Summer camp- a time for making friends, crafts, activities….sabotage? Gregor Maravilla has won a stay at the coolest camp ever- Camp Save The World, a place for young activities. But when a celebrity camper and a huge prize get thrown into the mix, activism turns toxic. See why No Good Deed is your first Must Read for summer!
From the book flap:
|He’s not asking for much. All Gregor Maravilla wants to do is feed all of the starving children on the planet. So when he’s selected to join Camp Save the World, a special summer program for teenage activists from all over the country to champion their cause, Gregor’s sure he’s on the path to becoming Someone Great.
But then a prize is announced. It will be awarded at the end of summer to the activist who shows the most promise in their campaign. Gregor’s sure he has the prize in the bag, especially compared to some of the other campers’ campaigns. Like Eat Dirt, a preposterous campaign started by Ashley Woodstone, a famous young actor who most likely doesn’t even deserve to be at the camp. Everywhere Gregor goes, Ashley seems to show up ready to ruin things. Plus, the prize has an unforeseen side effect, turning a quiet summer into cutthroat warfare where campers stop focusing on their own campaigns and start sabotaging everyone else’s.
Overall: No Good Deed was originally titled ‘Eat Dirt’, which would also have been an appropriate title for Moldavsky’s summer camp tale. In No Good Deed, Gregor Maravilla wins a coveted spot at Camp Save The World, a camp for teen activists started by billionaire and activist superstar, Robert Drill.
Things don’t start off well for Gregor. His entire family- parents, kid sister, big brother to his grandpa- think Camp Save the World is a bad idea. And they don’t mind telling him so on the 2 hour car ride from Brooklyn to upstate New York. And as if that’s not a bad sign, Gregor sees a young man holding a picket sign which says DOWN WITH CAMP as they enter the campsite.
Despite the ominous beginnings, Gregor is determined that Camp Save the World will be full of “his kind of people”. Young people set upon the task of solving the world’s problem in 6 weeks of summer. But the people Gregor meets don’t exactly fit the idea of the enlightned campers he had in mind. There are his bunk-mates, one who looks like a male model, one who speaks no English, and one who is the classic alpha-male bully who promptly steal Gregor’s bed and throws his belongings out into the rain. Things are not off to a good start.
Camp life goes from bad to worse with the arrival of Ashley Woodstone, teen A-list actress, who has decided to attend the inaugural session of Camp Save the World for publicity. Gregor seems to be the only camper immune to Ashley’s celebrity charm. The more he tries to avoid her, the more their paths cross. But even worse than having Ashley Woodstone and her entourage as a distraction, the head of Camp decides to make activism a competitive sport. It’s announced that there will be a prize for the Camper who best embodies the Camp Save the World spirit- that camper will get a trip to Florida (Tampa!) and an internship with none other than Robert Drill himself! What Gregor thought was going to a summer surrounded by like-minds exchanging ideas on how to make the world a better place, deteriorates into a do-gooders’ Lord of the Flies.
While the prize for the winner has been made clear, how points are handed out remains a mystery. Like house points in Harry Potter, the counselors have the authority to distribute and revoke points as they see fit. But unlike McGonagall and Snape, none of the counselor are qualified to so much as teach a macramé class, let alone judge the deeds of the campers. And when weekly competitions are announced, things really go to hell. Instead of enjoying camp life, Gregor must focus on campaign life if he wants to win an internship with his idol.
Camp Save the World soon proves it’s concerned with anything but what its name implies. Instead of working together for a greater good, it’s every camper for themselves.
Judge a Book by its Cover: Reading ‘Camp Save The World’ I was struck by images of tall pines, diverse campers, yurts… but none of that is reflected in the cover image. The minimal black background has the impressions of hidden images but the overall effect is a little too subtle for me. I think ‘No Good Deed’ could use a more dynamic cover image.
Me Talk Pretty: Goldy manages to write Gregor with equal parts sarcasm and sincerity with genuine results. Gregor so wants Camp Save The World to be a place full of “his kind of people” that he never considers that even those who share his beliefs can still be snobbish and cruel.
Audiobook Narration: At the time of publication I could not get a sample of the audiobook. BUT Michael Crouch, one of my favorite readers, is narrating so I’m just gonna give it an advance 5-star audio review until I hear otherwise.
Body Count: Things move from the cerebral to the physical for a camp designed to foster philanthropic young minds. Let’s just say things get….intense.
The Chosen One: Gregor thinks he’s the chosen one. And in a way he is. He won one of only a handful of spots to the most coveted camp in the world. But so did every other kid at camp. It’s hard to feel “special” when you’re stuck in a camp full of kids just as equally special.
He Said/She Said: This summer read is full of quotables. Here are a few of my favs:
“What’s your name?” “My name is Gregor Maravilla.” “ I don’t mean your name, man. Your cause.”
Sometimes you have a choice, and sometimes a girl will smile at you like that , an you know that you never actually did.
It was too early in the morning for this fuckery.
Bizarre Love Triangle: It’s summer camp which means there definitely romance in the air.
Open tab/Last call: Funny and fast paced, ‘No Good Deed’ is all things you want in a summer read. So light the bonfire, we’ll supply the s’mores and contraband. And Goldy Moldavsky, if you ever want an internship in Tampa, we’ve got you covered!
No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky releases May 30, 2017 on Point, 345 pages.