Summer State of Mind

( 3 )


Summer has finally arrived and fifteen-year-old Harper McCallister intends to spend her days at the mall shopping or by the pool at her country club. But after receiving her latest heart-stopping credit card bill, Harper's parents makes other plans, and ship her off to camp.

Suddenly, the clueless yet ever-popular Harper is the new girl at the bottom of a social ladder she can't climb in wedge sandals and expensive clothes. She seems to be winning over super-cute camp "Lifer" ...

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Summer State of Mind

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Summer has finally arrived and fifteen-year-old Harper McCallister intends to spend her days at the mall shopping or by the pool at her country club. But after receiving her latest heart-stopping credit card bill, Harper's parents makes other plans, and ship her off to camp.

Suddenly, the clueless yet ever-popular Harper is the new girl at the bottom of a social ladder she can't climb in wedge sandals and expensive clothes. She seems to be winning over super-cute camp "Lifer" Ethan, though, and if she can manage to make a few friends—and stay out of trouble—she just might find a whole new summer state of mind.

A fresh and funny summer-camp companion novel to Jen Calonita's hit Sleepaway Girls.

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Editorial Reviews

Katie Finn
"The perfect summertime read! It's sweet, funny, and made me want to head to camp immediately."
From the Publisher
Praise for Summer State of Mind:
"...Readers will respond to how the newly rich Harper struggles with identity issues...The book illustrates some important lessons: money doesn't buy true friends; good friends are harder to come by, and they can only be "bought" with authentic and meaningful nurturing."—Booklist

"The perfect summertime read! It's sweet, funny, and made me want to head to camp immediately."—Katie Finn, author of the Top 8 series and Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - C. J. Bott
Harper McAllister is the nice girl in the mean, rich, uppity girl clique because she buys gifts for everyone—a $700 espresso cart for the basketball team after their fifth lost in a row, $350 for matching t-shirts for her English class to wear to a poetry slam, $600 at Red Door Spa to relieve tension headaches before midterms—but McDaddy has now seen the bill. Consequences begin the next day; Harper and her twin brother are going to sleep-away camp, the exact same camp where McDaddy spent all his summers. Harper arrives at White Pines with nine suitcases filled with designer clothes and pampering supplies to quickly earn the nickname Camping Barbie by freaking out on the zip line, getting plastered in the mud-field fight, taking out the electrical power with all her hair machines, and coming very close to destroying the whole camp. Harper not only survives, she thrives and returns to the real person she used to be. Calonita gives us a Disney flick-between-the-covers that is fun to read without being trite in this great summer read for teen girls. Reviewer: C. J. Bott; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
Almost-15-year-old Harper thinks only of fashion until her dad sees her credit-card bill and packs her off to summer camp for a needed lifestyle change. As the daughter of a suddenly rich music-video producer, Harper spends money without thought. She had expected to spend the summer in Cancun but instead finds herself in a creaky wooden cabin with fellow campers who don't seem to like her much. No wonder, as Harper has carted in luggage full of hair products, expensive T-shirts and impractical shoes. She begins by losing a contest her cabin should have won, blowing out the fuses and using up all the hot water. She's terrified of imaginary spiders and bears and remains resolutely nonathletic. One sympathetic girl, Lina, tries to help, but when Harper finally goes too far, even Lina quits talking to her. Desperate to gain friends, Harper plots to win a contest to get a popular rock star to shoot a video at the camp—a girl Harper secretly actually knows. Calonita keeps the narration bubbly and pitched just right for her pre- and early-teen audience, with plenty of comedy and a gentle message about superficiality. She makes Harper the butt of the jokes but always shows the girl's sympathetic side so that readers can laugh with her rather than at her. Entertainment for the fashionista crowd. (Chick lit. 10-15)
Children's Literature - Susan R. Shaffner
Buy whatever you want! Fifteen-year-old Harper’s dad is newly rich, and his newfound wealth is changing her values and friendships. Dad decides that instead of going to Cancun on vacation, Harper and her twin brother will go to Whispering Pines, a camp in Massachusetts that he attended years ago. Though assertive, she finds herself on the fringe of camp social life due to mean girl Jeanie, and Harper’s aversion to sports does not help when everything at camp seems to be a competition. Pink-haired artist Lina befriends her and slowly Harper’s true talents emerge—cooking, creatively planning to raid the boys’ cabins, and improvising karaoke presentations. Just when she has seemingly charmed the camp into accepting her, Harper accidentally starts a fire and destroys an important contest entry. Harper, her brother Kyle, Lina, and budding love interest Ethan make a video to replace the burned entry. The video wins a visit from rocker London Blue; Harper is vindicated and decides to spend the rest of the summer at camp. Though written as a companion novel to Sleepaway Girls, the book may easily be read on its own. High-maintenance teenaged girls may enjoy a vicarious trip to camp, and low-maintenance girls may enjoy having their lifestyles affirmed. The excessive spending at the beginning of the book is a bit repulsive, but there are lessons to be learned. Calonita’s book is not preachy, and affirms that money isn’t everything, that keeping your mouth shut can be a good thing, that technology should be balanced with personal interactions, that appearance should not be a top priority, that you should use your talents to become your true self, and that a real friend is someone who likes you without conditions. Reviewer: Susan R. Shaffner; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this coming-of-age story, 15-year-old Harper is the spoiled daughter of a wealthy music producer. Her plans for the summer consist of shopping, hanging out with her mean-girl besties, and attending all of the hot parties. But after charging one too many frivolous purchases to her dad's credit card, he decides to ship her off to summer camp to remind her of who she was before they struck it rich. Harper has a difficult time adjusting to the environment and alienates most of the other campers with her obsessive vanity and her dependence on electronics. As the summer progresses, she slowly begins to win some of them over, manages to save the day, learns a little bit about herself, and begins a romance with a camp "lifer" who goes to her high school. Her romance with Ethan feels a little forced and shallow, and the plot is somewhat anticlimactic, but teen girls who can't get enough summer-romance novels may enjoy it. Purchase only where beach reads fly off the shelves.—Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316091152
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/22/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 218,281
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jen Calonita

Jen Calonita would never have fought her parents on going to sleepaway camp. She did, however, try to get out of a school camping trip for fear of spiders crawling into her sleeping bag. When she isn't writing, the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life and the Belles series can be found at the beach or floating in the pool. She encourages you to share your summer stories with her online at or on Twitter @Jencalonita.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2014

    3.5 stars Okay, collecting my thoughts...  Alright, Summer St

    3.5 stars

    Okay, collecting my thoughts...  Alright, Summer State of Mind was mostly an airy, fluffy read that was great for the summer.  There wasn't really any "big cliff hangers," or deep, dark, dangerous secrets in Summer State of Mind, it was just a nice relaxing summer read.  It was exactly what a summer read should be.

    Why it made a good summer read, was because I didn't have to immediately finish the book, I could just read it at a leisurely pace.  What I mean is that especial during the summer, when I want equal parts outdoor activities and parts indoor reading, I want a book that I can put down and come back to when I want.  I'm not pressed to finish it, because I want to know what happens next.    

    On the topic of Summer State of Mind, why does Ethan like Harper?  She's bratty, self centered, and frankly annoying. The epilogue also bothered me, it showed everyone happy and joyful.  But wait, didn't the last chapter before the epilogue show that too?  Why repeat it, I already know that everyone is happy.  I wanted the author to show what Harper did with McKenzie when she got home.  For all we know, Harper could have gone back to her slightly brattier self when she got home.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    My oppinion

    I sounds soo cool I would really like to read it. Looking at the books cover kind of pulled me in to see what it is about.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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