to the human survival instinct, but some of the kids do become stronger and happier. While the counselors are preaching the value of self-knowledge and teamwork and trust and courage and perseverance and hope, the kids are leaning those qualities from each other. The counselors look at the campers and see only broken children needing to be healed. The teens look at their friends and see the strength and endurance that kept them going through hard times.

Everything about Grover Cleveland is odd, from his name to his penetrating questions and his obsession with statistics. He's the polar opposite of Zander's popular, athletic boyfriend, but he's alive to himself and others in a way that breaks down Zander's emotional defenses.

Everything about Cassie is abrasive and offensive, from her foul mouth and constant insults to her life-threatening eating disorder and her habit of hiding pills. She doesn't look like BFF material, but she arouses a protective instinct in Zander that sweeps away the passivity and turns her into a Warrior Queen.

This is not a YA book, although it will resonate with teens. It's a book about growing up, which is easy for a few, difficult for most, and horrific for many. It's a book about families and the harm we do to each other in the name of love. You could argue that the ending is unrealistic, but I'm not so sure. When a kid needs help, some people look the other way, but others step up to the plate and sometimes it's the last person you would expect.

The writing is fine and the characters are charmingly eccentric. There's profanity and lots of talk about sex, but (IMHO) the dialogue between the teens is believable. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. It's a story that carries you along to the end. Glad I picked this one.

Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,235 reviews1,802 followers
March 25, 2018
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Allen & Sons in exchange for an honest review. 

I was floored by Rebekah Crane's latest novel 'The Upside of Falling Down' so I knew I had to read ALL of her works. Have you ever read an author's works and just want to breathe in every word they have ever written because that was me with Rebekah! I inhaled The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland in one sitting. It's definitely not a book you could put down. And just a major FYI, if you loved the 80's classic movie "The Breakfast Club", you're going to really like this one. 

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland went in a direction I wasn't expecting. I didn't expect me to love the four main misfits in this book so intensely. I didn't expect myself to be invested in learning everyone's stories. Zander Osborne is our main heroine. After a swimming accident where she almost drowned, Zander is sent to a camp for 'kids with heightened mental or emotional states'. Except, Zander doesn't feel anything. She feels more indifferent to everything since a tragic accident that tore her family apart and stopped them from truly living. Then we have Grover who has a father who has schizophrenia and now he's convinced from statistics that the odds of him inheriting the disease is so high that he self-deems himself as 'pre-crazy'. We also have Alex, an overweight boy who is a compulsive liar who never failed to make me laugh because his conversations with Grover were light and fun. Finally, we have our trouble maker Cassie or better known as Sticks as she resembles a bag of bones due to her anorexia. 

All four characters have unique problems and have unique backstories that captivated me. I wanted to know why Zander couldn't feel anything anymore. Her emotions always seemed misplaced and it was like she numbed herself to avoid feeling anything. Even love or liking things because it meant she had to realize she hated things also. I wanted to know the pain behind having a father that the town is weary about when it came to Grover and how it impacted his development. I also wanted to know why Alex always lied. About EVERYTHING. Finally, the bad mouthing cynical girl, Cassie. What was the reason behind all her anger and pain? 

I loved reading this story and I don't think I can ever just tell you why. It's just so many pieces that put together that make it this masterpiece. I cried horribly in the end because of the pain I felt for Zander and Cassie's unlikely relationship. I cried for the tragedies they all had to go through in order to find themselves and be finally free and live. I was angry at characters because they were so stubborn and selfish and raw and real. Cassie was a tough character to understand and like. Just when you thought she developed and became a better person, she would tear down her breaks almost like she was scared of becoming someone that people would like. And in hindsight, it made sense. Nobody was constant in Cassie's life except for Grover who always showed up to the same camp every summer for the past few years. It was much easier to push people away than to have them leave you on their own terms. 


