Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1194
A great read for the summer--or any time!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Four very different high school girls plan to spend one month together in GIRLS OF JULY, and they each have very different goals for that month. Britta is fun, chatty, an actress--and sick of her mom's new boyfriend "joking" about her looks and body. She just wants to get away. Meredith is a hard-working future lawyer whose life revolves around test scores and college essays. She tells her mom that she's going to use her time to work on her college applications. Kate is beautiful, but reserved, and she never knows if people like her for who she is or because she's gorgeous and comes from a rich and powerful family. Her dad is sending her away so she won't have to deal with the fallout from a political scandal. Spider prefers to be left alone to her movie watching and movie making as she struggles with the pain that comes from a chronic disease. She's staying in her family's summer home with her grandmother, and she has reluctantly agreed to let three strangers come and live with them for a month.

Through the course of that month, the four young women move past the stereotypes into which they could easily fall, and they see each other and themselves from fresh perspectives. Their summer goals and relationships shift and grow, and they confront fear and challenges that their "real" lives would have never presented.

GIRLS OF JULY is both sweet and smart, and author Alex Flinn does an excellent job of writing a story that could have led to sad stereotypes and tired tropes. I loved all four girls in the book for different reasons, and Spider's grandmother, Ruthie, is a terrific character as well. The plot is a nice exploration of how we decide to define ourselves, and a lesson in shaking off others' expectations to truly embrace who and where you're meant to be.

I really enjoyed GIRLS OF JULY, and my thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Good Points
A wonderful cast of characters

Both sweet and smart
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