When CeCe gets dumped by her boyfriend, Ethan, soon after she loses her virginity to him, purportedly because of his religious-based guilt, she follows him to a Christian summer camp to win him back.
Her best friend, Paul, who attended the camp in his Christian days (before his pastor father left his mom for the church secretary), goes along to support her. When Ethan turns out to be dating one of the other campers, CeCe pretends Paul is actually her boyfriend, though she still wants Ethan back. Told from CeCe’s first-person, non-Christian point of view, the story starts out frothy, with condom water balloons and plot manipulations to get CeCe and her new white (everyone seems to be white, a missed opportunity) counselor-in-training friends to the point where they’re discussing sex more than Jesus. CeCe’s infatuation with Ethan doesn’t make sense at first, and the Christian camp setting doesn’t fully ring true, until suddenly Paul asks CeCe, “Did you say no before you said yes?” Ethan tells the entire camp that CeCe deceived and seduced him, and from there the novel blossoms—yes, blossoms—into a thoughtful story of consent, sexual education, friendship, and honest communication. For all the talk about Christ, there isn’t much religion here, but there’s a lot of truth and some genuine goodness, as CeCe and her friends learn that their virginity, or lack thereof, doesn’t define them.
Recommended for teens no matter what they believe.(Fiction. 14-18)