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Camp Spirit

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Summer camp is supposed to be about finding nirvana in a rock garden... But Elodie prefers Nirvana and Soundgarden. Can she confront rambunctious kids, confusing feelings, and supernatural horrors all at once?

Summer 1994: with just two months left before college, Elodie is forced by her mother to take a job as a camp counselor. She doesn't know the first thing about nature, or sports, of kids for that matter, and isn't especially interested in learning... but now she's responsible for a foul-mouthed horde of red-headed girls who just might win her over, whether she likes it or not. Just as Elodie starts getting used to her new environment, though -- and close to one of the other counselors -- a dark mystery lurking around the camp begins to haunt her dreams.

204 pages, Paperback

First published March 23, 2020

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Axelle Lenoir

8 books71 followers

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5 stars
411 (29%)
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566 (40%)
3 stars
300 (21%)
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78 (5%)
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36 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 262 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,659 reviews5,138 followers
April 7, 2020
I never went to a summer camp once as a kid, so I don't know why this is the case, but I'm such a sucker for summer camp stories. When I saw that this was set in the 90s, too? Sold. I'm so glad I picked this cute little graphic novel up, because I enjoyed it SO much. It was absolutely hilarious, I was living for the goth/grunge main character, the music references were delightful, and Elodie's little band of redheaded misfits... I seriously was almost in tears laughing over some of their antics. The mystery had a twist that I loved probably more than I should have, and there was a slow-blooming romantic subplot that had my queer little heart swelling with joy. I can't recommend Camp Spirit highly enough. ♥

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,825 reviews506 followers
April 2, 2020
90s culture. Sassiness. Sarcasm. Canadian. Graphic Novel.

Elodie gets forced by her Mother to work as a camp counselor over the summer and it is NOT what she wanted to do. This gothic delight loves Nirvana and rock bands, but instead is being forced to deal with people she didn't want to see (yuck, schoolmates... popular and NERDY school mates...) and munchkins.

Arrows are shot at everyone, and the fallout is hilarious. The kids swear and taunt Elodie, and it's hysterical. Star Wars and Nirvana references were stellar! LGBT characters gets this book bonus points! The magical fantasy element? WILD! There's just so many good parts in this book, including the little sassy red heads. Also: Canada represent!

It's like this book was MADE for me! Elodie is super sassy and sarcastic, and has a wicked inner voice. She could say mean things, but instead she'll pat those losers on the head and let them do their thing. Oh man, do I love her! I relate way too hard! On top of that, the kids are talking about sex and asking awfully hilarious questions (which totally is what camps do, I've worked at them - kids are crazy) and that makes this book more PG-13 and R rated. Oh the giggles I had reading what some of these kids had to ask and say...

To top it off, the art is colourful and cartoon-y. I totally dug every part of the illustrations in this book. The tone of the book and the fun of the art style really gave this book the extra 'umph' to top my graphic novels list!

Overall, this is a must read from this blogger/reviewer! I 100% love this book and highly recommend it. It's wild and fun and super sassy!

Five out of five stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and IDW Publishing for giving me the opportunity to pick up this epic book! Keep up the great work!
Profile Image for Juan Naranjo.
Author 2 books2,342 followers
January 10, 2022
«El espíritu del bosque» es un cómic juvenil que tiene el mérito de ser capaz de combinar grandes dosis de humor, misterio y aventura. Cuenta la historia de Élodie, una chica grunge de ciudad a la que, en los años noventa, obligan a pasar un verano trabajando como monitora de campamento: nada puede apetecerle menos que ese plan, pero pronto empieza a cambiar de opinión cuando le ponen a cargo de una pequeña tribu de niñas pelirrojas enfebrecidas, empieza a tejer lazos con otra monitora y se ve envuelta en un misterio que rodea al bosque de leyendas y criaturas fantásticas.
Este cómic es una encantadora historia de verano. Sobresale su cuidada edición: con unas ilustraciones muy expresivas y 200 páginas a todo color llenas de buenos sentimientos y humor. Imperdible para fans de «Leñadoras».
Profile Image for Chad.
7,717 reviews868 followers
March 25, 2020
Starts off as kind of a 90's version of Meatballs set in Quebec. Elodie is a 90's grunge kid forced by her mother to become a camp councilor. She's introverted and not an outdoor kind of girl at all. She's assigned to monitor an unruly gang of redhead girls who ask lots of inappropriate questions. It's all lighthearted and fun with great expressive art. Lenoir excels at character relationships and sending up situations we've all been in before, like having to use public restrooms and showers. About halfway through the book the story shifts to this strange supernatural mystery about two forest spirits. It didn't make much sense to me and this section of the book is devoid of that humor that made the first half so enjoyable. The book does get back on track once the supernatural subplot is finished.

