Title: Local Girls
Author: Jenny O'Connell
Publication date: June 24, 2008
Kendra and Mona are best friends, local girls who spend their summers catering to rich tourists and the rest of the year chafing against small-town life. Then Mona's mom marries one of the island's rich summer visitors, and Mona joins the world of the Boston elite, leaving Kendra and Martha's Vineyard behind. When Mona returns the following summer, everything is different. Now Mona spends her days sunbathing with her private-school friends, while Kendra works at The Willow Inn -- a job she and Mona once hoped to do together.
Unlike his sister, Mona's twin brother Henry hasn't changed. He's spending his summer the way he always has: with long, quiet hours fishing. Early mornings before work become special for Kendra as she starts sharing them with Henry, hoping he can help her figure Mona out. Then Kendra hatches a plan to prove she's Mona's one true friend. She'll uncover the identity of the twins' birth father, a question that has always obsessed Mona. And so she sets out to unravel the seventeen-year-old mystery of the summer boy who charmed Mona's mother. But are some secrets better off staying buried?
When I first picked this up, I was afraid that based on the title and the cover, it would turn out to be one of those novels that has little substance and you read when you have absolutely nothing better to read. Luckily, I was wrong. Instead, it's one of those books that has its ups and downs, but in the end leaves you with a good feeling. It was a great summer read about new and old friendships, family, and finding love. I was just as interested in finding out what would happen between Kendra and Mona as I was in seeing what would happen with Kendra and Henry's relationship. The characters were simple yet lovable, and there was something about Henry that made me wish I had a boy just like him. Overall, I really liked this book. It was simple, but also left me thinking a lot about finding love and the fact that no matter what happens, true friends will always find a way to stay together. If you're looking for another summer read to add to your pile before the summer's over, I'd suggest this one.
Overall grade: B