Lunaside by J.L. Douglas

Lunaside by J.L. Douglas
Publisher: Torquere Press/ Prizm Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, GLBT
Length: Full Length (193 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Moira Connell just wants to drink tea, draw pictures, and hang out with Andrea, her girlfriend. But that’s before her mother accuses her of wanting to spend her time making out with girls, rather than planning which universities to court in senior year.

A job as an art counselor at Lunaside, the summer camp down the road from Moira’s house, is supposed to help Moira prove she isn’t procrastinating, and that she isn’t ‘girl-crazy’ either. Then the eccentric owner of Lunaside ropes her into starring in the camp’s new web series before she can say ‘on-screen panic attack.’ But it’s exactly the kind of huge responsibility Moira’s mother thinks Moira is allergic to, so she jumps in anyway.

Of course, the fact that Andrea is directing the web series, combined with Moira’s sudden, mutual attraction to new counselor Millie, might not help her case. And the way her best friend keeps trying to set her up with Millie certainly isn’t helping, well, anything.

And amidst all of this, she’s still got an art camp to run. On her own. But how hard could that be?

One summer can change everything. Moira’s hoping hers doesn’t end in a worst-case-scenario disaster.

Sometimes crushes develop at the most inopportune times. If only Moira knew how to handle hers without breaking anyone’s heart.

The character development in this story was strong. I was especially intrigued to see how Moira grew over the course of the summer. She didn’t seem to be the kind of person who embraced change easily, so watching her step so far outside of her comfort zone was fascinating. While I don’t know if the author is planning to write a sequel, I’d be interested in seeing what happens to this character next.

A great deal of time was spent bouncing around in the main character’s mind. While I enjoyed getting to know her as well as I did, I would have liked to see more time spent pushing the plot forward. The actual amount of action in it could have been compressed into a short story even though the characters could have provided a lot of fodder for more conflicts. Exploring even a small number of these possibilities would have given the plot the fuel it needed to move more quickly.

Love triangles are never an easy thing to deal with. What made this particular one even tougher, though, is that both of the main character’s love interests are so captivating. Andrea and Millie had completely different personalities, but they both brought out parts of Moira’s personality that I hadn’t noticed right away.

Lunaside reminded me of what it’s like to have a long, carefree summer. It’s a good choice for anyone who is looking forward to their next one.

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