Gridley Girls by Meredith First

Gridley Girls by Meredith FirstGridley Girls by Meredith First
Published by Sparkpress on June 21st 2016
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Lesbian
Pages: 400
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Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward. Meg Monahan feels like she was born to be a secret keeper. From the moment she became a peer counselor in high school, Meg has been keeping her friends secrets – from sordid family drama to their sex lives – that she never wanted to know. Flash forward to adulthood when Meg is a recruiter for the world’s hippest (and most paranoid) high-tech company – and now Meg is a professional secret keeper. When sudden tragedy strikes before Meg hosts the wedding of her childhood BFF, Anne Calzaretta, the women are forced to face their past – and their secrets – in order to move on to their future. In 1978, Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya were such close friends, they were known as

In case you don’t know me or can’t figure it out, let me start this book review by telling you this: My name is Debi Lantzer, and I am a product of the 1970’s in small town USA.  That’s right folks, I made it through the other side of that era and I’m still alive to talk about it! I loved the ’70’s too – well I guess I should say I loved what I remember of it anyway!

Anyway, back to the Gridley Girls….. this book is about a group of four high school girls, Meg, Anne, Jennifer and Tonya, all from Gridley, California as learn the coming of age lessons of being a teen in a small rural town, while at the same time sharing the challenges of adulthood.

This book walks through life with these young girls as they go through life experiencing boys and sexuality, while finding their own identities despite their parents’ expectations.  In ninth grade, the girls’ lives change forever.  Loss, lies and secrets separate them, but does not break the bonds of their friendship.  They really learn who they can count on as friends.

Thirty years later, Meg and Anne are reminiscing about their youth. Anne remembers their freshman year as an easier time, but Meg, still feeling guilty about a betrayal of Anne’s trust, is haunted. Even now, Meg is keeping a secret she’s not prepared to face, let alone share. This novel is a timeless story about the bonds of friendship and forgiveness. 

I won’t lie – I loved all of the pop culture references to the 70’s and I especially loved how the back of the book includes a fun 70’s pop reference guide with descriptions relating to current day (for those not already familiar with the 70’s).  I also really enjoyed the photos in this book and often find that they are a extra plus to novels as they make it more personal.

Meredith Meredith First left an insanely great recruiting career with Apple, Inc., to write books for anyone who survived high school with a little help from friends. After studying abroad at the University of London, she received a B.A. in Communications/Broadcasting from Oregon State University.

Through her books and her website, www.MeredithFirst.com, and the donation of 10% of all profits of Gridley Girls to children’s charities, she hopes to help young people who struggle with similar issues that she experienced. She lives with her family in Minneapolis and Sacramento and is hard at work on Gridley Girls Reunited, book two in the Gridley Girls series.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.

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