The Camino Club
by Kevin Craig
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Pub Date 06 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 25 Jan 2021
Interlude Press, Interlude Press - Duet Books
A Note From the Publisher
"Kevin Craig's The Camino Club is an Intricately woven story of laughter and heartbreak, loss and love. In it, six troubled teens take a journey through the heart of Spain alongside their court-assigned counselors, finding their way through the issues that brought them together. Funny and poignant, this story of friendship and falling in love will remind you that our paths are not defined by our pasts, but the choices we make each day."
—Danika Stone, author of All the Feels, Internet Famous and Switchback
"A beautiful book filled with heart. THE CAMINO CLUB takes readers on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in Spain with six delinquent teens. Not only do they find themselves along the way, but they also discover they're all worthy of love. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. "
—Kip Wilson,YA author of White Rose
"Often hilarious and always heartfelt, THE CAMINO CLUB is an uplifting story about six mismatched teens on the journey of a lifetime, who learn that the only way to get over the past and headed for the future is to live in the moment."
— Tom Ryan, author of Keep This to Yourself and I Hope You're Listening
"A vivid Spanish countryside setting and captivating journey bring new depth to a classic architecture."
— Kirkus Reviews
* National publicity campaign with a focus on both online and traditional media
* Select author participation in bookstore events, conventions, podcasts, and festivals
* Distribution through IPG
* Publisher promotion at conventions and book festivals
* Cross-promotion with author
* Social networking campaign, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms
* Traditional and online advertising
Average rating from 20 members
The review will be posted on my blog - September 6, 2020
This is one of those times that you should judge a book by its cover because what unfolds in the pages is as beautiful as the artwork you see above! Kevin Craig has crafted a story of epic proportions that still manages to focus down on the most important things in life.
Diego, Manny, Shania, Claire, Greg, and Troy have all found themselves in trouble. They've also all been given the opportunity of a lifetime.. forego any official punishment and walk the Camino de Santiago with court-appointed chaperones. The teens have mixed reactions to beginning such a trek. Reactions vary from thinking it's the adventure of a lifetime to plotting an escape.
The teens or "pilgrims" begin their pilgrimage in Ponferadda, Spain - uncertain of themselves, leary of each other, and annoyed by their chipper counselor/guides. They must hike, meet as a group to debrief and bond, and keep an active journal.
This book is told through a few narrators and in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, the reader is treated to the mandatory journal entries that some of the pilgrims are writing. I loved the entries, as they gave me a chance to settle back into the mind of the character when there was a switch of POV. The journals also gave a kind of back-stage pass to some of the things that the teens were going through. Each of the characters has a very distinct voice and different energy so I found it easy to stick with each story.
There's a lot going on for the characters in this novel but the story doesn't ever escape Kevin Craig. They are a marvelous author and it's clear from the beginning of The Camino Club that they have a love both the trail and the characters they have created. It was an absolute delight to watch the growth and challenges that each character faced. The descriptions of the trail, the buildings, and the people the pilgrims meet on their journey are intriguing and delightful; it was almost possible to imagine I was walking along with them.
I was really thrilled to see that the characters displayed a wide range of emotions in the book. I find, sometimes, that YA characters seem almost stereotypical. I would definitely argue that's not the case of Craig's characters. Each of the teens is surprising in some way... perhaps they may seem "typical" on the surface but as they travel it's made clear that there is a lot going on for each of them.
They face some very real and timely issues as they walk together. For instance, Troy is teased about being gay... he's fine with it at first and then realizes that it has crossed over to the "meanness" that's he's come to associate with bullying. As hurt as he is by the words... he finds the courage to speak up about it. I loved that the teens in the story were often the ones who were having very real conversations with each other about what was and wasn't okay.
Ultimately, I would say this book is about finding your tribe as you find out more about who you are. There are losses along the way, bonds are forged and broken. Like the film The Breakfast Club which the characters discuss a few times, these teens will stay with you.
This book is great, All of the characters were fleshed out despite only having the points of view from the three main characters. This book made me cry because it was that emotional, I could almost feel Bastien's pain from losing his daughter and his wife and Diego's pain when he lost his grandmother. I found Claire's character in particular interesting because of how it relates to the other characters', out of everyone we meet in this book her story is the worst, Not worst as in her story is bad worst as in her story is easily one of the saddest. Claire's home life isn't the greatest, she's gay and as she says in the book she was out at home and school and then wasn't anymore. The reason she walks the trail is because she was sent to conversion therapy by her parents and when her parents convinced themselves that she needed to complete the program after the doctors said she could go home she went on a rampage and destroyed a lot of things. While on the trip she meets Troy who is also gay and befriends him, she confides in Troy that she wants to runaway while she's there and get lost in Europe because she doesn't want to go back to that, she doesn't want to go back to hiding who she is. I could talk about these characters forever and a day and still have more to say, the story is so big, so enticing I couldn't put my e-reader down because it felt like watching a movie when if you look away even for a second you miss something big.
