History-nerd extraordinaire Libby Kelting returns for another summer of costumed drama.
Having spent the previous summer in colonial garb (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, 2012), Libby doesn’t find it too hard to agree to spend the months before college on campaign with Civil War re-enactors, in partnership with her gay, designer BFF, Dev. They will be sutlers to the Confederate armies (who have a way better sense of style than the Yankees). Libby will model the gowns; Dev will take orders and sew them up when they get home; they will make buckets of dough. The only problem? Libby will have to spend the summer far from her boyfriend, aspiring journalist Garrett. Once in the South, Libby and Dev meet their sponsors, a canny businesswoman and her adorable, history-loving son, Beau, an officer with the regiment they’re attached to—and whose family is bedeviled by a ghost. Hijinks and romantic anxiety ensue. The merriment is compounded by a troop of overeager Boy Scouts, an evil land developer and the arrival of Garrett, who uses the excuse of the ghost to extend his internship with the Boston Globe to the battlefields of the Deep South. The ghost plot feels tired and Scooby-Doo–ish—in fact, Scooby is explicitly invoked, joining a host of other pop-culture references that range from Glee to Twilight.
It’s all harmless summer fun, but it has the feeling of the retread that it is; perhaps next year Libby should get a different sort of summer job. (Fiction. 12 & up)