Breakfast Served Anytime
It’s the summer of Gloria Bishop’s senior year, and, in typical good-girl-Gloria fashion, she’s going to Geek Camp. It’s not really called Geek Camp, of course—it’s the prestigious Commonwealth Summer Program for Gifted and Talented Students, where the most advanced 120 seniors in Kentucky attend a month-long seminar at Morlan College and study a certain subject (biology, theatre arts, algebra) with some of the best teachers in the country, whose job is to convince the brightest minds in the state to stay in Kentucky and use their smarts to benefit it for years to come. Which is the last thing Gloria wants to do. She and her best friend, Carol, are headed to New York City leaving the landlocked Kentucky ASAP. Regardless, Gloria is intrigued when she gets a note for her teacher of her selected course (Secrets of the Written Word), signed simply as X, where she is directed where to meet her individual and unique classmates-- the chain smoking, loudmouthed Chloe Farris, the slightly handsome and totally annoying Mason Atkinson (aka the Mad Hatter), and the quiet, shy, and encyclopedic Calvin Little. As the four scurry around the campus in search of X, Gloria discovers that her future might not be so set in stone after all…..
“So here we are” X said. “I hope I’ve given y’all ample time to get to know each other on your own terms.”…….”Welcome to Secrets of the Written Word.”
How do I put this……This book was very good……..in some parts. Most of the book was very well written--it flowed smoothly, the vocabulary was suited perfectly, it just seemed to…click. In other parts, though, it was a little rough. I felt there were sometimes too many plot lines that were left a little unfinished or were tied up in a rush……like the “last three pages” rush. It’s like Combs had a set number of pages she was going to write and she just quit after she hit that number. I also felt that some of the story was kind of irrelevant, like it was just a filler—there was a stint that talked about coal mining that wasn’t relevant in the end and the whole butterfly thing was kind of pointless. I just felt like Combs could have used that space to better develop the ending. Beforeyou give up on this book, though—there was plenty of good things, too. The secondary characters—Calvin, Chloe, Mason—were wonderful. They had so much personality and uniqueness that it was impossible not to fall in love with them. The book was also very informed—Combs definitely is well-versed in many things, including literature, mythology, and vocabulary. I feel as if I came off more knowledgeable than I started. The verdict? Three out of five stars for me!
“Yeah, well. Truth is stranger than fiction, people…..The magic, though? The magic is what stayed.”
I would recommend this book for ages ten and up for some expletives that are scattered throughout. Other than that, nothing to worry about.
Gloria though she knew it all…until she didn’t. Will her months stay at the Mason College turn her entire future on its head—or will she come out more hurt than before?