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Man Camp    by Adrienne Brodeur order for
Man Camp
by Adrienne Brodeur
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

There's fat camp, band camp, and scout camp - but man camp is a new one. Lucy Stone and her best friend Martha McKenna are sick of dating males who are hopelessly devoid of courtship skills. Most of the men they meet are also severely lacking in manly skills involved in changing tires, hanging shelves, chopping wood, and simply holding doors open. That is until Lucy and Martha start a camp with the help of their chivalrous friend Cooper, who owns a dairy farm. By day the men do hard labor, by night they watch movies filled with charm and romance.

Adrienne Brodeur offers up a hilarious picture of dating and the battles between the sexes in Man Camp. Biologist Lucy's comments about mating in the animal kingdom are sprinkled throughout the pages of the book, as she and her friend wonder how the human male became so lacking in the arts of attracting mates. But when Lucy lures her wimpy boyfriend to their man camp - under the guise of his acting as a counselor - and Martha falls head over heels for Cooper, things start to get a bit confusing. Soon the guys prove themselves in unexpected ways, while Lucy and Martha uncover some of their own truths about love and life.

Man Camp is Brodeur's debut as a writer. She offers up a fun, lighthearted, and thought provoking book. Whether the reader is chuckling at Lucy's comparison of men in bars to different animals, or imagining men trying to change a tire for the first time on the side of a West Virginia mountain road, the book moves at a rollicking pace. As it progresses smoothly towards its conclusion, it's wonderful to see both men and women realizing their own shortcomings.

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