Authors: Wendy Loggia
Tags: #Fiction - Young Adult
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itchie Torres's forehead pressed against the window of her mom's van, willing her to drive faster. Pine trees, rest stops, more pine trees â¦ the trip seemed like it was taking forever! Then, suddenly, they came around a curve in the road, and Mitchie let out a scream.
“There's the sign! Turn! Turn!” she told her mom excitedly as the wooden Camp Rock marker came into view. “I can't believe we're finally here.” Mitchie had been dreaming about being back at the prestigious musical camp all year longâand finally she was!
She searched her bag frantically for her phone. “I told Shane I'd text him when we were almost there,” Mitchie said.
Connie, Mitchie's mom and Camp Rock's cook extraordinaire, looked over at her. “Mitchie â¦” she began, before breaking off.
Mitchie stopped her search. “What?” she asked.
Her mom sighed. “Nothing.”
Mitchie gave her mom a questioning look. “Well, it's obviously something,” she said, having noticed the caution in her mom's voice. “You and subtleânot very good friends.”
Connie hesitated. “I know you and Shane talk all the time, but you haven't actually seen this boy in almost a year,” she told her daughter gently. “I don't want you to be too disappointed if he can't come this summer.”
“Mom!” Mitchie felt exasperated. She knew her mom was just trying to protect her, but she was positive that Shane Gray would be there. Sure, he was the famous lead singer of Connect 3, but he'd also gotten his start at Camp Rock. After all, his uncle Brown Cesario was the camp's director. Mitchie and Shane had been e-mailing and texting each other all year. Mitchie had no doubt; Shane would definitely be back for another summer.
“I just want you to have fun and focus on your music,” Connie finished as they approached the camp's driveway.
Mitchie took a deep breath. “First, this is going to be the best summer ever. And second, nothing could ever make me lose myâ” She stopped midsentence to gape out the window. “What's that?”
Across the road was a brand-new flashing neon sign that read camp star. It had a silhouette of a girl singing into a microphone, surrounded by musical notes. It pointed in the direction opposite Camp Rock.
Mitchie couldn't believe it. Did someone open another music camp?
verything at Camp Rock was the same as Mitchie remembered. Bright sunshine, rustic cabins with cozy porches, the fresh smell of pine in the air, the beach, and the beautiful lake.
She hoisted her duffel bag out of the van. “Seriously, why would somebody open another music camp right across the lake?” she asked, shaking her head. That didn't make any sense. Everyone knew that Camp Rock was the only camp for aspiring rock stars.
Connie shrugged. “Who knows? But I don't think it's anything to worry about. Maybe â¦”
But Mitchie wasn't listening. She'd just spotted one of the greatest things about Camp Rockâher best friend, Caitlyn Gellar!
Squealing, Mitchie ran over to hug her. “I was afraid we'd be late, but it doesn't look like too many people are here yet,” she said.
Caitlyn grinned. She was a little taller, maybe, but other than that she looked exactly the same. “You know what this means,” Caitlyn said, grabbing her own luggage and pulling Mitchie toward their old cabin. “Since we're the first ones here, we totally get our choice of bunk.”
Caitlyn and Mitchie swung open the cabin door â¦ and stared. Apparently they weren't the first ones there. The cabin was already covered with clothes, shoes, toiletries, and tons of other stuff. And there were three people unpacking âElla Pador, Peggy “Dupree” Warburton, and camp diva Tess Tyler.
Mitchie and Caitlyn raced inside. The five girls hadn't been together since last summer, and they were excited to be bunkmates this year. Everyone began hugging and screaming and talking all at once.
“Peggy! How was the song? Did you love it?” Mitchie asked her friend, remembering an e-mail Peggy had sent about a song she recorded last month. “I'm sure you were fantastic!”
Peggy was jumping up and down. “It was so fabulous. I got to record, and they gave me the tape!”
“Ahhh, look at that dress!” Ella exclaimed to Mitchie, stepping back to drink in her fashion choice. “You are so cute!”
Mitchie laughed, then motioned toward Caitlyn. “She won, like, this huge dance competition,” she proudly told the girls as Caitlyn tried to shush her. “I'll send you the link. She was so amazing!”
The girls were too busy catching up to notice Tess standing off to the side with her arms crossed. “I see that no one wants to know about my life,” Tess said, flipping her blond hair over her shoulder. Nothing's changed, Mitchie thought, suppressing a laugh. Tess is still as dramatic as ever!
“What don't we know?” Caitlyn asked. “You update your status, like, every two seconds.”
Peggy nodded. “You just tweeted me that Mitchie and Caitlyn are at the cabin door. I'm sitting right next to you.”
“Okay, fine,” Tess said breezily. “But I have a question. And it's for Mitchie.”
Knowing Tess, Mitchie wasn't sure that was a good thing. Tess was a great performerâher mother was rock legend T.J. Tylerâand she was very competitive. “For me?” Mitchie said warily.
