When 17-year-old Rilla is busted for partying 24 hours into arriving in Yosemite National Park to live with her park ranger sister, it’s a come-to-Jesus moment. Determined to make up for her screw-up and create a stable new home for herself, Rilla charms her way into a tight-knit group of climbers. But Rilla can’t help but be seduced by experiences she couldn’t have imagined back home. She sets her sights on climbing El Capitan, one of the most challenging routes in Yosemite, and her summer becomes one harrowing and ecstatic experience after another: first climb, first fall two thousand feet in the air, first love. But becoming the person Rilla feels she was meant to be jeopardizes the reasons why she came to Yosemite—a bright new future and a second chance at sisterhood. When her family and her future are at odds, what will Rilla choose? (Author's site)
I received Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm giving it 4/5 stars.
Valley Girls was weirdly refreshing. Normally, this book wouldn't have done it for me—the main character doesn't really have any goals, she kind of hides her past from the reader, and she fucks up a lot. But the characters and unique setting won me over.
Rilla was an interesting main character. She was far from perfect, she had her own damage to deal with, and she had an unusual family dynamic.
The other characters were complex and whole, realistic and charming. I enjoyed all of them, and they were the main factor in me continuing to read...because there's not a lot of action in this book.
It isn't until about halfway through that Rilla decides on a goal that pushes the story forward. But if you're looking for a quiet book about realistic and complex characters, a fresh setting, and sports, this may be the book for you (there is a LOT of rock climbing in it).
Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon was published May 8, 2018.