This book isn't about romance. It's not even about Grover really even though he's mentioned in the title. It's about four teenagers who lived a hellish life, finding themselves, growing stronger, and moving on from their past all together despite their flaws. It's a book that leaves such a lasting impression on you that you hold tightly onto the book, not wanting it to end. I highly recommend this title. 
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,733 reviews327 followers
July 3, 2017
From the book jacket: According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place – and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head – and her home state – and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens. Zander has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. … Amid group “share-apy” sessions and forbidden late-night outings, unlikely friendships form, and the teens begin to reveal their tragic secrets. Zander finds herself inextricably drawn to (fellow camper) Grover Cleveland’s earnest charms, and she begins to wonder if she could be happy.

My reactions
Okay, I knew this was a YA novel about a summer camp for at-risk teens, going into it. I knew from the title and cover art that some sort of summer romance would come into play. But I am so over the teen angst phase of my life, that I find it overly dramatic and cliched.

In addition to Zander the kids at camp include: her cabin mate Cassie, who describes herself as a a “manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic,” Alex Trebec, called Bek, who is a pathological liar, and Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute guy who is certain he’ll be schizophrenic one day, given his family history. We don’t know Zander’s problem up front, but she has a tendency to obsessively conjugate French verbs when feeling stressed. Populating the novel with these kids was just a bit too over-the-top for me to enjoy it.

The crisis that results in some break throughs is somewhat believable given the emotional and mental difficulties these kids face. But the way in which this is resolved is totally unbelievable. It’s a relatively fast read, and satisfied a couple of challenges, so I finished it, but that was really time wasted.
Profile Image for Cari.
1,122 reviews36 followers
November 4, 2016
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland felt a lot like a John Green novel (more like Looking for Alaska or Paper Towns than The Fault in Our Stars, mind you) and will most definitely appeal to the same YA-loving readers that gobble up books by Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell, and Jennifer Nivens like they're Halloween candy.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book and its setting at a camp for teens with "heightened mental or emotional states". I've always had a big interest in psychology and one of my favorite hobbies is mentally "diagnosing" people with psychiatric illnesses/disorders, so part of my enjoyment of this novel was trying to determine what was wrong with the different campers in the book. Many of the characters were fairly open about "why they were at camp" and were known for behaviors such as self-mutilation, anorexia, suicide attempts, etc., but the main character was pretty closed off and elusive for much of the book and that really intrigued me. The overall outcome and ending of the book was fairly easy to predict, but it was still a fun journey getting there. I also want to point out that while the characters in The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland were quirky and intelligent, Rebekah Crane was able to maintain a sense of genuineness that John Green often fails to accomplish with his characters.

I'm patting myself on the back for making a great choice for my November Kindle First selection. I think this book will do really well and Crane will establish a rock solid fan base.
Profile Image for J. Bookish.
69 reviews228 followers
December 14, 2016
MMMMM I DON'T KNOW. So close to fantastic... but not quite there.

Concept: LOVE. Teens struggling with mental illness in a very real way. It's not romanticized, nor are they defined by their illnesses, which is great. I am also a sucker for summer camps having been both an attendee and a counselor in my day ;) Loved the quirky kids, too, felt a bit like a (not as good, sorry) John Green style.

Issues: it all felt.. too fast? I think?! The romance was insta-love, but to be honest, I had moments like that as a teenager so I'm not too upset about it. The real issue is with the healing process. While the book doesn't outright say any of the kids are 100% healed, they do seem to suddenly make HUGE leaps in that direction; especially our MC, Zander. Having experienced mental illness myself, I think I can safely say a summer at a camp would not make everything better. It would probably act a bit like a band-aid until a return to reality created a backslide.

I could play devil's advocate against myself forever with this book. Hence the three stars. Some major things I loved, some I really didn't. I would still recommend because of the mental illness focus, but take it with a grain of salt!
Profile Image for Leigh.
276 reviews9 followers
November 28, 2016
What a sweet book.

