Summer is the perfect time for spooky campfire stories over toasted marshmallows when the moon hangs just right in the sky. The Counselors by Jessica Goodman is a book that perfectly captures that feeling and we are obsessed! Let us take you to summer camp with Goldie and her friends.
Content warning: murder, car accident.
Summary: Sisters by choice. That’s how Goldie and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, define their friendship, which formed years ago at Camp Alpine Lake.
This year, Goldie is back at camp as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and for Ava and Imo to arrive. With the dark secret Goldie’s been keeping, she’s more in need of their comfort than ever. When the boy who broke Goldie’s heart, turns up dead in the lake, this last summer before college is completely upended—and Goldie learns that she’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. Asking questions offers Goldie no answers, only danger, and betrayals deeper than she ever imagined.
Arts & Crafts
At camp, there are all kinds of arts and crafts that remind us of childhood. Even though this book is a thriller and skews older in its subject matter, there are still nostalgic camp vibes that take us right back to childhood. Plus, there are the adorable campers that show up, like Ava’s nine-year-old little sisters.
Not to mention, the writing paints vivid pictures of the campgrounds, including the glittering lake, beautiful hills, and fancy camp buildings that make us want to visit a summer camp and see the scenery. The characters are all unique and vibrant as well and leap off the page.
Mess halls are made for eating and the food in the story definitely made us hungry. But in a literal sense, the chaotic messiness of the events that unfold and the intertwining relationships are what kept our attention locked in.
This thriller features two timelines that allow us to get to know the characters’ relationships and back stories even better. We especially loved the complex friendship dynamic between Goldie, Ava, and Imogen that was the heart of the story!
All the best secrets are whispered at 3 a.m. sleepovers, and every night in Bloodroot cabin is like a sleepover at Camp Alpine Lake!
The secrets kept in this story are what sets everything into motion. Even before any murder occurs, the secrets of Camp Alpine Lake and Roxwood are already begging to be unraveled, and that worms its way into Bloodroot cabin, too, where things may be more than meets the eye…
We loved the tension created by all the secrets kept between friends, sisters, family, and campers!
The exploration of class and small-town dynamics is another aspect that rounded out this layered story. The culture of Roxwood was an interesting juxtaposition to the idyll of Camp Alpine Lake, and the differences between the two environments.
Plus, the way that Goldie’s life in Roxwood intertwined with her camp life even when she tried so hard to keep them separate made the story even juicier.
In conclusion, if you want to experience a nostalgic, page-turning camp thriller for fans of Kara Thomas or old slasher movies, this is the book for you! The Counselors will have you hooked from page one, and you’ll race through this story.
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