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Summer Camp Secrets: Book 12
On Thin Ice
by Melissa J. Morgan
Tori’s holding a glam ski weekend but she’s only allowed to invite five of her Lakeview friends. She’s desperate not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but has no idea how to handle it. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, the Camp Lakeview reunion is scheduled for the same weekend. The girls will be divided by three thousand miles – can they survive a rift that big?Tori’s holding a glam ski weekend but she’s only allowed to invite five of her Lakeview friends. She’s desperate not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but has no idea how to handle it. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, the Camp Lakeview reunion is scheduled for the same weekend. The girls will be divided by three thousand miles – can they survive a rift that big?
“a frothy, fun-packed read”
School Librarian Journal
“I highly recommend these books, the characters are bright and quirky, and the storyline is easy to follow. 4.5 stars”
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Posted by: Tori
Subject: Sunny SoCali
Hiya Lakeview gal pals,
It’s January and I’m staring out the window at the bright LA sunshine, wishing you were all here with me to enjoy it! Don’t hate me, but it’s twenty degrees out today. I heard about the big storm that just blew through NJ and NY, so I figured I’d check in with you to make sure you weren’t buried under three metres of snow. Believe it or not, I wish I got to see snow more often out here. So, what’s new with you guys? Write back ASAP. I miss you all!
Tori sighed, took one more glance out the window, and reluctantly fixed her gaze on her computer, where her e-mail was up and running. Her Camp Lakeview friends would say that she was so lucky if they saw this beautiful weather. In truth, Tori felt anything but lucky today.
The cursor on the screen blinked at her, waiting, but the words Tori knew she had to write just wouldn’t come. She was supposed to be sending out an E-vite for the ski weekend her parents had told her she could have up in Lake Tahoe over Presidents’ Day weekend, but instead, she was turning into the Queen of Procrastination.
The list of the five names she’d chosen was sitting next to her keyboard, but the longer she looked at it, the more horrible it seemed. Jenna, Alyssa, Nat, Grace and Sarah – the only girls she was going to invite on the trip. She’d tried to pick the five girls she knew the best from Camp Lakeview, but also the five girls who would match up the best for the long weekend. Nat and Alyssa were inseparable, and Tori’d gotten along great with Jenna, Nat and Grace all summer long. On top of that, Jenna was loads of fun, always pulling pranks and kidding around. And Sarah was Miss Athletic, but not as obsessed about it as Alex, so Tori figured she’d catch on to skiing right away and would be able to help the other girls learn.
Some of the other Lakeview girls wouldn’t have worked out nearly as well for the trip. Chelsea, for instance, was a total downer, always whining and bossing everyone else around. Karen was sweet, but she was too quiet. And Priya spent so much time with her best friend, Jordan, that Tori felt uncomfortable asking her to come skiing without him. But what about Brynn? And Valerie? And Alex? Tori wasn’t as close to them, but they’d all been nice to her over the summer. And Alex and Jenna were great friends, and so were Brynn and Grace. How could she ask Jenna without asking Alex? Or Grace without Brynn? Every time she thought she’d picked the right five girls, heaps of doubt crowded into her brain. There was no way she could possibly send out this E-vite.
Tori gave her computer one final glare and headed for the gym, where she knew her parents were playing their daily game of squash.
Maybe there was still the teeny, tiniest chance that her parents would change their minds. It was worth one last shot.
Her dad had had the glass-enclosed gym built as a rooftop addition to their house. Tori’s parents were into juice bars and fitness, but Tori had only used the gym a handful of times (and that was when she had her friends over for Pilates). When she got to the top of the gym stairs, she found her parents prepping for the sauna.
“How was your game?” Tori asked.
Her mom grinned. “I’m reigning champion.”
“And I’m the resident sulker,” her dad added.
Tori laughed. “That’s okay, Dad. You can still beat me any day.”
“Coming from someone who never plays, I’m not sure that’s a compliment.” Her dad smiled. “And to what do we owe this unexpected visit? You never come up here, sweetie. What’s going on?”
Tori took a deep breath and dived right in. “I wanted to talk to you about the ski trip.”
She turned on her best doe-eyed, pleading daughter face. “Isn’t there any way I can invite more of my friends? I know you said only five girls tops, but we can rent another apartment so more can come. I’ll even help pay for it with my savings.”
Her mom shook her head. “The money in your savings is for college. You know that.”
