Cover Image: Welcome to Beach Town

Welcome to Beach Town

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Member Reviews

Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs is a highly recommended coming-of-age novel.

Alara Cove is a California beach town known for its surfing and small town charm. Nikki Graziola, the daughter of a surfer, grew up in her dad's beach side trailer park. She became a scholarship student and valedictorian at the prestigious Thornton Academy, when, instead of her approved speech, she exposed the school's cover-up of a hazing incident that left her best friend dead. The school refused to give Nikki her diploma, even when other students came forward. She left her dreams of college behind and ended up marrying a professional surfer and becoming one herself. A tragedy has her returning to Alara Cove fifteen years later only to see the same wealthy family still controlling the town.

The novel is divided into four parts. Part one grabbed my attention and made me care about Nikki, while part two was less successful. The narrative picks up later in the novel and eventually reaches a satisfying conclusion. The plot is going to wander about quite a bit in the middle, however, before events eventually tie up all the loose ends. Set some disbelief aside, keep reading, and most readers are going to enjoy this novel as a great summer read.

As a character driven novel, the main focus are the people and you will care about them, flaws and all. All the characters are distinctive and believable. The descriptions of the beach town of Alara Cove, surfing, and making art will resonate with interested readers. Welcome to Beach Town is an enjoyable novel from start to finish if you just go with the flow.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley.
The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Edelweiss, and Amazon.
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Was not to sure about this story but when I got into it, I really enjoyed the story. This story is about Nikki , who gets a scholarship to Thorton Academy. in her hometown where the rich kids go.  As she was giving her valedictorian speech she stated something that had been happening at the school and that is how her friend Mark was killed. She stayed to herself and then a person Johnny came about a surfers event. she ended up following him to Australia and 10 years later he was killed. She didn't know how bad off things were and called her father to help her come back home. See how she helps him keep the Caravan Park that he was going to lose.
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We meet Nikki a surfer daughter who goes through a tragedy that she dealing with. Then Johnny comes along and she falls in love they travel around surfing and enjoying life then sadness hits again. This story will have sad times romance times and hopeful times you will read about Nikki growth over a period of time. 
If you’re looking for a beach read bring this to the beach with you. I bought this while we went RVing to a small town like Aara Cove and while I sat looking out at the waves I could picture Nikki and Johnny traveling around surfing and having fun
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Welcome to Beach Town left me with a smile on my face, wishing I could live in Alara Cove! This heartwarming novel was a great summer read. 

The California beach town of Alara Cove sounds like an ideal place to grow up, and Nikki Graziola has spent her life there, surfing daily and spending time with her closest friend at the elite Thornton Academy. As valedictorian her senior year, she exposes secrets about the school that threaten to blow up the idyllic views of the community, losing her college scholarship in the process. Nikki moves away for love and to become a professional surfer, and then is brought back home after a terrible tragedy changes everything about her life. Moving home was the last thing she ever thought she would do, but she makes the best of the situation.

The book follows Nikki over several time periods in her life, and we truly get to know her and understand her character. She is so many things in one person- an almost orphan, a distinguished surfer, a daughter, a sister, a whistleblower, and a friend. Her life has been anything but easy, and the way she is able to get up and keep trying day after day speaks to her strength. The book is very character driven, digging deep into Nikki’s emotions and motivations.

The secondary characters become important once Nikki moves back home, and I loved seeing the various relationships blossom when given time to do so. The setting was perfection, and I loved making a mental picture of the beach with Nikki’s father’s caravan park nearby. The plot about restoring it was a fun one no very enjoyable to read. 

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Sincere, heart-tugging, and rewarding!

Welcome to Beach Town is an emotional, immersive, heartwarming tale that takes us into the life of the sweet, vulnerable Nikki Graziola as she struggles to juggle returning to her hometown that’s laced with tragic memories and a place she hoped she’d never have to live again, the overwhelming grief caused by the sudden loss of the love of her life, a strained relationship with a father she hardly knows, a determination to finally uncover all the secrets hidden by those in power, and a newly budding attraction to a friend she was pretty close with in the past.

The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and generous. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, heartbreak, taking chances, growth, healing, revelations, tender moments, light drama, greed, corruption, selflessness, romance, and new beginnings.

Overall, Welcome to Beach Town is another heartwarming, uplifting, nostalgic tale that reminds us that the true meaning of family is unconditionally respecting, loving, supporting, and accepting each other through all the highs and lows. It’s the perfect read for summer that proves once again that when it comes to writing heartfelt, moving stories with characters you can’t help but root for, Wiggs is one of the best.
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A character driven read. Nikki doesn’t have an easy life and this is an emotional read as she has tragic events in her life, as well as a disconnected relationship with her father. I enjoyed watching her grow and recover from her heartbreak. Wonderful writing that kept me engaged as Nikki adjusted and adapted to all that is thrown at her. A wonderful comeback tale.

Reviews posted on release day
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A poignant tale of love, loss, and family when a widow comes home to help save her father's trailer park. Set on the California coast, Wiggs brings small town nostalgia to the pages with slew of interesting characters who look to keep their way of life alive and out of the hands of a greedy developer.
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A great book by a favorite author Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs.  What I consider a beach read for sure that gets you in the summer mood.  I enjoyed everything about this book the setting, the characters and the dialogue.  The author always knows how to give you a good storyline that keeps you going back for more.
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Susan Wiggs has a way of creating these novels with seemingly innocent titles (and covers!) while packing a power punch of heavy themes!

Thank you @williammorrow and @uplit for my copy of @susanwiggs new novel, which is out now.

