Gridley Girls: A Novel

Gridley Girls: A Novel
Age Range
Release Date
June 21, 2016
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Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward. Meg Monahan 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 “The Group” in their hometown of Gridley, California. But in ninth grade, their lives were changed forever. Loss, lies, and secrets separated them, but could not break their bonds of friendship. Thirty years later, Meg and Anne reminisce about those days―dealing with parents, school, boys, sex, love, and betrayal. 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. In her debut novel, based on true events, Meredith First tells a timeless story about the bonds of friendship, loss, and betrayal―and the forgiveness that is within everyone. Can anyone really keep a secret forever?

Editor review

1 review
An Ode to the 1970s
Overall rating
Writing Style
GRIDLEY GIRLS by Meredith First follows Meg Monahan and her friends as they navigate 9th grade during the 1978-79 school year. Scenes from the past are juxtaposed with those showing grown-up Meg et al. as they all manage life as forty-somethings, and there are some similarities between the dilemmas faced by the girls as teens and those they deal with as adults.

GRIDLEY GIRLS reads more like a memoir than your typical YA novel (there are even pictures of the author and her friends in the back of the book), and the exploits of Meg and her friends in the 70s may be more of a draw to adults who grew up in that time than to the book’s intended teen audience. In fact, the appeal of the book lies in its nostalgic look at the past—that’s what kept me reading—and I’m sure there are many readers who will identify with one or more of the characters.

The cover art for the book is great, and there are some compelling aspects to the story. This is the first of a series, and it will be interesting to see what the second one brings.
Good Points
A nostalgic look at the 70s

Appealing to people who went to high school in the 70s and 80s
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