Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs
Published: April 8, 2014 by Candlewick Press
Source: Gifted by the author - thank you!
A coming-of-age debut evokes the bittersweet joys and pangs of finding independence in one unforgettable summer away at "geek camp."
When Gloria sets out to spend the summer before her senior year at a camp for gifted and talented students, she doesn’t know quite what to expect. Fresh from the heartache of losing her grandmother and missing her best friend, Gloria resolves to make the best of her new circumstances.
But some things are proving to be more challenging than she expected. Like the series of mysterious clues left by a certain Professor X before he even shows up to teach his class, Secrets of the Written Word. Or the very sweet, but very conservative, roommate whose coal-industry family champions mountaintop removal. Not to mention the obnoxious Mason, who dresses like the Mad Hatter and immediately gets on Gloria’s nerves — but somehow won’t escape her thoughts.
Beautifully told by debut author Sarah Combs, this honest and touching story of growing up is imbued with the serene atmosphere of Kentucky’s natural landscape.[goodreads]
This exquisite debut novel, written by the very talented Sarah Combs, captured my heart when I least expected it. I believe books are brought into our lives for a purpose; their stories reaching us by surprise, yet lingering with a sudden calm. BREAKFAST SERVED ANYTIME was given to me, as a thank you for promoting books and authors through my blog, yet I feel as though I'm the one filled with gratitude after experiencing such a stunning debut.
Gloria is spending her summer before senior year away at Geek Camp, a summer camp for the Gifted & Talented set against the back drop of a Kentucky college campus. She's a girl who has kept mostly to herself, except for the close relationship she has with her dad who has been her single parent, and that of her best friend Carol, who she plans to run away to NYC with as soon as they graduate. She is also grieving the loss of her grandmother, who she refers to as GoGo, a woman she so desperately misses and thinks of quite often.
During her summer at Geek Camp, Gloria is introduced to many new firsts. She learns to not judge people by her first impression of them, rather to allow herself time to get to know them. In the process she befriends two girls in the dormitory that normally would fall way outside her spectrum. Through the process of expanding her mind, and her heart, she discovers a true friendship in both of these girls. But it's the relationships she forms with her classmates, the only four students including herself signed up for Secrets of the Written Word, that ultimately push Gloria into discovering new-found friendships and in the process discovering her own self.
Combs's writing brings forth a sense of nostalgia from my own teenage years, during a time of wondering what my life is meant to be and which path I should take in order to discover it. Through Gloria's witty banter among her friends, and her own personal dialogue within herself, this novel delivers an unforgettable voice. The beauty of Kentucky, rich with its landscape and uniqueness in society, is portrayed page after page. I felt a strong connection to the characters, the writing, and the overall feel that this book possesses. It's a novel one might gather first impressions about based on the cover, title, or something else that caught their eye. But it's also a story that deserves a closer look, a message within its pages with the prospect to deliver a memorable reading experience.
Thank you, Sarah Combs, for providing me with such a memorable gift. Your words will always hold a special place in my heart.