So, you’ve already read all of the Alex Rider books and you even picked up Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick based on my glowing recommendation. Now, you find yourself bored, with adrenaline to spare, and you can’t find anything remotely interesting. Never fear. I have your next book! Disruption by Steven Whibley is exactly what you have been looking for. Action packed and as funny as a cabin full of psychopathic teens can ever be, this book will undoubtedly hold your attention. Fast paced, action packed and full of explosions, combat, and a little bit of bumbling luck, this book will keep you guessing and keep you reading.
At fourteen, Matt Cambridge has executed so many pranks – the latest nearly destroying his school – that his parents are out of discipline options. So his father pulls a few questionable strings to get his son into Camp Friendship: A camp that promises to strengthen the moral compass of today’s youth. With a name like Camp Friendship Matt imagines three punishing weeks of daisy chains and Kumbayas.
Within minutes of arriving at the camp, however, Matt’s nearly killed–twice. It doesn’t take long for him to realize there’s more to this picture-perfect place than meets the eye. What sort of summer camp has programs in forging passports? Why do they have endless fight training, and weapons drills, and what is with the hidden rooms? Matt wonders if his parents realize they’ve enrolled him in what seems to be some kind of freakish, elite spy school.
What Matt doesn’t yet know – and is soon to find out – is that Camp Friendship’s ultimate purpose is far more sinister than he could possibly have imagined. With each dot he connects, he begins to understand that in the end he’ll be left with two choices: pull the prank of a lifetime to escape this place…or die trying.
The summary doesn’t really do this one justice. Sure, Matt starts out acting like a bratty fourteen year old, but he reads like a real YA as he quickly has to mature to acclimate to this dangerous setting. I thought he would skew a lot younger than he did, but I’m delighted to say he is a narrative voice that will appeal to YA readers in high school and beyond. He actually is a moral compass in the extreme world of Camp Friendship, and this seems to be what allows the best parts of him to balance out the juvenile glee he gets from causing mayhem. Secondly, this summary fails to really get the point across that Camp Friendship is no game, and the “pranks” they keep referencing? They go well beyond setting off a cherry bomb in a toilet. This place is deadly, and Matt is only surviving because of dumb luck (until he isn’t). Fast paced and absolutely full of action, weapons, and a unique take on camp activities (read: lessons on withstanding interrogation and torture), this book has little time for lulls or boredom. If you like high octane action and a little humor in your spy stories, this is definitely the book for you. I gave it five stars because it exceeded my expectations for this genre. It is also only $3.99 for your kindle ($0 if you have kindle unlimited). It is appropriate for grades 7+, but it does have a lot of violence.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.