Received a review copy from Top Shelf Productions and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,862 reviews5,005 followers
February 17, 2021
I personally would have preferred slightly more supernatural scariness and sightly less teen angst, but then I'm not a teen.

I was slightly disappointed/confused by the bit near the end, after the attack, which seemed to imply that Just a dream?

So overall, very well executed, just not quite as much oomph as I expected. But I guess life tends to be disappointing like that, eh, kids?
Profile Image for Lost in Book Land.
542 reviews98 followers
February 12, 2020
Maybe you have noticed a lot of my reviews lately are E-ARCs! That is because I have been on a huge Netgalley kick. I have had a Netgalley account for a long time and requested books on there, my list has piled up quite a bit and its honestly because I had been on a different kind of reading kick (usually reading stuff from my bookcases) but recently I have just been wanting to read all the Netgalley books and in the past two weeks alone I think I have finished five plus, with like three more in progress currently. One of the Netgalley ARCs I received recently was Camp Spirit, a graphic novel that I loved so so much (I have already pre-ordered) and have my fingers crossed there will be more (like maybe we could make this a series??).


In the summer of 1994, Elodie is about to head off to college but before she does she is being forced by her mother to work a summer job, as a camp counselor. This sounds like the worst thing ever to Elodie who literally wants nothing to do with this summer camp. Once she is dropped off she is thrust into the world of being a camp counselor, she has a day or two before the kids show up to try and adjust and once her bunch shows up, she clearly has her hands full. While everyone else is being a camp counselor to a sweet fun group, Elodie has a group of wild redhead girls who allow her zero privacy and ask tons of questions (even if they are not always appropriate). However, Elodie quickly begins to adjust, she starts to get used to her group of campers and even learns how to control them and have fun with them, she starts making friends with other counselors and best friends with one counselor in particular. But the summer will not be all smooth sailing because there is a known mystery about the camp and Elodie will soon be wrapped up in the mystery!

I absolutely loved this graphic novel! It was adorable, the art was amazing, and the story was incredible! I am crossing my fingers that somehow, someway there will be more in this world with these characters. The mystery of the camp and Elodie's involvement was totally unexpected and I loved every second of it. I also really enjoyed watching Elodie and her campers. I am giving this book five stars on Goodreads and I highly recommend checking it out when it comes out in April!

**I received this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,420 reviews391 followers
March 29, 2020
3.5 stars

Trigger warning: homophobia (challenged), death of an animal

Elodie is stuck as a camp counselor, but she knows nothing of the outdoors or children. And she's got the worst bunch of campers ever—a group of foul-mouthed, red-haired demons who weirdly take a shine to her. On top of that, there's something weird about the camp chief and Elodie has an odd attraction to a fellow counselor...

It was good, but a lot weirder than I anticipated?

I absolutely adored the red-heads. They were horrible and filled with boundless energy and I loved it and how they bonded so fiercely to Elodie (and also to Hank, who was basically a 50-year old male version of Elodie).

It was very 90s, very Canadian, and I feel like it should have stayed with being a book on relationships and just kept a tinge of the weird spooky camp-story element. Once the forest spirit things were added in full force (beyond the maybe-nightmares), it got weird and a little too much for the story itself. The supernatural element made the ending a little blander and unresolved than it should have been as well.

