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Local Girls: A Novel by Caroline Zancan

Local Girls: A Novel

by Caroline Zancan

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This is the story of a group of "local girls" that meet a movie star at a local hangout in their town. The author makes no secret that this is the last life in his life in the star's life. Through the course of just one evening we learn about a series of ups and downs between the "local girls" through flashbacks of a series of practical jokes that leads one of their group to a year term in prison. This is a neatly constructed book with well developed characters and a fast pace. A very nice debut novel.. ( )
  muddyboy | Nov 8, 2015 |
In my opinion, Local Girls by Caroline Zancan misses the mark. I think that the characters and their group dynamic could have easily and more effectively been illustrated in a short story or novella. Too many subtleties were overstated and/or drawn-out. Adding in Sam Decker, the Hollywood heartthrob, really could have been the knock-out punch to what could've been an excellent dark story. ( )
  MsNick | Jul 28, 2015 |
The summer night their lives changed forever Maggie, Lindsey and Nina had gone to the Shamrock bar in their boring town outside of Orlando Florida to torture Lila and her group of insignificant friends. Before they could get properly started on the insults they had planned for the night they met Sam Decker, the actor they loved in every one of his movies and who they drooled over in magazines.

Read the rest of the reviews on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/local-girls-caroline-zancan/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Jul 1, 2015 |
I received access to this galley for free through the First to Read program. The premise and setting of this book are why I chose it. I enjoy novels about the enriching yet complicated nature of female friendships. Florida, specifically the outskirts of Orlando one summer, is the setting.

Maggie, one of a trio of friends who grew up together, is the narrator. The other two are Lindsey and Nina. One night at The Shamrock, their favorite bar, they run into Lila. She is the defector and former fourth member of their group. This chance encounter leads to flashbacks of their past together.

Celebrity magazines are both an obsession and an escape for them. Sam Decker, a movie star, in Orlando for an appearance, stops by The Shamrock. Not surprisingly, he is recognized by the group and they spend the evening drinking together.

The timeline shifted frequently, making it confusing and hard to follow. Max, a pivotal character and Lila's friend, was introduced. Sal, the owner of The Shamrock, has a minor role. The family members of the girls are only given mentions. The plot dragged and rambled in spots and sped up in others.

I found it difficult to get into this novel. I forced myself to finish it. I had hoped for a dramatic, satisfying ending, only to be disappointed. Compared to other books, I received through First to Read, this one was not nearly as compelling. ( )
  kulmona | Jun 1, 2015 |
‘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 only kept as a necessity since the majority of their time is spent at the local bar named The Shamrock. When they walked into the bar Saturday night, a bar that smelled of cheap beer and salt ocean air, the last person they ever would have expected to see sitting at the bar was an actual celebrity by the name of Sam Decker. Sam Decker, a celebrity the trio knew everything about him there was to know from celebrity magazines, changed their perception of everything and they saw the life they had already resigned themselves to from a fresh set of eyes. His presence changed everything.

Zancan creates an impressive analysis of multiple characters, the intricacies of friendship and ultimately the void left when those friendships unravel. Maggie, Lindsey and Nina have been best friends for as long as they can remember. They weren’t always just a trio; their group used to number five. The presence of celebrity Sam Decker and his awareness of the animosity between the trio and a new girl that arrived at the bar that Saturday night stirred up questions of the past and what ultimately caused the rift. As the girls begin to share bits and pieces of their story with him, they begin to reevaluate how the simplest of actions caused them to get to where they are now and as the story progresses they begin to realize that maybe they aren’t quite as resigned to how their lives ended up as they once thought they were.

‘Maybe I had reached the point of drunkenness where you talk just to hear yourself and reckless ideas take shape, but it suddenly occurred to me that if even a movie star joining our table couldn’t change the routines and settings of our Saturday night, maybe we were doomed to a life where nothing ever changes.’

The addition of the celebrity character, which ultimately caused them to dredge up their full story initially, still managed to feel like an irrelevant inclusion since I felt these characters were already on the path of self-reflection. And while I loved how crass and unrepentant the trio was, the story coalesced into something much less intense than I had foreseen. I hoped for more for these characters; that they would overcome their small-town mentality and their complete acceptance of what they saw as their fate. This story will leave you only a twinkle of hope for these girls but it seems as if that’s the best we can hope for. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | May 29, 2015 |
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