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Local Girls

2.88  ·  Rating details ·  853 ratings  ·  127 reviews
The first person to break your heart isn’t always your boyfriend. Sometimes it’s your best friend.

Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina have been friends for most of their lives. The girls grew up together in a dead-end Florida town on the outskirts of Orlando, and the love and loyalty they have for one another have been their only constants. Now nineteen and restless, the girls spen
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Riverhead Books
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Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
We were burnouts in a burnout town. It took half the length of a Sam Decker movie to get to Orlando from where we lived, and even the city was a four-year-old's dream, not a nineteen-year-old's. The high school that we had gone to was not the type whose graduates went on to Ivy Leagues, or first- or second- or even third-tier liberal arts colleges. There was a community college in town where some of our classmates floundered and delayed having to look for jobs that paid by the hour, and the vale ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Chosen from Book of the Month club.

To me, this was a clear case of story not matching style. Zancan's prose is lyrical, long, and meditative. But the story of Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina isn't like that at all. Sure, a few small town girls deserve to have their story told, but there's such a disconnect between their story and the way they talk and act. It just feels like the wrong person is telling it.

At times, Zancan makes you breathless with her narrative, which is pretty amazing. And the looks
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it
‘We loved one another purely, without the complications teenage girls so often bring to everything. But I wouldn’t be telling it right if I didn’t also tell you that it felt, by that night, that a sense of uneasy anticipation filled any room the three of us were in.’

Local Girls centers around the lives of three girls that have become reluctantly resigned to a monotonous life in their small hometown that sits on the outskirts of Orlando, Florida. Their jobs are ultimately unsatisfying and are o
Oct 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
An interesting premise: 3 friends - 19 year old girls hanging out in a bar in the outskirts of Orlando meet a celebrity, Sam Decker, who has come to Orlando and just happened into this dumpy bar. Every girl's dream come true. Which of these "facts" do you find too hard to swallow: that the owner cares so little about his livelihood that he always serves these girls alcohol, knowing full well that they are 2 years under the legal limit; that a movie star comes into a dumpy little hole in the wall ...more
Book Riot Community
Ah, best friends. Best friends can talk without talking, they've got your back, and they really get you. That's why they're also the ones that can hurt you the most. Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina are the best of friends, spending their summer after graduation using their fake IDs to drink at the local dive bar. A random encounter with a celebrity and the return of a former friend over the course of an evening will kick their friendship out of its planned trajectory, and test the limits of loyalty. L ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5, probably. I have a lot of really strong feelings about this book.
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book centers around three girls on their usual hang out during a Saturday night at a bar, except that night happens to outweigh the others in particular, due to the fact that they bumped into their all-time favorite celebrity Sam Decker, changing their lives completely.
I went into this book blind despite knowing that the book follows three girls and their lives during the summer, and it was quite a delight. It took a twist on my expectations (which is a good thing) and I flew through the b
Jul 06, 2015 marked it as attempted  ·  review of another edition
So this wasn't in my reading plan at all. But since I watched the Amy Winehouse documentary, I haven't been able to read or watch or listen to anything demanding or emotionally complex, and I really didn't have the energy to read any more of any of the books I already had on the go, and so I decided to give a YA novel a whirl.

(I'm only really adding this to my shelves at all because I'm convinced it's the result of the author using Lana Del Rey's 'This Is What Makes Us Girls' as a writing prompt
Kelly Hager
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is a bit of a slow burn. We know something bad happens and that something bad HAS happened, but a lot of those things---as well as why---are kept secret from the reader for most of the book.

The book goes back and forth between the girls' night with movie star Sam Decker and to sometime in the past, explaining why there are only three friends now instead of four. (Note: most of the book is in the past.)

The pacing is very deliberate (some would stay slow) and readers should stay patient.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Literary New Adult fiction about a group of girls in a working-class Florida neighborhood. It takes place the year after they graduate high school - none of them have gone to college, and they are stuck in their town and defiant about it, gathering at a favorite local bar most nights. Written in second person, this book is mostly about small group friendship dynamics and moving on as you become an adult. The structure is interesting - taking place over a single night when a mega-celebrity actor ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
The girls in this book, aside from Nina, were often hard for me to distinguish between. I think sometimes the author tried too hard to sound "cool" and it ended up taking away from the individual voices of her characters because they ended up all sounding exactly the same. Overall though, it was a somewhat enjoyable read and glimpse into young female friendship and what it's like for us girls when we find ourselves at the crossroads of being little girls and diving headfirst into womanhood.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
tedious, one-dimensional, unlikeable characters. AND: orlando is not a beach town. nor is it 20 minutes from Florida State Univ.
May 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook
Horrible book in my opinion. Absolutely nothing happens in this story. I kept reading hoping that something was going to make sense. It didn't.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Mostly picked this up because of a main character's name and the setting (though nothing like what I experienced growing up in Orlando), and stayed because I'm fascinated by meditations on female friendships and their evolution. This book disappointed stayed pretty flat the whole way through, and nothing really exciting happens, even as it flashed back and forth to unravel the minor mysteries of (1) how Sam Decker died and (2) what happened to break the foursome apart. While unexciting, the char ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, library
It wasn't a bad book, and it was an interesting read. I picked it up as a why not? and it wasn't horrible. I couldn't identify with any of the characters and I had a hard time really liking the characters because of all the shit they did. I also had trouble fully believing they were all really friends. I could believe it but not the the extent that the book was trying to push on us.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in2017
This was one of my all time favourite styles of books - I just wish it was a more engaging plot
Megan Strang
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm having trouble putting my finger on what I didn't like about this book. I liked the premise, but think it faltered a little in execution. I sometimes got lost in the bounces back and forth. I also liked the prose, but sometimes it was a little too much in terms of simple plot facilitation. Drawn out sentences that made me have to go back and re-read something to understand, placing more importance on events than what I was expecting (and thus having to re-read), etc.

