This debut novel is a gem. It captures and holds the sweet essence of those fiercely intense relationships that often blossom during the enforced intimacy of sharing rooms and assignments. It handles literature, friendship, heartbreak, and joy with equal tenderness. … This is a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with characters so detailed readers feel that they know them and dialogue so natural, readers feel as though they said it.
Gloria’s upbeat attitude, effectively depicted through her often funny, too-quickly-judgmental voice and the ineffable enthusiasm of the campers she encounters, offers a satisfying, thoughtful take on growing up. In a promising debut, Combs crafts a strong, memorable female character and a broad collection of fully fleshed-out secondary players who share a magical summer.
Beautifully drawn characters populate this affecting first novel, each of them real enough to be hug-worthy. It is a story of friendships more than of young love (though a blushing crush certainly fits in nicely), and when a gay character comes out to her friends, it is handled without gasps or fanfare. There is much to be savored in this book for those who want a story about real life and real friendship.
Combs’s debut introduces a vivid, self-aware protagonist at a significant juncture in her life. … Infused with romance and intellectual energy, Combs’s story eloquently captures the euphoria and transformation that can arise from an intense period of personal introspection. Gloria’s Whitmanesque quest for visceral experience is exciting and inspiring, as is her ability to recognize the significance of quiet moments as they unfold.
Earnest… Ambitious… The author’s palpable affection for her state and the sweet-as-Kentucky-pie passages guarantee that Breakfast Served Anytime will have solid regional appeal.
—School Library Journal
Combs’ language has moments of poignancy, illustrating a sensitive understanding of the inner and outer worlds of gifted adolescents and ultimately providing … readers with a heartening message about leaving a home one loves and moving into the larger world of adulthood.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books