City girls go back to nature, where they bond with locals, let go of stress, and gain new perspectives.
The adventure begins with a post on social media. When Spider’s family wants to sell their summer home in the Adirondacks to ease their financial worries, she convinces her grandmother to allow her to list their extra rooms for rent. Three Southern girls respond—each in dire need of relaxation, each escaping something different, and each needing a summer to regain her footing in life. Drama queen Britta, whose mother can’t seem to see what a creep her new boyfriend is, comes up with the plan. Her classmate Meredith, an honor student with an intensely ambitious mother, follows along. Kate, a wealthy debutante whose father is in trouble with the law, shows up at his suggestion. Four very different young women break down barriers and forge new relationships: By challenging who they think they can befriend, they see themselves anew and are permanently changed. Flinn (Beheld, 2017, etc.) knows her teenage characters: their cultural interests, their pop references, their witticisms and speech patterns. However, the novel covers a lot of territory without offering readers earth-shattering emotion or insights. The setting is evocative, but the characters lack a rich internal life that would move them beyond types. Whiteness is assumed for all apart from Cuban-American Britta.
A relaxing and romantic summer tale that would have benefitted from greater depth. (Fiction. 13-18)