A good coming of age story set in a small California town in the 1970’s. Fun and witty story based on the author’s childhood, mainly freshman year of high school. Story had relatable and real characters. I loved all the pop culture references as I recognized almost all from my own childhood (puff paint, Archie comic books, Shaun Cassidy, baby blue station wagon, just to name a few). I did find myself skimming through some parts and sometimes the transition from the 14-year-old to the current day adult was confusing and had to be reread. Overall it was an enjoyable read.

I was provided a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward.

Meg Monahan was born to be a secret keeper. From the moment she became a peer counselor in high school, Meg has been keeping her friend’s secrets – from sordid family drama to their sex lives – that she never wanted to know. Flash forward to adulthood when Meg is a recruiter for the world’s hippest (and most paranoid) high-tech company – and now Meg is a professional secret keeper.

When sudden tragedy strikes before Meg hosts the wedding of her childhood BFF, Anne Calzaretta, the women are forced to face their past – and their secrets – in order to move on to their future.

In 1978, Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya were such close friends, they were known as “The Group” in their hometown of Gridley, California. But in ninth grade, their lives were changed forever. Loss, lies, and secrets separated them, but could not break their bonds of friendship.

Thirty years later, Meg and Anne reminisce about those days—dealing with parents, school, boys, sex, love, and betrayal. Anne remembers their freshman year as an easier time, but Meg, still feeling guilty about a betrayal of Anne’s trust, is haunted. Even now, Meg is keeping a secret she’s not prepared to face, let alone share.

In her debut novel, based on true events, Meredith First tells a timeless story about the bonds of friendship, loss, and betrayal—and the forgiveness that is within everyone.

Can anyone really keep a secret forever?

Available June 21, 2016


Meredith First left an insanely great recruiting career with Apple, Inc., to write the books that were literally haunting her dreams—books for anyone who survived high school with a little help from friends. After studying abroad at the University of London, she received a B.A. in Broadcasting from Oregon State University. Through the donation of 10% of her profits from Gridley Girls, she hopes to help people who struggle with similar issues that she experienced. She lives with her family in Minneapolis and Sacramento and is hard at work on book two of the Gridley Girls series, due out in 2016.


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