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Camp Utopia and the Forgiveness Diet

Camp Utopia: & The Forgiveness Diet - Jenny Ruden

Bethany lives up to her image, the image that people see. Bethany hides behind her body for it’s her defense against the world. Bethany doesn’t have that many friends and she’s fine with that until the summer her mother sends her to California. Bethany pleaded and begged not to be shipped off to Camp Utopia for eight weeks but it was useless, she is headed off to fat camp. She’s leaving TJ behind, just when things were finally moving forward. Her sister was the one supposedly driving her cross-country, a bonding-trip, but that didn’t pan out either. Now it will be the three of them, another glitch. On the road, Bethany listens to the radio and it’s an infomercial claiming instant success that grabs her attention, the same one she heard last night. With nothing to lose and plenty of time on her hands, she improvises and she hopes for the best. The pain and urgency that Bethany must feel as she succumbs to this gimmick shows me what type of a person Bethany has become. Arriving at the camp, Bethany’s worse fears become reality and as her life becomes a nightmare, you have to laugh as the sarcasm just falls from the rafters. Everyone has their issues and they’re all competing for survival. The camp is difficult, the voices are real and honesty is sometimes the underlying factor. A few voices stand out and friendships emerge. There is time for laughter and I was having a great time, sometimes at their expense. The reasons for their arrival were different, some are shocking and some are sad, but somewhere down the road someone tagged weight as the issue. There’s one beauty queen who stands out and why she attending this camp the other girls have yet to acquire. Accompanied by email messages, the story moves quickly and before long the book is finished. Bethany is paralyzed by her size, everything revolves around it....I mean everything that does not go right, is blamed upon her size. She uses her size as a cover-up to who she really is, it’s as though she is hiding and she’s afraid to come out. The camp is a huge challenge for her for its located in a college campus so there are lots of outside stimuli that are tempting, oh so tempting and fun. Way more fun than the camp itself! The pressure to conform, the friendships, the food, the fun, the email messages, the whole eight weeks pass by so quickly.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.