I was really close to giving it 5 stars, and wavered for a moment before deciding on 4. There is a certain amount of predictability in the story, but I didn't mind it. The characters I cared most about (Zander, Cleve, Cassie, and Bek) were written well. The other characters, like Dori and Hannah, not so much. They felt more like background noise, to flesh out the scenes.

I really liked the overall theme of the story- there is always hope. Despite shit circumstances, hanging on to even a thread of hope can be enough to keep you going.
Profile Image for Cinnia Literary Raccoon.
178 reviews42 followers
May 24, 2019
I was reminded yet again of why I loathe this book and how it has permanently damaged my ability to read anything by Rebekah Crane so here's some details on the fuckiness of this book I didn't mention last year:

The basis of the book is a summer camp for mentally ill teenagers. The cis girl in the book is sent there for her depression and then meets a quirky boy.
- Day 1 of camp: A very blatant trans person/AFAB teenager experiencing dysphoria is repeatedly misgendered and dismissed after saying they don't want to be in an all-girl's cabin. Transphobic jokes are made. Kid is sent to all-girl's cabin.
- Protag treats trans character like the typical high school "Mean Queen Bee" which is like ok... Where did you miss the fact that this character is not a girl?
- Rest of book: Protag befriends this poor kid but they are repeatedly misgendered and jokes are poked at them about their dysphoria esp by the love interest and fucking camp counselors. It's treated like a running joke.
- Remember this is a camp where parents sent their mentally ill children btw.
- Another boy decides the trans character is "the most beautiful girl ever" (blech) and tries to concoct ways to date them.
- A scene of swimming/swimsuits involves the trans character and I don't think I need to explain why that's problematic af.
- Lots of bullshit later: The poor, poor trans character attempts suicide in the book and is rescued by the protag iirc and then for whatever cisnormative bullshit reason, they decide to date the weirdo who's been hitting on them while also not accepting their gender identity.
- Even if I owned this book in print, I'm not sure I'd even want to use it as toilet paper.
Profile Image for Skyler.
138 reviews102 followers
October 10, 2018
When it comes down to it, this book is bland and forgettable: two things that are excusable.
What isn’t excusable, though, is making light of mental illness and including homophobic or racist dialogue.
It’s also clear that the author did no prior research on any of the mental illnesses that she portrayed in her book. The way she handled it is just distasteful.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, the main character, Zander, is boring and bland. Her love interest, Grover, won’t leave her alone and makes inappropriate remarks about her through the entirety of the book. Romantic, right? (sarcasm).
Even further, Zander struggles with What?!

Overall: distasteful, offensive, and forgettable.

Pass on reading this.
Profile Image for Jessa.
1,106 reviews285 followers
December 6, 2016
I'd been fiending for a good young adult book for awhile, and this definitely hit the spot. It's Breakfast Club meets summer camp, with characters I was invested in. Cassie, a troubled long-time camper with anorexia, was especially memorable. She was a stand-out secondary character, who rang true as a real person with serious issues. Grover was a book boyfriend, and I loved him too. Zander, the heroine, was probably the weakest link for me, but I still liked her and rooted for her.

Some of the names were a little hard to swallow (I can handle Grover Cleveland, and I can handle Alex Trebek, but together it's a bit much) but that wasn't enough to detract from my overall enjoyment.

This was my first foray into Kindle First books, and it won't be my last!
Profile Image for Nicole.
290 reviews24 followers
March 1, 2017
I cannot in good conscience recommend this book due to its inaccurate and potentially harmful portrayal of mental illness.

It's a story about love and friendship and growing up, which would normally be perfectly appropriate YA topics, but much of the way the various mental health conditions these kids have are portrayed and talked about leaves me profoundly uncomfortable. I'm no expert on psychology, but I'm pretty sure serious psychological issues can't be solved by making friends or falling in love at summer camp. This would likely be a highly triggering read for teens dealing with an eating disorder, depression, self-harm, or trauma.