At first glance, this novel has a beautiful cover, and you think it is going to be about this idyllic beachside town with characters and surfing…what you get is a saga that follows 
Nikki Grazioli’s youth, young adulthood, and midlife in the midst of not one but two tragedies.

It is at this point that I feel the need to share a content warning of multiple deaths, drug/alcohol use, teen death, and a car accident- thus why I mentioned it carries a power punch of heavy themes, so tread lightly and give yourself permission to close this book if it becomes too much.

Nikki loses her best friend just mere days before her high school graduation from the town’s private boarding school, where she’s been a local scholarship student for the past 4 years amidst the vastly influential (and equally troubled) children of the politically and socially famous wealthy. Of course this is quickly swept under the rug, but Nikki changes the course of her life by speaking out about the incident.

Shortly thereafter, she meets Johnny, a surfer, and falls madly in love with him and proceeds to spend the next 15 or so years traveling the world surfing together, as “part 2” of this novel. That is, until Johnny dies in an unexpected tragic car accident and Nikki is sent into a tailspin as she experiences several shocking moments in the aftermath, and heads home to her father’s vintage airstream camping park.

From here, Nikki tries to piece her life back together in “part 3” of the saga, with her father, his 3 year old daughter (read more drama) and their drive to save the Airstream park- all her father’s ever known and owned.

The novel ends with a strong thematic nod towards living life and looking for hope in the midst.

I hear CoHo fans will like this- I can’t say for sure, as I haven’t read any of her books, but if you like sweeping dramatic sagas, this might be one you will enjoy.
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There are two specific things I love about Susan Wiggs books. One is her settings are some of my absolute favorites. The quaint beach town of Alara Cove had me feeling nostalgic visiting those hidden gems alongside the west coast. She created a spot that felt familiar and inviting. The other thing I love about her story telling is her big moments I guess you could call them. For example her transitions between Parts. With this one… the end of part one I wasn’t fully on board with. Then turning the page to find out that you are now ahead 15 years. It kept me intrigued and excited to see the time hop of Nikki’s life. 

There was a lot to the story… which worked for me but I can see becoming too much for others. What I thought was so fun was her Dads airstream park and the transformation! I could take a whole book set there! Im looking forward to what Susan does next! 

Thank you @uplit reads for this ARC
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Nikki is forced to return to her hometown after a tragic event in her life. As an adult she is able to resolve some of the issues that drove her away as a teenager. With the help of old friends she is able to overcome her past and move on with her life.
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4.5⭐️ This is my second Susan Wiggs book and I absolutely devoured this story! I will have zero hesitation to buy any of her books! 

This was largely character driven, and I adored several of the characters. I enjoyed learning about Nikki’s past and then living through her present day. I loved that even in high school, she wasn’t afraid to use her voice when everyone else was. The way this story ties up, I wanted to audibly cheer. I hated the Sanger family so much, and I really hope that the entire family has a horrendous future 🤣

This story makes me want to move to a tiny beach town. Between the setting, the characters, the love between everyone— you won’t be disappointed to give this one a read. And have you seen how beautiful the cover is?! 😍😍
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An exceedingly wonderful and compassionate story of Nikkii Graziola at two periods of her life. Both periods are critical to her emotional well being and the impact on her life. She grew up in a small California beach town rife with gossip, affluent townspeople, and a town dominating family network. Each of these elements bear down on her and the choices she makes. Nikki is a strong woman even in her weakest moments. A very excellent story.
 I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book. All  thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Beach read. Interesting setting but the story jumped all over the place.  Lots of unanswered questions about Mark's death and Nikki and Johnny's love story. Lots of corruption and cover-ups among the town's wealthy. I felt the story needed more depth.
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Susan Wiggs provides another heartwarming tale perfect for summer reading with the aptly named WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN: A NOVEL. Our heroine, Nikki, is a fish-out-of-water in this coastal town, a local surfer on scholarship at an exclusive high school. Her friendship with a Senator’s son explodes on graduation day and her plan for college is stolen out from under her.  The book quickly moves forward as her life with a handsome Australian surfer, 15 years in the future, also disappears as quickly as it arises.  Once again, back at home, Nikki attempts to re-integrate her past scars into some semblance of a life as an adult.  But old foes just won’t disappear.  This is a fast book with interesting, if somewhat predictable, characters.  The settings are warm and delightful and definitely fit the bill for summer reading.  I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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I loved the atmospheric town of Alara Cove and the dynamic character-driven story line of this one. It's the perfect beach read for summer!⁠ Fans of Elin Hilderbrand novels will really enjoy this beach read.
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The core of this book had an interesting story and I think by the end, it wrapped up ok. The four parts felt very disjointed. It really needed a clean up to make it more fluid. I think people will enjoy this story though and it brought up a lot of good things to discuss.
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I enjoy an entertaining beach read and this story hit all the marks for me. I enjoyed getting to know Nikki and how she overcame her misfortune and tried to rebuild her life. 

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for my gifted ARC.
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Nikki is the valedictorian of her high school class when she goes off topic on her speech and calls out the staff and some students over the death of her best friend.  His cause of death is hidden to protect some students who have influential parents.  Nikki loses everything, her diploma and her acceptance to college.  Fifteen years later Nikki returns after a series of tragedies in her life.  Can she find a place for herself and face her past?  Things are pretty much the same in town, the same people running the town.
This is a story of courage and overcoming grief to find a new future.  Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
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This was a quick read and overall an enjoyable book.
The essence of the story is simple - telling the truth does not always lead to gratitude and positive reactions.  
The characters were good, I just wish they were more developed.  The plot is told in sections, and at times it seemed a little disjointed.  But, on the whole I like the story and recommend to all.  Makes a wonderful beach read. 
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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