I also would've liked to
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
*I received this book from Goodreads First Reads Giveaways*

Such an interesting read following the story of four small town girls who are best friends, or at least that is what they call themselves. It starts with them in a local bar, when a big time celebrity heart throb comes in and shares a few drinks and stories with them. There are flashbacks to how the girl met and the experiences they have had that make them friends, as well as flash forwards to what happens after that night in the bar.

Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
A pretty, reflective read that felt a little like home.

I was excited for this book because it's set in a town where I spent a good chunk of my life AND two of the characters share names with myself and a close friend.

This is probably the 10th non-linear narrative I've read recently, and probably my favorite. I really enjoyed Zancan's prose. It's beautiful, thoughtful, and poignant. I enjoyed the way she dissected these long standing female friendships/sisterhoods- in a way that made me feel so c
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was fortunate enough to receive early access to this title through the Penguin/Random House First to Read program--so thank you, PRH for that!

Unfortunately, though I'm thankful to have been selected, this one just wasn't for me. Though books that delve into the nature of female friendships (their evolution but also how they might fall apart) are usually titles that catch my interest, I couldn't bring myself to care about these characters, who seem somewhat one-dimensional and shallow. The sub
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This is an uneven book: four childhood friends remain bound together until adolescence and then slowly their union falls apart. The author is able to set the scene, time and mood of their corner of Florida perfectly. Unfortunately the four girls remain difficult to distinguish for large portions of the story; our narrator is described more by omission than intention. This would make a great movie, because the story is so moody and evocative. And because the stories within stories are so well tol ...more
Caren ~ the misfit geek
I did not like this book at all. I didn’t like any of the characters and it was poorly organized. I didn’t like the long rambling chapters that bounced from one story to another. I really didn’t enjoy the writing either. It mainly consisted of this mind-numbingly boring commentary that just went on and on. Even the active dialog was unremarkable. I’m sure there is an audience that will appreciate this book but I am not that audience.

I received an ARC of this book from Penguin’s First to Read pro
Jun 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Really not for me. I kept waiting for some payoff to what seemed like buildup but it never came. I didn't understand or care about any of the girls and I was over halfway through before I even knew the name of the narrator. Everything was melodramatic and unrealistic to me and that's a massive turn off. There are some good ideas and thoughts, but those ended up being overexplained or overemphasized and took away any and all poignancy.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some great writing, needed lots of editing - could have been a much tighter book. It was hard to distinguish the main characters from each other, more sketches than real people. The movie star, Decker, was a total stereotype. I think this author is worth keeping an eye on - in the midst of this lackluster story is some lovely turn of phrase.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I won't say it's a classic, but it was a nice little read about how a girl can love and hate her best friends. I also enjoyed the descriptions of my home state.
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I loved this. Soooo much. Really got to me in that way I loved and needed.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I have no idea what it was about this book that I enjoyed as much as I did, but there was certainly something about Zancan's story that made it difficult to turn away.
susan pribil

Pretentious, unlikable characters. It reads like a preteen fantasy. Not sure why I finished it, except I kept waiting for something to happen.
Gerri Leen
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
So the whole time I was enjoying the way this was written, I was also thinking "People don't talk like this." It's a basic disconnect that runs through the whole book. Our narrator comes off as self-aware, erudite, etc but in reality, she's nothing like that. So her inner monologue is at odds with her actual personality/education level/etc. It's a fascinating story (well, two of them really) but it just seems like someone else is telling it. I read it fast but I'm not sure I enjoyed it.

On the ot
Samantha Kukuljan
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The story of local girls is set in Florida.
About three girls from Florida who have been friends forever.
A fictional Brad Pitt has arrived for drinks at a crappy bar the girls go to at night in Florida.
Fictional Brad Pitt wants to know all about the girls lives in Florida.
The girls are entering adulthood and don't want be stuck in Florida forever.

Did I mention the book was set in Florida?

Basically, the book feels like a really long episode of TV where a character explains to another character a
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