Cover Image: The Brittanys

The Brittanys

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Member Reviews

This novel revolves around the five Brittanys that attend prep school in Florida. Told from the point of view of one of the five, this novel looks at that moment where girls enter into adulthood and their whole worlds change. There’s not one moment, one inciting incident to follow that triggers the narrative, but instead, we are shown these moments, sometimes fleeting, sometimes pivotal, that influence their lives. If you can meander for a while with ninth graders on the precipice, then this is the book for you. Fans of Vendela Vida will enjoy this book. And if five Brittanys isn’t enough for you, even the author’s name is Brittany! Thank you to Knopf Doubleday for the advanced review copy.
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I was really looking forward to stepping into the lives of a few teenage girls from Florida, and as much as I wanted to love this book, I couldn't get into it. There were multiple points where I didn't really understand what the story was, and I also wasn't a fan of the writing style. The narration was a little choppy for me. I did enjoy the nostalgic element and definitely can relate to some of themThank you, NetGalley!
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book. DNF-40%. As excited as I was for this confection about a group of friends all with the same name, I had a hard time figuring out what the point of the story was. The narrator wasn’t a very engaging voice and I struggled with the “look back, but forward” parts in italics. It took awhile to figure out how these sidebars really fit into the story. I love me some fun, fluffy reads, but this one just didn’t click for me.
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Yup this is what it’s like to be a teenager. Absolutely caught the emotions, relationships what it’s like to be a girl in the angst and anxiety of teen.
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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. I literally couldn’t put this book down and finished in one reading. Following the lives of a impressionable group of teenage girls all named Brittany. You follow the highs and lows of a friendship and the loss as they grow apart. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The author absolutely remembers what it was like to be a teen girl. I am a mental health therapist who often works with teens and I can tell you that these characters are spot on. The writing is vivid and the characters feel very real, sometimes painfully so. This story really brought me back in time. It’s a good read overall and was entertaining.  I enjoy authors that focus on female relationships and what it’s like for teen girls to try to grow up. Thanks for doing the female experience some justice.
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Admittedly at first, I didn’t think I would like this book. It felt like a bunch of privileged white girls doing the things they did without consequences, which essentially it is. But the more I read, the more I realized that I knew these girls; I KNOW these girls. I grew up with them, held their hair back while they puked at parties, slept over their houses, passed phones back and forth while blushing, listening to teen boys say things to us that we weren’t really sure how to take.. Maybe we didn’t have the same kind of money, but we had the same experiences, the same expectations. We figured things out in the same ways, and we had the same crazy, unexplainable friendships that were once everything until they became nothing. This is the book for girls on the cusp of womanhood, not too ready yo leave girlhood but still figuring it out. This book says “It’s ok, we’ve all been there. You’re going to survive.”. This book wasn’t about the Brittany’s; it was about us. Those of us in 2004, who thought we knew but now know we knew nothing; we still know nothing, but at least we can laugh about it.
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This review is based on an ARC of The Brittanys, which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Knopf Doubleday/Vintage).


"Back then, my life felt like it was about to start, not yet at the important part, but now I wish I had been mindful of the world around me and noticed it as much as possible. I wish I had found joy in that instead of rushing through it."

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I started this novel. Angsty teenage antics, for sure, but beyond that, I was an open book to this book (har har). The cover drew me in; the idea of a cliqué of Brittanys had me hooked. Unfortunately, "The Brittanys" aren't nearly as much of a feature in this story as I had hoped. We see two, occasionally three, and very rarely all five of the Brittanys together at any time. For a book supposedly about the titular cliqué, I was expecting a lot more group activity and was disappointed by the lack thereof.

Now, for an early-2000s-centric story, the author hits the mark... Quite hard... Perhaps a little blatantly... Don't get me wrong: I loved the aesthetic; I loved the vibes. But it seems that the worldbuilding consists mainly of heavy-handed brand-dropping and pop culture references. This method suits the materialistic 14-year-old narrator, but it felt a little tedious.

On the subject of tedium: oh, my lord, how dull the tone of this book is. You'd think, for such a spirited narrator, that her words wouldn't come across so monotone, but oh, how they do. Even despite the ninth grade dramatics (trés repetitive and always, ultimately, inconsequential, by the way), the narration remains drab, unaffected.

Fabulously nostalgic and relatable as The Brittanys is, I can't help but feel that this story is purely a leisure read. There's nothing to make you think (at least as far as comparing this to a classic or nonfiction might go). Not that easy, readable, girly fluff is a problem. In fact, for me, right now, this book hit the spot. I couldn't put it down; I was up into the wee hours of the night (er, nine o'clock). So this isn't the best book ever written. Whatever. I still loved it while it lasted!
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What an interesting novel  and concept!!!  This book reminds me of the movie Heathers.  It’s sometimes dark sometimes comedic and always there’s truth.  I highly recommend this one.
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