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Reviewed by Si Ning Yeoh for Readers' Favorite
Summer camp is for losers and nerds. Matt considers this a fact. That’s why he is none too pleased when his father decides to send him to Camp Friendship as a punishment for a prank gone terribly wrong. Resigning himself to a stultifying few weeks keeping his head down, Matt is first baffled, then thrilled, when the camp turns out to be more than it seems. In fact, Matt thinks that he may just be on the fast track to becoming a CIA spy! Sure, the land mines on the soccer field and the murderous bullies out for his blood are a little alarming, but that’s normal for a CIA training camp, isn’t it? No matter the truth, it’s clear that Matt will need all the luck and cunning that he has to navigate the treacherous politics of Camp Friendship in Disruption, Book One of Steven Whibley’s Cambridge Files.
If you enjoy young adult novels like Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy and Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, you’ll find Disruption absolutely, gloriously brilliant. Matt Cambridge is the perfect protagonist - naively bratty without being unlikable, unexpectedly remarkable without being unrealistic, full of guts and ambition and inventiveness. You can’t help but root for him, even as you howl in frustration when he bumbles into increasingly deadly encounters due to his ignorance. His interactions with the side characters are also incredibly entertaining; it’s hilarious to see how they are drawing wrong conclusions about Matt and are continuously impressed by his supposed brilliance, when in reality what Matt has going for him is sheer dumb luck. Whibley juggles all the mysteries surrounding Matt and Camp Friendship with deft ease; as I was reading, I kept on thinking, this is it, this is the moment when everything has to go belly up, but no, the story only reached and kept reaching thrilling new heights before tying up into a highly satisfying ending. In short, this is definitely one series I will be keeping my eye on!