Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Published by Running Press Kids on April 1st 2014
ARC from Publisher
Purchase on AmazonThe Book Depository


Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Once in a while, I find a book that makes me all giddy and smiley-faced whenever I think about it, and I know, without a doubt, that I’ve found a book that deserves a spot on the list of ultimate favourites. Let’s just say that I absolutely adored Bethany Crandell’s debut novel, Summer On The Short Bus. Maybe it’s because of the snark or the humor or the realism of it. Or the swoony boys. All I know to be true is that it  made my belly hurt from laughing so hard and it made my heart overflow.

“I guess I’m a bigger mess than I realized.”
“Yeah, maybe you are,” he says, leaning close enough so I can see my reflection in his eyes. “But that’s when life starts getting good, right? When it’s messy.”

The main character, Cricket, won’t be winning the most loveable award anytime soon but she’s definitely in the running for most developed and will probably get a medal for most realistic. Cricket is self-absorbed and overindulged which is why she acts all nasty and is judgmental at first while forced to work as a counselor at Camp I Can, a place for special needs kids. That said, despite the fact that she was acting poorly, I still completely loved her sass! And the thing is, she does redeem herself. By the end of the book, I really admired her bluntness, her wit, and how she was flawed and how her voice was so authentic.

“Being uncomfortable around disabled people doesn’t make you a horrible person- it makes you honest. It makes you real.”

Like Cricket, Summer On The Short Bus’s supporting characters were also very notable and enjoyable to read. Zac Efron look-alike, Quinn, had already stolen my heart as soon as he was introduced. I’m totally not biased because I have a HUGE crush on Zac (maybe just a little)- Quinn really was a wonderful guy. He’s sweet, has a big heart and is totally charming! LOVE LOVE LOVE HIM. Aside from Quinn, I also really adored the campers, namely, Claire and Meredith, who felt very dear to me. They are awesome, I tell you, and I’m sure everyone else who reads Summer On The Short Bus will love both girls too. The whole bunch of people at Camp I Can was a peculiar mix and was just too funny for words.

“You’ve gotta learn to embrace your inner Efron.”

Hilarious and honest, this one is such a worthy read. It’s quick and fun to devour but it is not without essence. I loved it very much and I highly recommend buying it to support the author so we can get more books out of her. *winks* Seriously though, read this one. It’s perfect for summer and for whenever you wanna read a book that’s light, entertaining and heartwarming.

Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings on April 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I have been in the hilarious books mood lately so I really want to read this one! And that cover is just too cute. >< 5-star reviews are really persuasive… Awesome review, Hazel. :)

  2. Missie on April 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I cannot wait to read this one, looks so cute!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. Jessica R on April 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    This sounds so great! I like that Crandell made her main character not so likeable but with some entertaining qualities (I’m excited to read her snark/sass) and able to really grow over the course of the book. That growth is one of the best things that a character can do in a book, not necessarily be traditionally likeable. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m looking forward to getting to read this one!

  4. Kay @ It's a Book Life on April 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The cover grabbed my attention, the title had me intrigued, and now your review has me convinced to read it. I love snark and this just sounds like a great summer read.

  5. Francine Soleil on April 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I think I first heard about this book through A.G. Howard and it looked really cute. I didn’t really know what it was about until I read this. I think I would enjoy this book. I love books that make me laugh and swoon. I am curious about how the author portrayed the councilors and campers.

  6. Alexa S. on May 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I thought Summer on the Short Bus was pretty darn cute! It was charming, and irreverent, and pretty fun. I too, immediately liked Zac Efron-lookalike Quinn, because who DOESN’T want to meet a guy who looks like Zac (or preferably Zac himself!) in real life? Glad you liked it!

  7. Katie on March 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I got to see the author a while back at a book panel, and she was wonderful! She was so funny and kind, and I really want to read this book. I think I’m going to make this story one of my next books to read.
    Great review!

  8. Eli @ The Silver Words on May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I love this book so much. Even years after its release, I still come back to it and read it again. It’s completely underrated :( I love the character development and the ways that Cricket had to try to change. JUST…. THIS BOOK. There are so many great things about it, from the writing to the humor, and it’s one of my favorites. Great review!


  9. emma on December 25, 2019 at 4:13 am

    The Graveyard Book, definitely! You’re in for a treat with Skottie Young’s work; I was introduced to his stuff through the variant Marvel comics covers and am glad to see him branching out to illustrations in books and his own comic book serie

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