Thursday, September 3, 2015

Book of the Month Club and a Review of Local Girls by Caroline Zancan

Title: Local Girls
Author: Caroline Zancan
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: June 30, 2015
Source: Book of the Month (check out my review of this service at the end of the book review)

What's the Story?:

From "Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina have been friends for most of their lives. The girls grew up together in a dead-end Florida town on the outskirts of Orlando, and the love and loyalty they have for one another have been their only constants. Now nineteen and restless, the girls spend empty summer days bouncing between unfulfilling jobs, the beach, and their favorite local bar, The Shamrock. It’s there that a chance encounter with a movie star on the last night of his life changes everything.

Passing through Orlando, Sam Decker comes to The Shamrock seeking anonymity, but finds Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina instead. Obsessed with celebrity magazines that allow them a taste of the better lives they might have had, the girls revel in his company. But the appearance of Lila, the estranged former member of the girls’ group, turns the focus to their shared history, bringing all their old antagonisms to the surface—Lila’s defection to Orlando’s country club school when her father came into some money, and the strange, enchanting boy she brought into their circle, who fundamentally altered dynamics that had been in play for years. By the night’s end, the escalation of these long-buried issues forces them to see one another as the women they are now instead of the girls they used to be.

With an uncanny eye for the raw edges of what it means to be a girl and a heartfelt sense of the intensity of early friendship, Local Girls is a look at both the profound role celebrity plays in our culture, and how the people we know as girls end up changing the course of our lives."

My Two Cents:

"Local Girls" is the story of three very close friends who live in their small Florida town after graduating from high school. This is the town that they've grown up where they know everyone and that's not always a good thing. In a lot of ways these girls have not outgrown that sort of pettiness and cattiness that affect so many friendships from high school.

I never really had any friendships like this but I had a lot of friends who went through some of the same things these girls go through where there's a perceived issue and no one ever wants to talk about it. This is what happens to Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina and their once friend Lila. In one night these girls will finally confront what broke their friendship apart and realize that maybe they need to get out of their small town and experience something more. This was a book that I have gotten through the Book-of-the-Month club, which all talk about a little bit later in this post. This book has gotten a lot of buzz this summer so I was excited to read it

One night in their small local bar, the girls meet a celebrity, Sam. Sam is one of the hottest actors in Hollywood and the girls can't believe that they came he came to their small backwater town. This is also the same night where they figure out what went wrong with their friendship with Lila. The issue is really a misunderstanding overall and therefore the arc seemed a bit melodramatic to me. Maggie is telling this story as an adult, which means that some of the things that she talks about don't seem to ring true. It was hard to feel for these girls.

The book only barely covers one night and it's stuck in a place where you have to put yourself in the mindset of the characters as what they're dealing with seems so like not really a big deal in the scheme of things. Overall, I like the writing style of the book but struggled to understand fully where the characters were coming from.

Book of the Month:

Book of the Month is a new website that officially launches this month. This service puts book lovers in contact with great books hand-picked by fantastically bookish judges to include the likes of Liberty Hardy from Book Riot. For just $12.99 per month, you receive a new book and access to a discussion board. I was excited to receive a trial membership for three months to try out the service (this did not affect my review)!

The books come in pretty packages with a note about why the book was chosen!

So, how does Book of the Month work? At the beginning of the month, you get to pick a book from the judges' selections. If you want more than one book, it's an additional $12.99, which is still a great deal for a new hardcover IMHO.

In August, I received "Local Girls." I could not choose between the books in September so I am getting Alice Hoffman's "The Marriage of Opposites" and Ben Mezrich's "Once Upon a Time in Russia." Look for my reviews of those books later on!

 Overall, I have enjoyed the service so far. This would definitely be a great gift for your favorite book lover (hint, hint, friends and family!!!).  There is not much on the discussion boards right now as the service is just getting started but I am hopeful that the boards will become more active as the site gets rolling!

Here's what people are saying:

Rachel Manwill, Editorial Manager of Book of the Month said:

On the re-launch:
“Book of the Month has been an iconic club for nearly 90 years. We’ve worked hard to honor the legacy of the club, while re-introducing it to better serve today’s readers.”
What you hope users will enjoy:
“We hope that we can provide members with a fun and inexpensive way to read a great new book each month, while continuing to support the careers of aspiring and established authors.”

Have you tried Book of the Month? 


  1. I thin that's the struggle with books tat take place over, say, one night. You don't see the character development as clearly.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  2. I look at a book like this as if it is an introduction to a series. Not for me, but thanks for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental


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