Review: Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Book Title: Summer on the Short Bus
Author: Bethany Crandell
Published Date: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Press Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonThe Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell. 

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there’s life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she’s ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

There are so few books about kids with disabilities, so as soon as I saw the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to have it. As a teenager, I attended an aquatics summer camp for teens with disabilities, so Summer on the Short Bus really excited me and I was so hoping this book wouldn’t disappoint me. I wasn’t even concerned with the non-P.C. qualities that it was supposed to possess.

Yes, Cricket was a pain in the butt. She was a spoiled, pampered princess who really had no idea what it was like to grow up in the normal world. Was she ignorant, rude and, at times, downright mean? Yes, she was. It was clear to me that she was not comfortable around kids with disabilities. Truth be told, I was not very comfortable around kids with disabilities even though I have my own disability, but I honestly think that for me, it’s because I never really saw myself as disabled. So I really didn’t crucify her for feeling uncomfortable around these teenagers.

Quinn was an awesome surprise and I was really glad we got to know his story as I thought it was really important. It was important to find out how he had come to work at Camp I Can, and what inspired him to do so. I loved how Cricket slowly began to soften around him. It wasn’t a quick turnaround for Cricket, which made sense to me. It was more realistic for Cricket to be physically attracted to Quinn early on, but to have their relationship slowly grow and develop. I love the slow burn so I was excited to see it here, with these two.

This book was really an awesome surprise, but I really wish there had been more character development for the secondary characters. Especially Colin, Fantine, Aidan, Meredith and Claire. We ended up getting more than I expected about Rainbow, so big kudos to Crandell for that one. Had there been more overall character development I know I would have loved this book. With that said, I really did enjoy this book and will be giving it 4 stars.

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