Girl Off The Grid by Jillian Dodd and Kenzie Harp is a mother and daughter collaboration about a young college student, Camille Caldwell taking a step out of her comfort zone a little unwittingly.
Camille is a modern fashion-conscious college student who is looking for her big break. She is making a name for herself as a fashion blogger with a YouTube channel, Effortlessly Camille, that teaches other young women some of her unique style techniques. Camille is interested in an internship and gets a call from a top fashion magazine to write an article after going on an eco-trip to Costa Rica. Since they are also sending a photographer, Camille doesn’t focus on the eco part of the trip and plans on a lot of fashion shoots. Why wouldn’t she think that since it is her YouTube presence that got her in the door?
Adam Lloyd is the young photographer who is selected to go on the trip with Camille. He is given the job based on the recommendation of his father who is a famous photographer, Oliver Lloyd. Oliver shared Adam’s portfolio with the magazine editor, Janet Hall. Adam doesn’t want this gig, but his father explains that it could be just the exposure he needs to begin to make his name in the big leagues.
Adam and Camille couldn’t be more different. Adam has spent most of his life a loner traveling with his parents. They go on photo shoots with his dad and anthropology expeditions with his mom. Camille is a New York City girl. She has a very limited experience outside of the City. Adam loves nature. Camille loves fashion and material things. No doubt they will butt heads.
Girl Off The Grid is a cute story that brings two very different young people together to learn that they can relate to a lot of the same things, especially the environment. At the end of the book, the authors mention that they selected this age because of the perspective and willingness of the young to see the world uniquely at this age.
While I understand the reasoning, Camille seems a little too immature not so much for the excursion and the learning experience but the romance and an unchaperoned trip. Truthfully, I expected Janet to have a hidden agenda. Also, I wanted to feel some more chemistry between Adam and Camille. There is a lot of time dancing around their relationship and not moving it forward.
It is evident that this mother-daughter writing team is environmentally aware and have a passion for the cause. I enjoyed the geographical and wildlife information about the Costa Rica and Panama landscape more than the romance part of the story. In fact, the romance often feels like an afterthought or forced at times.
Overall, Girl Off The Grid is a book with a real environmental message and a sweet, young love story. Some of the profits from the book will go to the sea turtle conservatory so in addition to a reading adventure you are helping a good cause. There is a lot of useful information about Costa Rica and the Central American terrain to glean from the read too.