Sunday, June 11, 2017
How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
Date Started: June 7, 2017
Date Completed: June 11, 2017
Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Will Dillard is struggling. Today, he is a graduate student working on his dissertation, but he is barely living. He goes through the motions, but he is haunted by his past. When he was a teenager, he spent one awful summer at Camp Levi, a conversion camp designed to "cure" teenage boys of their homosexual "affliction". It is only when a slasher film based on that nightmare summer is released that Will is forced to confront his demons head-on.
Reading the description of this book made me SO excited to read it, especially during pride month. This book did not quite live up to the hype. It was a good enough read that I got through the book, but at no point did I feel any kind of investment in the characters. Will is a boring, bland human who does things that just made zero sense to me.
This is also one of the slowest moving books I've ever read. It isn't until 56% of the way through the book (yes, read it on a Kindle) that you even get any kind of details about what went on at the camp. The build up just seemed to be way too in-depth and the movement was at a snail's pace. It was exhausting. I (as I assume other readers will) picked up this book because I wanted to hear the story of the camp. The horror flick was an interesting plot device to force Will to bring up those memories, but the pages upon pages of information about his mother and his expedition to see his father just did nothing for me.
I think that this was an interesting story, but I'm not sure that this author was the best person to tell it.