Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Amazon ♥ B & N
Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she's headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall.
Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn't seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex's trouble-magnet personality and Javier's need to stay in the background don't mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry.
With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?
By J.K. Rock
In Camp Payback, our main character, Javier Kovalev struggles with a lot of guilt that, because of his unplanned birth, his mother had to drop out of college and struggles to make ends meet. As a result, enough bad checks have landed her in jail and him in foster care.
He’s attending Camp Juniper Point when a friend of his mother’s convinced his case worker not to send him away to a group home across the state and far from his mother’s jail. He’s been guilty of breaking curfew by running away to visit his mother.
But Helena, his mother’s friend, persuaded the foster care system to give Javier this one last chance to prove himself by working with her at the camp where he learns to cook. However, he doesn’t want his mother to know he’s working through his summer, as you’ll see in this letter he writes to her.
How are you? Did you get a new cell mate yet? Hope she doesn’t snore like the last one. Or pace all night like the one before that. It must be really hard to sleep there. I wish you were home, but you’ll be out in a few months and then we’ll get a place together again, like the old days. I can even cook for you because Helena’s taught me some things in the kitchen besides the Venezuelan recipes you taught me to remember dad.
But I’m doing more stuff than cooking. I went on this hike with this muscle head marine/counselor we call Bam-Bam because he’s an explosives expert. He took me up Black Balsam Knob Mountain which made me crazy tired. We climbed for hours and when we got to the top, we had to set up camp, like finding firewood, putting up our tent, cooking, and stuff. But it was good. Peaceful. It was something, standing on top of the world. Or it felt like it. It was like I saw everything differently, even myself. This time around, when you get out, there isn’t going to be any more trouble. I already got offered a cooking job from this catering company so I can help out with the bills now. No more worries.
I watched some fireworks on July Fourth with this girl, Alex. You talked to her on the phone. I wish you hadn’t told her you call me Javi because now that’s all she calls me. I like her, but I’m not allowed to date campers, even though we’re the same age. Plus, her parents run that famous ‘Wholesome Home’ blog about raising perfect kids. I don’t think they’d approve of their perfect daughter hanging out with a kid who’s one stop away from juvie. But that’s the thing, Mom. She’s not perfect and that’s what I like about her.
She’s got a temper, she’s passionate, she’s funny and not some phony like a lot of the girls. She doesn’t try to fit in with everyone else. She’s stands out- at least to me. But her ex-boyfriend, Vijay, is making it hard for her to have a good summer and I feel sorry for her. I want to be with her, but if I get caught up in all that drama, they’ll kick me out of camp and I’ll go straight to the group home where the kids are even meaner and I’m bound to get in a fight that’ll land me in juvie. I’ve got to stop thinking about Alex. But- she’s hard to resist. I’ll stay strong, Mom. Promise.
I hope you liked Javier’s letter as much as his mom will. Find out more about the camp series and us below!
J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners - and sisters-in-law - Joanne & Karen Rock. Although they started out sharing an annual shopping trip, they ended up discussing their favorite films and books, joining the same book club and talking about writing... a lot.
Their debut novel, Camp Boyfriend, is the first in a three-book series plotted during family pool parties. Their creative partnership is unique in that they enjoy passing a book back and forth, each adding a chapter and fine-tuning the chapter before.
Years of friendship has yielded a shared voice and vision for their work that makes writing a pleasure.