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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It's where he met his best friends. It's where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And
Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2020 by Penguin (first published May 26th 2020)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, owned
I fully support this author's mission to destroy toxic masculinity with a single queer book

Many thanks to Alex at Little Brown Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

This is one of my favorite books that deals with mental illness! To see the others and to here me ramble about my brain, watch my video, A Brief Trip Inside My Mind!

"Honey, Ive been around the block a lot longer than you have, and I promise you, a man who makes you change to be with him isnt worth it."

When I received this book in the mail, I didnt expect it to be such
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED IT. Even though it is quite predictable (plot wise), there is just something about the way Lev Rosen writes about important topics and characters.
This book is super queer (the entire cast is queer), it deals with toxic masculinity & femme shaming within the gay community.
I am pretty sure some non queer readers will find the way, some of the characters act (aka how they're portrayed), stereotypical or even unrealistic, bc many of them are just used to (mostly gay male) characters
Oh oh oh I adored so many things about this that I'm overwhelmed just trying to talk about it. My appreciation for Lev Rosen as a queer YA author is just through the freaking roof. As with JACK, I really, really appreciate the conversations this book has, the identities it respects, the sexual transparency, and the general love letter-ness to queer spaces.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of this: Yes.

Yes yes and another yes.

If that book isnt smashing toxic masculinity then what is? Am I going to recommend this book to every person that looks in my direction? One hundred percent. Do I want to go to a queer camp for 4 weeks and feel as safe and as good as they do? We have a yes again. This book made me feel so okay and so warm, that I wanna read it again as soon as its published.
This is one of those books everyone needs to read. Toxic masculinity affects everyone, and Im looking forward to see this book shattering it into a thousand little glittery pieces.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Edit: [Full Non-spoiler Review]

TW: Minor reference and use of a homophobic slur word.

So my rating for this is 6 out 5 stars, yes that is how good this book is!
This book is officially released in the world on 28 May 2020, and I am grateful to have received an early copy!

This book was phenomenal. Let's start with the characters, each and every one of the
Jessica Jeffers
I don't know quite how I felt about this one. I suspect it might have landed a little more in the feels if I was queer teen, but a straight, cisgender thirtysomething woman, I had a hard time empathizing with the main character, a gay teen who gives himself a more "masculine" makeover in order to appeal more to his summer camp crush who was, quite frankly, Not Worth It™. There's a lot of "Be True to Yourself" messaging in here that is certainly important, especially when it comes to queer ...more
Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
Wow this book is really coming for toxic masculinity (in the LGBTQ community too) and I am so here for it
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
rae ✌️
GOD I'M SOBBING this book??? was everything. absolutely everything. the way it handled topics from inclusion to internalized homophobia to the reality of being queer in a straight world was *chef's kiss*. i also loved loved loved that (view spoiler) LONG STORY SHORT ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe Thomas
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a gay reader, I've long found YA fiction to be the most reliable and satisfying place to find entertaining, heartfelt and diverse queer tales, from Adam Silvera to Becky Albertalli, Rainbow Rowell to Jandy Nelson, David Levithan to Patrick Ness, and many, many more. But last year, I read a book which felt utterly fresh and different, even amongst a genre that covers this area so well. That book was Jack of Hearts by L. C. Rosen, which took a Sex Education approach to gay romance and featured ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, immediate-tbr
Ok. So, I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars for something that I knew was going to happen from the beginning of the story so I have no idea if that says anything about me.
This is really good. It's about a boy named Randy who goes to a month long summer camp for queer teens. He has been before and he has fallen for a boy named Hudson. Randy returns to camp the summer that this story takes place as "Del" to see if Hudson will fall for this new person that Randy has become.
My main problem with this
rachel ☾

◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Audrey Hill
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this book hasn't been published yet, I was very glad to be reading it. At first, I didn't know what to expect; I hadn't heard of it and when I got it, I didn't read the back cover or anything to see what it might entail.
I loved it! The story was funny and serious and clever. It was confusing at times when the author wrote about one of the character who is gender neutral so they used the pronoun 'they'. This confused me because it was only talking about one person, yet using a word
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I wish someone had handed me at 16! Despite being a white, bisexual cis-girl, Randy and Hudson's worries of identity and self-acceptance felt like stepping back into my younger brain.

I think most Queer teens will 100% identify with the debate between stereotype, individuality and fitting into a heternormative society, that L C Rosen so beautifully plays out in this book. So rarely do you see on paper the true battling thoughts that can take place for years!

Also I have to fully
The characters in this book were the best. They were amazingly well-written, well, not the main character but I love the whole supporting cast. His two best friends were the best friends anyone could ask for and his camp counselor who often had to call his therapist or relate what his therapist has told him out loud, he was hilarious.

This book would have been a solid five star book if it were not for two things:

One: the Plan, the Plan was the absolute worst. All his friends told him that the
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc
Randall aka Randy has been coming to Camp Outland (a camp for LGBTQIA+ kids) for four years. But this year's going to be different. Randy is a slightly overweight drama need with long hair and a fabulous sense of style. But this year, he's going to be Del. And Del is as masculine as they come. He's in shape, has short hair, and is into sports. He's still sleeping in the cabin with his drama friends, but he's given up the camp play so he can spend more time with his long term crush, Hudson. But ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Amazing. Perfect. I cried. I took so many photos of so many brilliant paragraphs and lines. Everything is in here. This is a gay romance set at an LGBT camp however what impressed me was that it slips in some history, some sex ed and some core messages about the spectrum of queerness. I just loved this so, so much. It is so unapologetically queer and I wish this book had been around when I was a teen. I don't think you could read this and not feel positive and more secure about your identity. I ...more
Susan  Dunn
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Randy has been attending Camp Outland, a summer camp for queer teens, for years. In all that time he's nursed a crush on the athletic Hudson Aaronson-Lim. Problem is, Hudson is only into straight acting, sporty guys, and Randy is more the artsy, theater type - definitely NOT straight acting... This summer, Randy has radically changed his appearance by losing weight, cutting his hair, and changing his wardrobe and even his name. His goal is to finally get Hudson to notice him. It works at first, ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the last few summers, Randy has come to Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. He was free to be himself more fully, even being the lead in the musical there last summer. But this year, Randy is gone, and Del is here instead. Del doesnt wear nail polish. Dell doesnt do musical. Del does sports instead. Del wears different clothes.

Why? So Randy aka Del can attract Hudson, a guy who is only into straight-acting guys. He has a plan. He will get Hudson to fall in love with Del and reveal himself
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
*could not finish, read 200 pg's* The pacing was poorly executed, the protagonist's inner life could have been more interesting, it read like a 15 year old gay boy's wet dream and the dialogue didn't feel like what teens actually sound like (this happens so often!).
Kit Williamson
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the queer teen rom com of your dreams! I can't overstate how much it would've meant to me to come across this book as a little gay boy growing up in Mississippi. Funny, full of heart and so well written--I can't recommend it enough!
Rachael Mills
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Camp is funny, warm, heartbreaking, unapologetic, and honest. The wonderful cast of characters combined with a plot reminiscent of a 90s rom-com combine to create something special. This should be an essential purchase for all school libraries.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very cute!
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, ya
Great combo of humour, friendship, romance and thoughtful exploration of lgbtqia themes.

Loved these characters a lot.

May Regan
Dec 31, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
you're really gonna do this to me? right before my 2020 resolution to read less and get out more? OH WELL.
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LEV AC ROSEN is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) is ...more

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