However, I liked the relationships, and I loved the guerrilla-banana warfare scenes.

Basically, it challenged stereotypical "girl" behavior and allowed girls to be out of control, inappropriate, blood-thirsty little demon spawn.

Three stars, bonus half star for the sapphic relationship at the end.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,062 reviews129 followers
March 8, 2020
"Hate calms me. I thrive on chaos."

This graphic novel sounded like a great blast from the past, something where I would get to relive my childhood but it gave me nothing but a headache.

It was dreadfully boring. Who knew that urban legends and demons could be so boring?

Profile Image for Bam Jam.
33 reviews4 followers
July 25, 2020
I spotted this while perusing through the graphic novels section of NetGalley and the cover looked so adorable! The summary promised a good ol' fashioned summer-camp-set story, reminiscent of 'Lumberjanes'.

Trigger warnings: negative discussion and depiction of fat people, fetishization of lesbians

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this graphic novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author for the opportunity.

What I Liked
-The art style was so charming! The characters really popped out and the comedic timing was so on-point. I especially liked when the more supernatural aspects of the plot came into focus.

-The red headed girls were awesome! I want an entire series dedicated to their wild adventures.

-It was a nice surprise to find that this book is Canadian! I especially love the depiction of French-Canadians 'cause it's always hilarious (and sometimes accurate).

What I Didn't Like
-I really didn't like Elodie. Even as a teenager, I never liked angsty teenager characters who thought they were better than others because they didn't care about anything. Elodie was rude and obnoxious, and no one called her out on her bad attitude. We're just supposed to side with her against the other counselors who understandably avoid her and don't like her. And the constant mention of her beauty got annoying really fast.

-Basically all the other characters were uninteresting and forgettable. But they still had personalities I cared about more than Elodie's.

-So because I didn't like Elodie and I can't remember the blonde's name (and no, I won't go looking for it), I honestly didn't care about their romance. It was bland and boring. The blonde was such a try-hard and let Elodie get away with being a shitty person.

-The plot is lackluster, at best. I got so bored that eventually I skipped the last few pages. Let's just say I've read much better camp-based stories that integrate the supernatural.

-There's an actual scene where the only black counselor is having her hair touched by the kids and says something along the lines of, "me and my hair are dark because I'm from somewhere else"......like wtf????? It's 2020 and I still have to see this kind of phrasing for the ONLY VISIBLE CHARACTER OF COLOUR?

No one is more disappointed than me that this was just a total dud. Oh well, it's about time I got back to reading 'Lumberjanes', anyways!

My Rating: 1/5
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,288 reviews173 followers
August 15, 2020
Forced by her mother to take a summer camp counselor position in the wilds of Quebec, 17-year-old Elodie is at first worried the accommodations and the kids will overwhelm her, but it's the supernatural events she thinks she sees happening that start to drive her over the edge. By turns funny and eerie and even romantic, this reminded me a lot of John Allison's Giant Days in the dialogue and art. Highly enjoyable!
Profile Image for Daniella.
165 reviews9 followers
March 20, 2020
I loved this book! I do have an innate love of spooky, supernatural camp stories and opposites attract love interests. Seventeen year old Melody "Elodie" Larivière does not want to spend her summer being a camp counsellor. She doesn't want to be responsible for a group of rowdy redheads, and she certainly does want to be stuck with little miss perfect Catherine. But that's what her mother has in store for her. It doesn't help that the camp leader is eccentric and somewhat creepy, and that the story behind the camp is sinister and what is up with that eerie blue light that only Elodie seems to notice every evening.