I received this as a free Kindle First ebook.
Profile Image for Allya Yourish.
110 reviews1 follower
December 4, 2018
I'm not usually a one star reviewer. I tend to buy books that I actually want to read, and I don't usually finish them unless I like them.

But this somehow (Amazon free Kindle book of the month, maybe?) got on my Kindle and I was trapped at an airport and I didn't have anything else. So I read it.

And I hated it.

The way mental illness and grief are talked about here is offensive. Love and friendship doesn't make these big problems go away, and utilizing them for a twee teen romance made my blood boil. The way the characters spoke to each other felt nothing like how actual teenagers communicate, let alone how they talk about real trauma.

Not worth the afternoon it takes to read, in my opinion.
Profile Image for Tissy.
216 reviews
November 28, 2017
Well written but could have been shortened by several chapters as it did drag towards the last quarter.
Profile Image for kaylaaaaaaaaaa kaylaaaaaaaaaa.
Author 1 book112 followers
July 13, 2018
I really liked the references and the banter in this book. I was laughing out loud at this and just really enjoying it so I definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Christie (Neliss).
434 reviews49 followers
May 31, 2018
Poznáte taký ten typ kníh, kde majú za sebou všetci nejakú traumu, s ktorou sa nevedia vyrovnať, potom padne zopár pseudohlbokých myšlienok, hlavná dvojica sa dá dokopy a všetko je fajn? Tak toto nie je taká kniha a ja vám ju neodporúčam ako oddychovku na vypnutie mozgu, ale ako fakt dobrú young adultku s vážnejšími témami.

Nechápte ma zle, koncentrácia tínedžerov s problémami aj traumami je v nej skutočne vysoká. Nemala som však dojem, že by šlo autorke len o efekt. Skôr šikovne ukazuje všetky možné odtiene ľudského trápenia a ani na sekundu sa vám nesnaží nahovoriť, že je na tom niečo pekné alebo romantické. Napriek tomuto všetkému si kniha zachováva dostatočne pozitívny nádych a nevtieravo naznačuje, že vždy existuje cesta von.

Dianie sledujeme prostredníctvom Zander, no v skutočnosti má príbeh ešte troch ďalších hlavných hrdinov: Cassie, ktorá samu seba opisuje ako manicko-depresívno-bipolárno-anorektickú, Grovera, milého podivína, ktorý čaká, že sa uňho prejaví schizofrénia a Beka, patologického klamára. Všetci sú komplikovaní, utrápení, nerozumní a často protivní. Keď Grover občas zahlási niečo, čo sa podobá na hlbokú metaforu, ostatní mu to dajú vyžrať. Lebo tak to býva. Ich dynamika je veľmi zaujímavá a priateľstvo, ktoré sa medzi nimi postupne sformuje, hrá v príbehu naozaj významnú úlohu. (Tí, ktorí ma poznajú, vedia, že knižné priateľstvá zbožňujem.)

Nechýba ani sľubovaná romantika, ktorá je našťastie postupná, neprehnaná a nedočkáte sa prehnane idealistického "žili šťastne až naveky". Autorka sa celkovo drží pri zemi, hádam len s výnimkou jedného príliš "amerického" incidentu, ktorý túto knihu u mňa stál polhviezdičku.

Ako sa zamilovať do blázna ponúka realistický a hodnotný príbeh. Navyše sa kniha veľmi dobre číta a určite poteší všetkých fanúšikov YA, ktorí sa síce nechcú na svet pozerať zásadne cez ružové okuliare, ale zároveň po dočítaní radi cítia nádej. Minimálne mňa rozhodne potešila, dávam jej 4 hviezdičky a už si brúsim zuby na autorkinu ďalšiu tvorbu.

Recenzia na blogu: http://the-bookland.blogspot.com/2018...
Profile Image for Madi.
1 review6 followers
April 20, 2017
Haven't read this book yet, but it looks great! Even if you have already read this book, please join for book club discussions. The name of the group is The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. Hope that you join!
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