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Fat Camp    by Deborah Blumenthal order for
Fat Camp
by Deborah Blumenthal
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

There's an old party ice breaker question about asking people what their last meal on Earth would be. Cam Phillips' choice is a bacon avocado Swiss cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, salad with blue cheese dressing, and a cherry Coke. She won't be on Earth as she knows it for eight weeks. Cam has a summer of camp to look forward to. But she can forget bonfires, s'mores, and first kisses. Camp Calliope is a weight loss camp; Cam dubs it a prison camp for the overweight, complete with strenuous exercise, and controlled portions.

In Deborah Blumenthal's book Fat Camp, the only thing super-sized about Cam's summer is the set of issues on her plate. She quickly teams up with her bunkmates, but soon finds out that everyone has their problems. Cam also misses her best friend, who's at tennis camp - mingling with gorgeous guys, to make matters worse. However, Cam does discover something droolworthy at camp - Jesse, who also has issues with food and his parents, just like her.

Fat Camp brings self esteem issues to a head for Cam, just as Blumenthal intends. An award-winning journalist and nutritionist, she tackles the issues of body image and health concerns with sympathy and humor. Through Cam, Blumenthal spreads smart diet messages in stage whispers. In the end though, it is Cam who makes the decisions, as she not only learns about herself, but also about others as well. For anyone who has ever been on a diet or just attempted to eat better and exercise, this book will be as addictive as Death by Chocolate cake.

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