The character writing in this book is exquisite. Each of them is well written and rounded with their own quirks and sense of humour. The book is set in 1990's Canada and you really get a feel for this from Elodie who has that archetypal 90's grunge look, and who would rather be sitting at home listening to NiN or Nirvana. This would be the perfect short summer read if you want something light and refreshing with expressive character art and exquisite colours.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Renata.
2,500 reviews339 followers
June 23, 2020
ok ok I think everyone has their THINGS in fiction that are hard to overlook...like for people who know more about actual science I imagine it's harder to accept comic book science, whereas I'm prepared to go "mm yes gamma radiation seems legit." however, "take a 17-year-old with no childcare experience, let her miss summer camp training, and immediately put her in solo charge of a group of kids"??? does NOT seem legit even in the 1990s in Canada. CMON that's CHAOS. at least the 13-year-old Babysitters Club members were only CITs when they went to camp.

but OKAY FINE I'll accept this absurd fantasy

also there are spirits or something but honestly that was more plausible to me than the childcare situation. I did kind of wish the spirit story was more fleshed out (so to speak)? but the characters and their relationships were fun and cute, and I enjoyed the 90sness of it all.

Profile Image for Brianna - Four Paws and a Book.
575 reviews25 followers
May 2, 2020
1.5 stars

Wow... this graphic novel was as long and boring as this quarantine... I requested this because I was a camp counselor in college and loved my summers there. But it was so unrealistic and the stakes were so low. Apparently this was supposed to be scary? I was so bored I didn’t want to continue reading, but had already invested so much time I needed to finish.
Profile Image for Niki.
743 reviews116 followers
March 26, 2021
This was..... a lot better than I expected even though I don't know WHAT I expected?? It was lovely. Pretty well written, funny, sometimes spooky, and frequently surprising me. The art was also awesome, very expressive (and, like other reviewers have said, very reminiscent of Giant Days) Overall a good reading experience. Would love to re-read it (and I probably will at some point)
Profile Image for Online Eccentric Librarian.
2,906 reviews5 followers
February 2, 2020
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot - the characters were very quirky, had an authentic voice, and the milieu of the 1990s in Canada was evocatively captured. Yes, it does read very much like a Mary Sue for the author; all the same, there is a lot of heart and genuine warmth here, even at its most irreverent moments. As soon as the story ended, I wanted to reread it again immediately.

Story: Elodie's in her last year of high school when she finds out she has to go to Summer Camp to be a counselor. Annoyed at leaving her urban life in Quebec for the country, she's not pleased at the prospect. Once at camp, she has serious trouble adjusting - public restrooms, open showers, and the creepiness of the camp are not making her life easier. Not to mention that she also was put in charge of 'the redheads' - the rowdiest and most unmanageable of the campers. Fortunately, she's made friends with fellow counselor Catherine; slowly but surely the two will navigate the Summer. Until Elodie starts seeing images of a forest demon, having terrible supernatural nightmares, and begins to suspect the camp chief has ill intentions for his campers!

Author Lenoir captures 1990s teen rebellion perfectly - from the soundtrack of NiN and Nirvana, the lumberjack shirts with chunky boots, and a skate-punk personna that would later be immortalized by Avril Levigne (to whom (likely not coincidentally) our protagonist bears a strong resemblance). Along with main character Elodie are a cast of personalities that are distinct, if a bit narrow in nuance, enough to make for an interesting read. Even the kids are quite fun and Elodie's handling of each of them makes perfect sense in a fun way.

The art is excellent - conveying the story when needed without requiring dialogue. The snappy comebacks are, of course, very welcome. But he story lives and fails on the art and here it is emotive and yet rich. The backgrounds keep a 'comic' feel but the art also feels a bit 1990s - channeling Nickelodeon quite a bit. But I have to say that this also feels it owes a lot to Scott Pilgrim in terms of influence.

The story has several themes: Elodie learning to survive outside the city, a blossoming friendship with fellow counselor Catherine, winning over the hearts and trust of the camp kids, and the mystery of the camp owner and his connection to a myth of the area. It would seem like the parts wouldn't work and yet, like Scott Pilgrim, they do in a way that makes the story very unique and readable. At any other hands, the supernatural could have felt tacked on or out of place yet it all works here beautifully.