Tori chanced another look at her dad, but he wasn’t budging either. “Sweetheart, we’ve been over this before. Our apartment only sleeps seven comfortably, and two girls are already going to have to share a bed.”
“They can bring sleeping bags,” Tori started, “and extra pillows. Or sleep on the couch with blankets. The couch is big and—”
Her dad held up his hand before she could say anything else. “We agreed that we’d pay for the lift tickets, ski rentals and food for five of your friends. I’m sorry, Tori, but the decision’s final.”
Tori bit her lip. “But I can’t choose between my friends like this. It’s just not fair.”
Her mom kissed her forehead. “Honey, I know it’s a tough decision for you, but if your friends are as nice as you say they are, they’re going to understand. And tough choices like this are all part of growing up.”
“And if all else fails,” her dad added, “you can blame this on your evil parents. We’ll take the fall.”
“It’s not that simple,” Tori said, but she could see that her parents had made up their minds. She was stuck with their decision, awful as it was. “I’m going to the beach with Michael this afternoon,” she said, sighing as she turned away. “I’ll have my cellphone if you need me.”
Tori had met Michael a few months ago, and for a while, they’d been like a regular Romeo and Juliet. Michael was the son of one of Tori’s dad’s clients, so at first her dad had forbidden her to date him. Eventually, though, her dad came around, and now Tori could see Michael whenever she wanted, without all the Shakespearean drama (although sneaking around had been kind of fun).
But now, even spending the afternoon with him didn’t do anything to improve Tori’s mood. She sat in the warm sand, watching Michael skim the waves on his surfboard, but all she could think about was the ski trip. She barely even noticed when Michael sat down next to her, until he nudged her playfully, shaking a few drops of salty water onto her.
“Still zoning out about your friends, huh?” he said.
Tori nodded. “I can’t cancel the whole trip just because I can’t invite everyone. But the girls I’m not inviting are going to hate me for ever.”
“Hey, nobody could hate you.” He smiled. “It’s just not possible. But maybe your other friends could pay their own way? If they rented an apartment on their own, your parents couldn’t say much, could they?”
“No,” Tori said, “but that’ll never happen. The girls that I’m inviting already have to pay for their plane tickets out here, and that can get pretty pricey. There’s no way everyone else could afford plane tickets, food, lift tickets, rentals and an apartment. Even if they split it, nobody our age has that kind of money.”
“So what are you going to tell the girls you’re not inviting?” Michael asked. “I mean, you can’t just keep it a secret for the next month, can you?”
A knot the size of a watermelon tightened in Tori’s stomach. The thought had crossed her mind. A secret wouldn’t be as bad as lying, would it? Tori sighed and rubbed her forehead. This whole thing was giving her one massive headache. “I don’t know what I’m going to tell them. But no matter what, it won’t be fun. We might as well cancel our movie plans for tomorrow, because I’ll be busy getting killed by my former friends.”
Michael laughed. “There won’t be any killing. Yelling, maybe, but no killing.
“Thanks for that vote of confidence,” Tori said, laughing a little. “Maybe I’ll just change my name and move out of the country if that happens.”
“But not before the movie tomorrow,” said Michael.
“Not one second before.” Tori smiled.
“And in the meantime,” Michael said, “how about coming for a little water ride with me?” He nodded to his surfboard.
“The Pacific Ocean in January?” Tori asked. “No thanks. You have a wetsuit. I don’t.”
“A walk, then?” Michael tried again, holding out his hand.
“Now that I can handle.” Tori grinned.
That night, after she’d said goodbye to Michael, Tori sat back down at her computer to fill out the E-vite for the trip. She’d felt better after the beach, but now her heart was pounding with fear all over again. As she started typing, she knew one thing for certain. If making decisions like this was part of “growing up”, as her mom had said, then she didn’t want any part of it. No way.
“Sarah!” Abby yelled from the bottom of the stairs. “Are you coming sometime in the next millennium, or am I going to have to go to the batting cages without you?”
Sarah giggled as she pulled her light brown hair into a ponytail and grabbed her softball bat and glove from her bedroom closet. Abby could be soooo impatient sometimes, especially when sports were involved. Like right now, for example. Even though softball season wouldn’t start for another three and a half months, and there was no chance of practising outside in the bitter New England snows they’d been having, Abby insisted that they go to the indoor batting cages every Sunday afternoon to keep from getting rusty.
