Review: Brain Camp

8044106Title: Brain Camp
Author: Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: August 2010
Length: 151 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Graphic Novel, YA, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

Neither artistic, dreamy Jenna nor surly, delinquent Lucas expected to find themselves at an invitation-only summer camp that turns problem children into prodigies. And yet, here they both are at Camp Fielding, settling in with all the other losers and misfits who’ve been shipped off by their parents in a last-ditch effort to produce a child worth bragging about.

But strange disappearances, spooky lights in the woods, and a chilling alteration that turns the dimmest, rowdiest campers into docile zombie Einsteins have Jenna and Lucas feeling more than a little suspicious…and a lot afraid.

***** Review *****

The Skinny

Jenna and Lucas get scouted and roped into attending this stellar amazing genius brainiac camp, which their parents are heartily supporting. Jenna’s parents think this will be the thing that makes their child reach the Asian standard, while Lucas’s single-mother just wants him out of her hair and off her back. It’s a win-win.

Except…Camp Fielding isn’t quite what it is made out to be. Strange things start happening to campers, and Jenna and Lucas – being the new kids on the block – hook up with helpful but timid Wayne and start investigating, leading them down a trail to discover why campers are turning into zombie geniuses.

How do they keep from becoming one?

The Players

Jenna – an uninspiring Asian girl who is a disappointment and embarrassment to her family

Lucas – a delinquent teen who lives with his angry mother

Wayne – a nerdy rule-follower whose objective is to keep his life

The Quote

 So maybe our parents will finally stop hating us so much.

The Highs and Lows

  • Lucas. He’s a pretty cool dude and not quite what you would expect of a “delinquent.”
  • Jenna. She is almost anti-everything in violation of her Asian parents’ high standards. She’s 14 and they already expect her to be at Yale. She knows she is an embarrassment and a disappointment, but she wants to be her own person.
  • Wayne. I thought Wayne was cute in that nerdy, geeky kind of way, and he was so nice and helpful to both Lucas and Jenna when they arrived at Camp Fielding. He shows them the ropes of the camp and is in on the investigation to a point.
  • Plot. The plot was very streamlined throughout the book. Implausible, but it worked. I did find it interesting that those who were the smartest in the boys and girls cabins were “sent home,” while the camp counselors (who also appeared to be teens) were seemingly zombies themselves but also in on the entire thing. That part I wasn’t sure about.
  • The zombies. They look so much like a zombie, and do weird things. Yes, they are becoming geniuses through this scary process and they don’t even know.

The Take-Away

This was a good thing for me since I was looking for something different. I liked the setting and the friendships that formed between Lucas, Jenna, and Wayne. AND I liked that there was no love triangle business going on! What I really liked was how the longer the plot unraveled and the mystery deepened, Lucas and Jenna continued working side by side together as a team to figure things out.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 

BUY! It is a story worth reading, and I found that I started getting very invested in the investigation and goings-on at Camp Fielding.

5 thoughts on “Review: Brain Camp

  1. I think my oldest two daughters would really enjoy this one! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday last week. I’m sorry I’m late getting around!

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