I truly enjoyed and loved this title. I was rooting for Elodie and Catherine to get together the whole time, was invested in the mystery, and loved the camp kids and counselors. There are some very funny moments within and it is a story I would have loved to see animated or made into a movie. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for George Taylor.
218 reviews3 followers
July 25, 2022
It took me a tiny bit to get into this and felt a little empty toward the beginning. However, once I elreally got into Camp Spirit the graphic novel I was pretty much hooked and couldn't put it down.

What makes this different from other graphic novels? That would be the dry humor and the humor in general. I don't usually read something that makes me laugh. Don't get me wrong, I love to laugh, I just have a really warped sense of humor. This was right in the ball park for me.

Axelle Lenoir did a really good job with the art and the storyline. And of course, CAB did the colouring and it really makes the art look professional.

Summer 1994: With just two months left before college, Elodie is forced by her mother to take a job as a camp counselor.

Join Elodie as she struggles with herself, her dreams (and nightmares), a double handful of redheads and the dark mystery lurking around camp. A romantic comedy that's as wild as a hot summer night.

A really great read at four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Jenna.
3,471 reviews38 followers
January 10, 2021
An amazing blend of Lumberjanes and Giant Days, with a splash of Steeple-level creepiness. Enjoyed the drawing style and musical theme, even if I wasn’t really a fan of those bands and never went to a summer camp in any capacity. Elodie’s chaotic group of redheads were hilarious if a bit intimidating. I don’t think I could handle them.

Will look out for more by this author!
Profile Image for currentlyreadingbynat.
563 reviews36 followers
January 14, 2021
Give me anything with queer rep in it and I will read it!
I love graphic novels and wish I read more of them; especially those with gorgeous graphics and a sapphic twist. Highly recommend Camp Spirit if that sounds similar to your interests :)
Profile Image for Kelly Spoer.
502 reviews26 followers
January 7, 2021
Where was this when I was a teenager in the 90s.
I would probably would have figured out I liked girls a lot earlier.
Profile Image for Kristian Walls.
172 reviews7 followers
March 24, 2020
A fun angsty summer camp adventure featuring creepy and goofy characters, possible paranormal shenanigans, a lovable group of rambunctious redheads, and a sweet and swoon worthy love story.
The drawing and coloring was perfect. I love Lenoir’s range from quirky to serious she absolutely nailed each and every frame.
The fantastic cast of unforgettable characters is where Camp Spirit shines most. I loved this various cast especially Elodie and Catherine, who had a fantastic connection.
I was honestly blown away by every aspect of this comic book, Axelle Lenoir has made a lifelong fan of me after reading this. Best summer camp ever.
Profile Image for Morgan McNeil.
66 reviews
March 29, 2020
I didn't know what to expect from this book, but it turned out to be a fab graphic novel! It's hard to put it in a box-- it's got some elements of a good romcom alongside some supernatural stuff going on, but it was a great time. The camp setting really worked for me, and you ALWAYS love to see a sweet f/f romance. I'd especially recommend this for a fun, fast summer read.
Profile Image for Elia.
1,107 reviews26 followers
March 7, 2020
Starts out as a story about a 90's teen who gets forced to work a summer job at a sleep-away camp by her mom to help earn some money for college, and then not only turns into a supernatural story, but also a story about young love and discovering who you really are.
Very fun little book, great art and a heartwarming message.
Profile Image for Mackinley.
37 reviews14 followers
July 17, 2020
(3.5 Stars)

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I think that the story was light, yet pulled you in and had a nice pace. There are some thoughts I would like to express about the story as a whole.

The characters were hilarious, I especially loved the Elodie's camp group (as they were called in the story, the "read heads") and I enjoyed the development of Elodie over the course of the story. I also must add that I particularly liked her taste in music. Catherine was amazing, and the rest of the camp counselors may have not been developed much, but were always entertaining and worked well with the story.