Sarah stuck her head out the bedroom door and saw Abby pacing at the bottom of the stairs. “I’m almost ready!” she said. “Why don’t you come up here for a minute? I promised Alex and Brynn I’d fill them in on my date with David last night.” David was the first guy Sarah had ever really liked. In the past, she’d usually wanted to beat up boys instead of hold their hands, but that had changed over the summer when she met David. He lived in Vermont, so she didn’t get to see him very often, but his dad had come to Boston on a business trip this weekend and brought David along with him. It had been great to see him, and she couldn’t help wanting to spill the details. “How about I check my e-mail superfast right now,” Sarah called down to Abby, “and then I’ll tell the girls that the date went great, and that I’ll fill them in on the whole story later. Deal?”
Abby gave Sarah a very exaggerated frown. “All right,” she said finally, climbing the stairs. “As long as I don’t have to hear about how he held your hand in the movie theatre for the whole show. You’ve told me ten times already. And we get to stay at the batting cages for an extra fifteen minutes.”
Sarah grinned. “You got it.”
Sarah and Abby went to the same middle school in Stowbridge, a tiny town just outside of Boston. Last summer at Lakeview was the first time Sarah had really gotten to know Abby, and even though they’d gotten off to a rocky start, by the end of camp they were great friends.
Sarah knew how important their softball training was to Abby, so she made sure to keep her e-mail to the girls short, promising details later. But just as she was about to disconnect, a new message popped up:
Ski Weekend! You’re Invited!
When: Presidents’ Day weekend, February 16–19
Where: Lake Tahoe
It’s time to hit the slopes, Lakeview Ladies!
My parents have a fab apartment that’s right off the lifts at Squaw Valley, and they’re footing the bill for food, lift tickets, ski rentals and lessons. All you need to do is buy your plane ticket, and you’re set. I can’t wait to see you!
Will you attend? ____Yes _____No
Sarah practically screamed with excitement, a huge smile spreading across her face. Going skiing with Abby and all the other girls from Camp Lakeview would be such a blast. She’d never been skiing before, and even though she and Abby had thrown around the idea of going up to Vermont for a weekend, she’d heard that East Coast skiing couldn’t even come close to West Coast skiing. The West Coast had dibs on sunshiny weather, perfect powder and gorgeous snowcapped mountains. This ski trip had her name written all over it.
“Why do you look like you just won the lottery?” Abby asked, peering at Sarah’s ecstatic face.
“Oh, wait till you hear this,” Sarah started, ready to share the good news. Abby would be totally psyched, and the two of them could start planning for the trip together.
But just as she was about to read the whole E-vite out loud, a nagging sensation made Sarah skim over the invite list. And there it was, plain as day: Jenna, Alyssa, Nat, Grace and Sarah. No Abby, and no Alex, Brynn, Priya, or Valerie, either. Could that be a mistake? Maybe the E-vite got screwed up and left some of the girls off the list. She’d have to check with Tori. But in the meantime, what was she going to tell Abby?
“Earth to Sarah,” Abby said, laughing and waving a hand in front of Sarah’s face. “So? What’s the big news?”
“Um,” Sarah stalled, clicking the E-vite closed and quickly skimming through her other e-mails for another piece of news. There was an e-mail from Nat, and as soon as Sarah read it, she knew it was perfect to share with Abby.
“Guess what?” she said, trying to match the enthusiastic tone she’d had before. “Nat’s up in Connecticut right now visiting her cousins, and she’s going to see Simon today! She hasn’t seen him in a few months.”
“That’s it?” Abby said, deflated. “That’s the big news? Yeesh, I thought you were going to tell me something super-exciting.”
“Well, it’s exciting for Nat,” Sarah said, feeling completely stupid. “It’s great, you know, that she’s getting to see him and everything.”
Abby grinned and shook her head. “Yeah, it is. I’m happy for her. But now can we go hit some balls?”
“Sure,” Sarah said, slipping on her coat and gloves. As they walked to the neighbourhood rec centre, Sarah reminded herself to e-mail Tori to get the scoop on the trip later. She was sure this was all a mix-up, and that Abby and the other girls would be invited as soon as it was all straightened out. But in the meantime, a persistent guilt settled down inside her for a nice, long stay. Not because she was on the E-vite list and Abby wasn’t, but because she’d just lied to one of her very best friends for the first time ever. And no matter how many ways she rationalized it, it didn’t feel right at all.
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