Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Mona and Kendra have been local island girls and best friends for years. But all that changes as Mona boards the ferry to the mainland at the end of the summer going into their junior year. Mona's mom has just married one of the richest summer island men, Malcolm. And with that new marriage comes Mona's move to the mainland (Boston) and her start at a private school. So Kendra is left alone for the year without her best friend or Mona's twin brother, Henry.
The story starts out with Kendra awaiting Mona's return to the island for the summer with her family. Though this time Mona will be living in Malcolm's house, one of the largest on the island. Kendra doesn't anticipate that things will be different now that Mona is one of the "summer people." But not long after Mona's arrival, Kendra notices that their conversation isn't as easy as it used to be. And Kendra had arranged a surprise for Mona, getting them both summer jobs at the new bed and breakfast, The Willow. But Mona doesn't have to work this summer. In fact, she doesn't have to do anything at all. The line between the summer people and the local people seems even wider this year for Kendra.
On the first day of work for Kendra, minus Mona, the chef in the kitchen requires extra ingredients, so Kendra is sent to the local store. While browsing the baking aisle, Kendra encounters Mona's brother, Henry. Surprised to see him up so early, the two of them start chatting. Soon, a routine develops. Shelby, the Willow chef, is constantly forgetting vital ingredients and, on a daily basis, Kendra goes to the local store, only to find Henry waiting for her. Henry gets up at 4am every day to go fishing. After accepting the invitation to go fishing with Henry on her day off, soon the two because inseparable.
Mona's Boston friends are also on the island and Kendra finds herself wanting Mona to choose between her and them. She feels Mona's changed far too much in the past year, and she doesn't recognize her anymore. Mona's friends all find Henry attractive, yet it's Kendra that has his attention. Kendra doesn't want Henry to tell Mona about the two of them, for fear that Mona will think Kendra is only using Henry. At Malcom's birthday party, everything blows up and Kendra runs off, leaving both Mona and Henry behind.
As the summer unfolds, Kendra comes to realize that maybe Mona isn't the only one that has changed. Everyone around Kendra seems to have moved on with their lives and left Kendra behind. Kendra has to realize that things do change and that life does go on, even if you don't want it to.
LOCAL GIRLS is a great summer read for anyone. It definitely made me wish that I was able to abandon everything for an entire summer and be one of the summer people on the island!