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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Chronicles Of Casey V by Laurie Larsen

The Chronicles Of Casey V by Laurie Larsen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

On the bus, on her way to her first-ever summer job, Casey V is totally excited. And scared to death. First-time jobs are intimidating enough, but she'll be spending the whole summer out of state. Living in a cabin in the woods in charge of the safety and well-being of a bunch of homesick little girls. Yikes! Will this be the most awesome summer of her life or the biggest mistake in her entire sixteen years?

Laurie Larsen kicks of this great adventure, “The Chronicles of Casey V,’ with Casey’s own E-Journal and shares the leap she has already taken. This could be the most awesome summer of her life. Or not. She got her camp counselor position via a twenty minute phone interview, after all. We join Casey as she sets off for camp Gitchy-poo (or whatever, as she says.)

Casey’s conversational style brings us into her world immediately. It’s great to be at summer camp. All the fitting-in and trying to take part in camp adventures (like horseback riding, their ‘Olympics’ canoeing and the like) create a fun backdrop.

In some respects, Larsen’s work is a romance teamed with a sense of coming –of-age tale. Casey really comes into her own here, but truly, this is one of those many-layered tales. Larsen explores friendship, and how friends, and one special friend, makes you feel. She explores goals, and forming goals. There is a wonderful moment where Casey looks at her team, and realizes they still have choices. Fun? Or a more serious goal? Casey’s developing leadership skill is definitely tied to her recognition of the need to form goals, as well as, the importance of all of the people involved.

In my view, this is the ideal young adult romance; it’s a time when love should be woozy and breathless for everybody. It’s also remarkably contemporary, with a very real, ‘today’ sort of sense. From emailing to the ordinariness of the belly ring, this reflects the edges for today’s teen. And the first person point of view is remarkably more than first person – with the help of her personal journals and various e-contacts, internal monologue and more, we as readers quickly and easily identify with the main character. It’s also simply fun; the summer at camp brings a certain sense of escapism, as well as sharing all the fun activities. It’s a light and effervescent tale and Larsen manages to maintain this bouncy style/atmosphere throughout.

I’d be remiss not to note the great cover art here. Love the designs, the color, and how it so well represents the atmosphere of the story.