Tess smirked. “For you.” Then she broke into a wide smile. “What's going on with you and Shane?”
Mitchie felt herself blushing as her friends gathered around her to hear the latest news. “Nothing is going on,” she told them, embarrassed to be the center of attention.
“Total lie,” Caitlyn declared.
But Mitchie shook her head. “You're all obsessed. But seriously, unless we actually get to spend some time together, nothing is ever going to happen.”
And they would only get to see each other if Shane actually returned to Camp Rock.
He would be there â¦ wouldn't he?
hane Gray was the lead singer of one of the hottest bands on the planet. But right now? He was sweaty, greasy, and completely out of breath. He and his brothers, Nate and Jason, were on their way to Camp Rock when their tour bus got a flat tire.
“One more crank and I think we're good to go,” Shane said, putting all his weight into the lug wrench in his hand. He pushed the tire. Nothing. So he pulled. Still nothing. “That's probably fine,” he said, feeling less confident than he sounded.
His brothers stood alongside him, their arms crossed. Their bus driver, Oliver, had collapsed, exhausted, on a nearby rock.
“Can we please just wait for the tow truck?” Nate asked, giving the tire a skeptical look. “Oliver tried and he couldn't do it.”
Shane struggled to get the wrench off the bolt. “That's because Oliver wasn't properly motivated,” he said, huffing. “He's not trying to get to Camp Rock before Mitchie.”
Shane had met Mitchie last summer at Camp Rock. At first, he had fallen in love with her voice. When he met Mitchie, he hadn't even realized she was the girl behind the voice. They'd become good friends. And at the end of campâafter much dramaâthey'd become boyfriend and girlfriend. They'd stayed in touch all year, and Shane couldn't wait to see her.
“Maybe because Oliver doesn't even know Mitchie,” Jason pointed out.
Nate walked over, and to Shane's surprise, easily took the wrench off the bolt.
“Thank you,” Shane said, relieved that they could finally be on their way again. He and the guys walked toward the front of the bus as Oliver started to lower the jack.
“It's going to be so cool!” Shane said excitedly. “I've got it all planned. She's going to come in, and I'll just be sitting there, and I'll go, âHey, Mitchie.' She's going to be so surprised.”
Nate looked at him. “âHey, Mitchie.' That's your big line?”
Shane was confident. “Trust me, everything's cool when I do it. I'm just looking forward to actually, finally, getting to spend a little time with her.”
“Oh, wait!” Jason blurted out, reaching in his pocket. “I almost forgot. Here.” He handed Shane a bolt.
“Is this from the tire?” Shane asked, staring at it.
“Yeah, I saw it on the ground, and I put it in my pocket so we wouldn't lose it,” Jason said. “It looks kind of important.”
“You don't think you could have mentioned this before?” Shane asked, slightly worried. He didn't know anything about auto mechanics, but the bolt had to have been there for a reason.
“How could I mention it before now if I didn't remember it until now?” Jason asked, shrugging.
Shane glanced over to the tire as Oliver pulled out the jack. Everything was fine. “It's okay. One bolt's not going to matter,” Shane said, trying to sound convincing.
All of a sudden, the tire fell off. Then the back corner of the tour bus crashed to the ground, making a sickening thud.
“Oh, no!” Shane cried, staring in horror. “Please, noâ¦”
His worst fears were realized as the entire bus tipped over. Kaboom! The band watched in shock as the bus flipped again and again, rolling down the hill. Finally, with one more deafening boom, it came to a stop.
“See?” Jason said, breaking the silence. “I knew the bolt was important.”
nside Mitchie's cabin, the girls were busy unpacking. Pillows, sweatshirts, hair accessoriesâit was like a giant sleepover. Mitchie reached into her bag, pulled out her well-worn songbook, and tossed it on her bed. Last summer she'd improved her singing and dancing skills, but her main passion had beenâand still wasâsongwriting.
“I sure hope you have something we can do at Opening Jam in there,” Peggy said. “'Cause if not, we've got nothing.”
Mitchie bit her lip, feeling a bit shy about her work. “Kind of, maybe. I don't know. I just started working on something.”
She flipped to a page and began to sing some lines she'd written a few days ago. Then she stopped. “That's as far as I got,” she said. “I have some more lyrics, but I haven't worked it all out yet.”
Ella perched on her bed. “Maybe we could just sing that first part over and over again.”
Before Mitchie could respond she heard a guitar playing outside, followed by drumsticks tapping out a beat on the cabin wall.
“That's it!” Mitchie cried, hopping up.
“Really?” Ella said, happily surprised. “Nobody ever agrees with me.”
But Mitchie wasn't answering Ella. Instead, she'd realized that the beat she was hearing belonged to two of her best friends from last summer, Barron James and Sander Loya!
She rushed outside and threw her arms around their shoulders. “I knew that was you guys!”
Mitchie looked at her friends' smiling faces and grinned. It felt awesome to be back at Camp Rock, back at a place where she could live and breathe music with people who felt the same way she did.