For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.
The change was gradual. Stealthy.
Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.
What I really need is a whole new body.
Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?@goodreads
Samantha gets sent to a camp called, Perform at Your Peak. This is a camp for any type artist or athletes that are having problems with anxiety.
All Sam wants to be is a ballerina, but when she starts getting snickered at and being told by her teachers and mom she needs to lose weight, it brings on the panic attacks.
I felt really bad for all of the teens in this camp because the stress put on them by their parents are worse than what I call bullies.
1. Sam - the ballerina
2. Katie - the gymnast
3. Zoe - the tennis player
4. Jenna - the ice skater
5. Omar - the theater kid
6. Dominic - the football player
All of these kids are going through their own kind of hell. And at first it seems like they are a group that will never be able to communicate with each other, let alone be friends. But, with the help of Dr. Lancaster, the college students, Andrew and Yasmin, they just might find what they are looking for. . . maybe just a little bit.
I very much enjoyed these characters. At first I didn't like Zoe, but once you find out her issues and get to know her, you realize you can't just judge a book by it's cover. I grew to love her character as time went on.
Sam is the main character on the book, focusing on her body image and panic attacks. But the other characters are very present in the book and we learn about each child's issues. I loved all of the girls most of all because they slowly formed bonds. I still loved Dominique and Omar as well but the girls were closer together.
There are moments of Sam crushing on Andrew the counselor but that doesn't lead to anything as it's not supposed to. Just some embarrassing moments for Sam.
Because I have these same disorders plus a few others, I always enjoy reading a book that have these types of things in them. I like to see different views and if they get it right.
Things change for each of the characters in the books. Maybe not the way they saw them change but they do change and they are all for the better. I also loved how they all remained in touch with each other after the camp. I would love that with some peeps like me and my issues.
Zoe, Jenna, Katie, Dominic and Omar, and I have had an ongoing email chain since everyone got home from Perform at Your Peak. Somewhere in the middle of the thread, we came up with our Crazy Camp nicknames. Zoe named herself Thelma after our Thelma and Louise-style road trip. I'm Barbs, since I'm coming to grips with maybe not being a ballerina after all. Jenna is Kwan, since she got Zoe to admit that striving to be like one of the greatest female figure skaters of all time wasn't really a bad thing. Katie is Bear, after Mr. Bear, her good-luck charm--and because it's funny to give the toughest name to the tiniest, bubbliest person. Omar is Bruno, thanks to that Bruno Mars hat he bought at the general store, and Dominic is Chunks, not only because he once threw up on the fifty-yard line but also because he's the opposite of chunky.
Sam wasn't at the last bit of camp and didn't get to set her balloon free with the other kids so she did it herself and took a picture of it. I think I want to set off a whole set of balloons with my sayings on them.
Next to the collage, there's a photo of a tiny red balloon, barely a pinprick in the vast blue sky. Since I missed the last day at Perform at Your Peak, I had to release it on my own. I tied a piece of paper with the words "Take the leap" to its tail and let go. Feeling the string slip past my fingertips was like exhaling for the first time.
Fin . . .
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: