Monday, November 12, 2018

FAT CAMP by James Sabata

FAT CAMP by James Sabata

Published July 9th 2018

(from the book description)

Since 1985, over 500 overweight teenagers have come to Camp Wasicu , looking to lose weight, gain self-confidence, and turn their lives around. Phillip McKracken arrives, weighing in at almost 400 pounds: but the baggage he carries from the past affects him much more deeply than the numbers of the scale. When a homicidal maniac hell-bent on revenge attacks, Phillip will be forced to either find the courage to save the people around him or fall victim to his own self doubt....and possibly a machete.


I have to admit that when I received this book I was not sure what to expect. The title FAT CAMP just made me think of a comedy. I was really expecting more Meatballs hi-jinks (yes I'm dating myself with this 1979 movie reference) than Friday The 13th scares. Thank goodness that I was completely wrong.

James Sabata has created a suspenseful, fast-paced coming-of-age story covered in blood and Snickers wrappers. FAT CAMP is the perfect homage to both 80's slasher movies (Friday The 13th, Sleepaway Camp) and the summer camp flicks that flooded the box office around that same time. (Little Darlings, Earnest Goes to Camp and so many more).

Our main character, Phil McKracken (I'll wait a few seconds for your giggles to stop) is a 400lb teenager suffering his way through a summer camp for overweight kids. Phil is not a happy camper. He just can't keep up with the exercise and activities and the small, supposedly healthy meals. Even though his best friend has come to Camp Wasicu with him, Phil has had enough. He is ready to leave and has set up a visit with his sister so that he can go home with her. But when things start to go horribly wrong, Phil will have to dig down deep to fight for his life and the fate of his friends.

James has included everything in the story. We have teen angst, bullying, lust, love, revenge, murder, and buckets of blood. The character development is spot on. I especially liked seeing Phil's progression from the first page to the last. And the character of Sarge is every summer camper's fear of a counselor. The story is non-stop from page one and you will have a hard time putting it down. The balance of comedy and horror is just right. It can be a hard job to not go too far in either direction, but James handles if perfectly. There are enough twists to keep you guessing until the end.

One great point that James gets across is that you don't have to be the perfect muscle bound hero. It is what's on the inside that makes the man, and in the end, the hero.

So pack your suitcase, stuff your pockets full of candy, and lets head off to camp.

You can purchase FAT CAMP in print and ebook on AMAZON.

To learn more about JAMES SABATA and is other works please visit his WEBSITE.

(please consider using the Amazon link above if you would like to purchase the book. Thanks)

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