continued “Lauren moved from Upstate New York to Texas. She was lonely and though she misses Seth, she dates a popular boy in Texas named Matt,” said Karen. “When it is time for Lauren to go back to camp, she is ready to dump Matt and ask Seth to be her boyfriend through the end of the summer.
The love triangle becomes more tangled when Lauren tries to dump Matt. He shocks her by showing his true feelings for her and decides to join her at camp.
“It’s a pretty strong love triangle,” said Karen.
As a teacher, Karen said she has always enjoyed finding the right book for her students to get them excited about reading. When a kid finds the right book, she said it opens up a whole new world for them. One of her greatest compliments as a writer came from her publisher.
“It’s ironic that my publisher has a little sister who hated reading,” said Karen. “But one day when my editor brought home an unedited manuscript of the book, her little sister stole the book and refused to give it back till she was done reading it.”
The young girl had locked herself in the bathroom and refused to return the book and sent her sister text messages while locked away about how much she liked the book.
“It really touched my teacher’s heart to have captivated her that way,” said Karen.
The book follows universal themes of acceptance and finding who you are despite your surroundings.
“Joanne and I talked for a long time about writing a book,” Karen said. “Our styles and voices are similar, and our aesthetics are similar. We were interested in writing a coming-of-age story and wanted a situation where our character had a lot of room to grow.
“Both of us having gone to summer camp knew it was the perfect bubble of a world without the help of a dedicated parent our characters have to make decisions for themselves. In our book, Lauren changes but not in a way she’s proud of. She becomes more popular but wants to still be the person who is admired for being smart and not being a cheerleader.”