Secrets simmer in the summer heat in Spotswood’s (The Radical Element, 2018, etc.) beach read.
The four redheaded Garrett girls are the well-known orphans of Remington Hollow, Maryland. In a town so small that everyone knows everyone, struggles are kept hidden below the surface. Nineteen-year-old eldest sister Des feels left behind, struggling with self-imposed obligations to care for her younger siblings and the family legacy. Next in line is Bea, 18, who has just graduated from high school and realizes that the life she planned for herself is no longer the life she wants. Rising junior Kat has a flare for the dramatic but begins to learn that a life lived authentically might be more fulfilling. Youngest sister Vi, 15, has been living as an out lesbian but hopes this summer may bring the young love she has yet to experience outside of her YA romances—especially when she develops a crush on beautiful Latina Cece. Narrative focus shifts between chapters to highlight the perspectives of individual sisters, with notes of Little Women and a dash of Gilmore Girls. Frequent references to contemporary young adult literature, especially in bookish Vi’s chapters, require an audience steeped in the genre, while references to current pop culture limit the time range of the appeal. Though the characters are endearing and the plot entertaining, the fleeting trendiness makes this a one-summer wonder.
Enjoy it while it’s fresh. (Romance. 14-18)