PRIMAL ANIMALS by Julia Lynn Rubin 
Wednesday Books
Ages 14-18

Protect the girls

Arlee Gold is ready for a fresh start. After her father left and her grades started slipping, she and her mother have had a tough year. So when Arlee’s mom, Sam, signs her up to spend the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp from which Sam Gold relishes her summer memories—Arlee decides to try and leave her debilitating fear of spiders and insects behind and make the most of the summer that is guaranteed to “change her life.” 

Immediately, the girls in her cabin are awesome and welcoming. Especially Winnie, the girl who sleeps in the bunk above Arlee and is quickly becoming Arlee’s biggest crush. The days seem normal enough: test prep to start, swims in the lake, campfires with singalongs and s’mores. But when Arlee gets tapped to join a strange secret society, her hopes of finally fitting in and finding her people seem more possible than ever. That is, until her new “sisters” ask her to do something completely unthinkable, putting her life and the futures of her bunkmates at risk. 

This terrifying yet beautiful horror thriller shows that nothing and no one is ever what you expect. It may be set under the summer sunshine with breezy fresh air, but readers will get sucked into the darkness of the campers’ minds with danger at every turn. Julia Lynn Rubin’s gritty and lyrical writing creates a vivid aesthetic with lush descriptions of summer camp while still touching on themes of mental illness, emotional abuse, and violence. Arlee Gold is a deeply human protagonist on a relentless ride of perilous danger. This secret society / summer camp thriller is perfect for fans of THE TAKING OF JAKE LIVINGSTON, Courtney Summers, and Mindy McGinnis. 

Happy reading!
<3 Samantha

YA Resources:
2022 Books for Teens
Day’s YA archives
2022 Adult Books for Teens

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