i have watched wet hot american summer and sleepaway camp and the parent trap so i'm pretty sure i know what summer camp is all about. daring the bad boy won't really change your mind about any clichés about summer camp, though there is 100% less murders in it than sleepaway camp.
this young adult summer read tells the story of jacob fazio, bad boy extraordinaire, whose run-ins with trouble have condemned him to work as a lifeguard at his uncle's summer camp. jake has to keep on the straight and narrow, breaking the rules can land him in juvie. he's definitely made some mistakes, but he's also carrying around a lot of anger and grief. his mother died of cancer when he was fourteen, and his father handled this by pretending she never existed, moving them out of their home, and starting over somewhere new. this was not the best way for jake to handle his grief, thrust into an entirely new environment when his world had been drastically altered already. so coming into this you have a lot of sympathy for where jake is coming from.
annie mcfarland is our other lead. she's the quiet type, but she's ready for a change. she wants to be braver, more outgoing. she wants to connect with people instead of keeping everyone at arms length. she wants to live her life instead of reading about someone else's. this is her first time at summer camp, and she's hoping it is life-changing. the only problem is that this summer camp is located by a lake and annie doesn't know how to swim. in fact, she has a severe phobia of water related to an incident in her childhood.
after jake saves annie from a near drowning, they start spending time together. and the more they get to know each other, the more they like each other. but jake is a counselor and annie is a camper, and this is one line he is forbidden from crossing. but soon the attraction is too powerful to ignore.
in one of my favorite moments, jake and annie jump off a waterfall together. and the moment of closeness they share is so sweet. jake is so proud of annie for conquering her fears and annie genuinely appreciates how jake is there for her. she asked him to hold her hand and never let go, and he doesn't.
there's just something uplifting about young love, which is why i have always enjoyed a good young adult romance. this reminds me a bit of the old sweet dreams series, so if you liked those books, this one is a can't miss.
**daring the bad boy will publish on august 22, 2016. i received an advanced reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (entangled:crush) in exchange for my honest review.