In this sequel to Geography Club (2003), 16-year-old Russel, now openly gay and tired of being the freak at school, tries to escape as a counselor in a rural summer camp with his two best friends. The camp kids are 10-year-old burn survivors, scarred and disfigured, and Russel identifies with them. They also have fun together, once he stops seeing them as "all nervous and noble." But Russel fights with his friends, especially after discovering that he and bisexual Min are attracted to the same gorgeous counselor guy--who tries to have unprotected sex with each of them. There's too much metaphor and message, including the stories Russel tells the kids about raging fires, hidden beauty, and developing toughness. What readers will like best is the honest, tender, funny, first-person narrative that brings close what it's like to have a crush and hate
a friend. In one unforgettable scene, some teenagers call the scarred kids freaks, and to his lasting shame, Russel says nothing.
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