by Trish Cook
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Published by Adaptive Books
Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken sexual escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.
Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.
I wanted to read OUTWARD BLONDE because I was interested in the idea of taking the spoiled little rich girl out of the city and seeing how she would handle being in a wilderness survival program. As it turns out, she doesn't handle it very well. OUTWARD BLONDE is filled with many silliness and humor, but tackles some tough topics bullying and gambling, oh and lots of James Franco.
What I liked:
- As silly as it may seem, I liked that bathroom issues while camping were addressed. It's very rare to have this mentioned in a book. Lizzie suffers from IBS, so we get to read all about it.
- While she does suffer from an unbearable sense of entitlement, Lizzie is a good friend. She isn't judgmental, and is a good listener and cheerleader when the other "campers" need help.
- Jed and Scarlet - the counselors/wilderness leaders. They offered their own troubled experiences in helping the kids. They were the present adults how offered guidance, tough love, and compassion.
- Lululemon leggings. Hmmm, is this a play on LulaRoe leggings? Well if it is, I can agree, the leggings are the best feeling on your skin. (edit: the day after I posted this review, I found out that Lululemon was a real brand when I was invited to a Lululemon trunk show. It's funny that I'd never heard of it, thought it was a play on an existing brand, and then find out it's real. Well, now I know. I'll have to check them out. And LulaRoe leggings are still awesome.)
There was one parts of this book that reminded me of another a book that I read - A Really Awesome Mess. It wasn't until I finished this book that read the "About the Author" section that I realized Trish Cook co-wrote that book. I have no idea how I missed that. I went back and read my review for ARAM and so many of the things that like about that book, I liked about OUTWARD BLONDE too.
OUTWARD BLONDE has a great balance of humor and heart, silliness and seriousness. The descriptions of Lizzie's experience made it easy to feel as though you were right there with her - a great way to experience some crazy adventures through the pages of a book. And now I know the mechanics of making a survival spoon should I ever be caught out in the wilderness and need one. Readers who like this book should read A Really Awesome Mess (and vice versa).
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Sunshine Sachs PR in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.