The art fit the feel of the story well, especially when they got to the more "fantasy " sort of section of the book. My only complaint here would be that the scenes could get a little busy sometimes, and it was hard to know who was talking or what to look at.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the story and I liked how they used the initial "scary campfire story" to build into a more real story with Catherine's uncle and how there was more than what was initially revealed. I do think the transition from a easygoing story about camp to the story of Elodie trying to figure out what the camp leader was hiding may have been a little shaky in it's building, I wish that both plots could have been intertwined a little more. At the same time, I still think the author did a good job tackling both parts of the story.

To conclude, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking to read this book.
Profile Image for sarah.
361 reviews11 followers
March 3, 2020
Thank you Edelweiss for providing me with a free arc in exchange for an honest review.

This was really good. I don't usually connect or get attached to graphic novels but I loved the characters and the f/f romance so much. The plot was engaging and entertaining and the only complaint I have is that it was resolved too quickly and not very clearly.
Profile Image for Nai's books.
184 reviews64 followers
October 5, 2021
Yo no soy lectora de novela gráfica de forma habitual. Si me gustan y cuando era más ¿joven? ¿pequeña? si que leía más novelas gráficas pero por cosas de la vida las fui dejando de lado. Pero esta me ha encantado.

🔅Tiene unas ilustraciones preciosas, podéis ver algunas de ellas en el carrusel de la publicación para que juzgueis por vosotras mismas.
🔅La historia ha sido no solamente muy amena de leer, sino que además me ha resultado muy divertida, cosa que no desmerece al misterio que envuelve a los acontecimiento del campamento.
🔅La relación de las dos protagonistas principales me ha encantado, son muy diferentes y me ha gustado mucho como aprenden a respetarse la una a la otra, a acompañarse y a cuidarse.
🔅Los secundarios tampoco desmerecen. El director del campamento me ha encantado. Y las locas pelirrojas aún más.

De verdad, de verdad. Seáis o no lectoras de novela gráfica os recomiendo muchísimo esta porque merece verdaderamente la pena.
Profile Image for Galleywampus -.
93 reviews28 followers
January 23, 2020
It has the girls-at-camp-with-possible-supernatural-goings-on (but a little less friendship-is-magic) of Lumberjanes, but not so reflective and moody as Honor Girl. In the middle of all of that, though, you've got a well-plotted, tidy, thoughtful little series with entertaining characters, humor, and some sweet things to say about all sorts of relationships. Definitely a winner for me.
Profile Image for Hannah Rathjen.
3 reviews6 followers
November 4, 2020
Overall, this novel was really delightful to read. From the ridiculous comedy to the lovable characters to the charming artstyle, the whole thing was a blast. The story follows Elodie, who is a few months away from starting college, starting with her mom forcing her to serve as a counselor at a summer camp. Elodie is a ball-of-angst Nirvana fan, and unfortunately for her, she gets assigned a group of the most unruly redheads at the camp. However, soon enough these redheads and Elodie take a liking to each other. Their relationship is ridiculous and all-around hilarious, adding to the charm of the book.
Another part I loved was the splash of LGBT content. Elodie and her soon-friend and fellow counselor Catherine (spoilers) end up becoming more than friends later in the novel. It’s really wonderful to see that kind of content added so casually into a story. And although it doesn’t get super heavy into homophobia, it doesn’t outright ignore the consequences of being LGBT like I’ve seen so many other stories do. I appreciated that the story was able to acknowledge homophobia while still maintaining a generally lighthearted tone.
Really the only criticism I had of the book was the supernatural aspect of it. It was disappointing because I love supernatural stories and had been looking forward to that part of the novel. It’s especially unfortunate because the buildup was really well-done, but the ending to that story arc was really unsatisfying. It almost seemed like that part of the story didn’t even happen after the fact. I think that the story would have been so much more engaging if it had taken more time to flesh out that story arc. But as I said before, that was really my only criticism of the book, although it was a big criticism. Overall, the novel was super enjoyable and charming. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something lighthearted and fairly quick to read. I'd absolutely read it again because some of the humor was just genuinely hilarious to me.
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