Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Book Review:Summer on the Short Bus - Bethany Crandell

Pub. Date- April 1st 2014 Publisher- Running Press Teens
 Pages- 256 Genre- Contemporary/YA
Goodreads - Book Depository

Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.

Usually I’m all for thick books, the thicker the better in my opinion but Summer on the Short Bus takes that idea and proves me wrong. Taking a strong and completely blunt approach Bethany Crandell makes light in a positive way of how people can be completely uninformed about something out of their comfort zone, in Cricket’s case people with special needs. She honestly and oh so wittily tells a truthful tale about a young spoiled girl who learns to put others first and just generally become less of a nitwit.

So to get it right off the bat, Cricket isn’t the most endearing character but she is so well written terrible personality was completely natural to her, the book would have felt completely wrong if she wasn’t so shocking. Yeah, she was bratty, spoiled and so politically incorrect I but not enough to ever hate her or feel as though everything negative she said is just to be nasty. I’ve seen a lot of reviews bashing this book for being oh so incorrect but that is what makes it for me. Nothing is barred in this; there is no censorship of an uninformed young girl. Crandell writes about what I’m sure most people have thought at least once in their life, be maybe a more informed but still something that we wouldn’t say allowed. It really at times makes you feel uncomfortable in your skin with the way things are phrased only to be laughing at a hilarious joke the next minute.

The true beauty of Summer on the Short Bus is how quirky and hilarious it is, when looking past the all the faux pas Cricket makes, she and all the other character in this book are so funny in their own ways. Fantine made me crack up so many times with her sarcasm and Quinn being a Zac Efron look alike was just pure gold.

There were parts that I didn’t think were the best, but I wasn’t really fazed by them until I started to reflect more deeply on the book and everything in it. One was how quickly Quinn and Crickets relationship developed and was used to resolve everything but in such a short book it isn’t like there is 300 pages for them to become friends and get to know each other so I could come to terms with the pretty quickly. The relationship isn’t instalove level but it was getting close. Another problem was that I wish that there time to learn more about all the other characters! I ended up loving them all so much that I just wanted to know everything and see them all be as fully developed as characters as Cricket.

This could be taken as an offensive book but when read with an open mind and a liking for sarcasm I think it really gives everyone a chance to learn something new about people in general and how easy change can come about. I highly suggest you read this to see just how Cricket changes from the nitwit she was at the start.

Summer on the Short Bus is just want I picture when I think of a literal Summer, on a Short Bus (something we don’t have in Australia, the short buses not summer) Just a small space filled with fun, learning and happiness. Not quiet this isn’t an unrealistic perfect summer but still a 5 star book in my eyes. I’ve already told Bethany Crandell she can have my soul if I can be put on any list that comes up for her next book I liked it that much.


  1. Great review, I can't wait to read this book now!

  2. I've never considered reading this book. Even when you were reading it and said you were enjoying it, I still never considered it. However, that was only up until now, reading your fantastic review - it's now on my TBR and it sounds like a fantastic quick read. :)

  3. I adore this book, too! And for all the same reasons. What I liked best of all was that it was authentic. Cricket wasn't watered down; even after she "grew" she still had her flaws and her moments when you wanted to slap her around just a little. But she got real and learned how to see others for who they are, and actually came to care about more than herself in the end. This made her endearing and genuine, and the same is true of the story. Thanks for such a great review! :)

  4. I seriously want to read this! And I'm all for sarcasm and wit, so I think I'd really appreciate it, though, ohhhh, Cricket sounds intense. Maybe a little TOO irritating at times?! But still (love that name: Cricket, btw), it's on my TBR and I hope my library gets it soon. Loved the review!

  5. I have to say... What is it with books and all these characters named Cricket? Since when is that a name and not a boring sport or insect?

    I have never heard of this book but it sounds like a really interesting read. I think I can tell why others might have complained it was offensive but it feels like it needs to be that way in order to get across what the author is trying to say. I feel like this is going to be a more realistic and honest look about some people misconceptions on those with special needs. Thanks for the brilliant review, will be keeping an eye out for this one.

  6. I can understand why this is a book that will divide readers, but your review has made me want to give it a go because I quite like annoying characters!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  7. Great review Katie, sounds like it's something that you either love or hate, it sounds like the quirk was really welcome in this book though. I love your sign off as well, it's gorgeous!

  8. *this* is the reason I desperately bought a copy. Katie was really enjoying this one while she was reading it, and this girl could sell snow to Eskimos. I'm all about the quirk. I'm moving it up my list to read this weekend. I love the politically incorrect, that's why we read books isn't it? For the shock value and this one sounds hilarious. Brilliant review hun.


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