Oh boy, this book just stole my heart and I’m not mad about it. This story follows a group of Canadian teen criminals as they walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain as payment for their crimes in place of juvie. Even though most of them don’t initially want to be there, what unfolds on this journey will stick with every one of them forever and will leave them forever changed.
I absolutely fell in love with these characters. There’s 6 teens that go on this life changing pilgrimage, but the story is told from the perspective of 3 of them. They each come from such different backgrounds and it was so fun to see friendship and romance grow amongst the group as they got to know each other more. I loved that all the characters were different ethnicities and sexualities, yet found common ground with each other and really bonded by the end. This book definitely gave me The Breakfast Club vibes and I’m glad the author included that in both the title and the plot of the book. I really felt like I walked the Camino with these characters and I was honestly sad to part with them at the end of the book. You bet your bottom I cried the entire last 1/4 of the book because I wasn’t ready to see this journey end. The bonds these characters created just warmed my heart and I wanted to read about their little found family forever.
So, I think it’s safe to say I loved this book. The 6 little criminals stole my heart as well as the people they met along the way and I’m so happy I read this one. I really can’t recommend it enough. Walking the Camino de Santiago is definitely going on my bucket list now!
*Thank you to Netgalley & Interlude Press for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review*
A group of teenager delinquents accepted a punishment of a walk/hike across Spain in exchange for their records being cleaned.
Modern day breakfast club? The book even mentions the similarity. I really liked this books. The characters are all tough and trying to prove themselves but along the way something changes. They stop thinking about themselves so much and start to think of others. This is a feel good book.
Fair warning, I am friends with Kevin. No, we’ve never met person to person, but via social media and MuseItUp Publishing we do know each other. No, I’ve never worked with Kevin.
Why this distinction? Simply put, this will be one of my raving reviews and it’s because Kevin has written a story and group of characters that I cannot forget. I have laughed with them; cried with them; yelled at their author (as much as you can yell through twitter, but still in a nice way, at least my intention was to be nice.) Kevin will put you through the emotional ringer with this story.
I know Kevin has done this trip himself, so he knows the area and experiences his characters are facing for their first time. I’ve seen his photos and can place them directly in this book…meaning he has the details painted in words for you. Now this is important in order to set the stage in your mind’s eye; however, it’s in the emotion where the story unfolds.
These teens aren’t your “bad” teens. They’re lost. They’re struggling to find their way, even to be seen. As a mom, my heart hurts. I want to gather them up close and protect them. This is one reason they will not be leaving me after I’ve closed the book and this review is posted.
I’ve been haunted by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, Kevin’s characters, and his writing. Going back to MuseItUp Publishing, the truth is, I have not read any of Kevin’s other books. I have heard their praise, but I just haven’t made the time. And for that I am sorry.
Maybe The Camino Club arrived when I was ready. Maybe timing just slapped me upside the head, finally. I don’t know, but I am thankful.
I knew kids like these characters, both growing up with them and a few of my own teen’s friends. Sure, breaking the law got them here, but if that’s what was needed for them to grow and be themselves, accept themselves and others, it was a small price. Yeah, it’s easy to say that when it’s a fictional price, but that’s what books are supposed to give us…hope.
I’m probably going off track here, but The Camino Club made me glad I stopped and read it. I’ve walked away from this book having been enveloped. Yeah, I’m going off on the whoo-hoo feeling. There’s not many books that have buried themselves in me like this one.
I have laughed. I have cried, boy have I cried. I’ve hurt and I’ve been lifted up. I’ve gone through this story remembering my teen years, living my current years, and as a mom. The age level on the Amazon site reads 12-99…too true.
Kevin and I are just a couple of years different in age, but we both know the movie connection…The Camino Club….The B…….. Club. Misfits uniting. I loved that movie. It brings fun memories and its message hits home. However, The Camino Club has claimed me.
I know, this review may come across as wishy-washy and overly gushing, that’s my fault for not being able to separate my reaction to these words and writing from a distance - a point of clarity and observation. Heck, when I opened this document I had intended to just set up the information and leave the writing till tomorrow, but…yeah, sometimes words really do just flow out of you.
So, what did my initial notes read like? Clear teen voices. Moves quickly, smoothly. Can feel their awe. Learning from others – see through their eyes. No, we are not alike. It’s okay to need help. Uhm…Chapter Eighteen….yeah, I yelled at Kevin. We’re all dweeps when we’re crushing.
MISSINGNESS!!!!! Saudade. BASTIEN! Kevin, did you meet a Bastien?
Discovery of belief in self and in others.
This book, yes, I bought the paperback after receiving the eBook, goes on my shelf to stay.
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