Cover Image: Welcome to Beach Town

Welcome to Beach Town

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Member Reviews

Susan Wiggs tells another great story. Nikki is the Valedictorian at her private school and after exposing a group at her school for being involved with the death of her best friend her life changes course. Fifteen years later Nikki, dealing with grief as a new widower is back home where everything started. Facing grief and a lot of life changes will Nikki redeem herself? In the end I think she did.
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Perfect summertime compelling read that feels light, yet holds deep characterization and plot. Nikki, a young widow, returns to her hometown on the California coast after 15 years thinking she’s only really good at surfing and not truly good enough to go pro. When she left she was that girl on scholarship at the local elite private school who threw away her future by going off script in her commencement speech and telling the truth about a classmate’s death. Then there’s the complicated relationship with her father who was raised her alone until he dropped her off at his friend’s to be her foster mother. Still, reading about Nikki’s strength and her growing understanding of herself and her hometown is engrossing.
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This was a fast, enjoyable read for me.   Susan Wiggs is always a reliable author and easy to recommend.   The beach town and surf world setting was interesting and the characters were well written with believable conflicts.  Thanks NetGalley!
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Welcome to Beach Town by Susan Wiggs The story was divided into four sections, with the transistions somewhat jarring.  A lot of pages on surfing, waves, tides and thoughts of surfing.  Would have liked to have more interaction between the characters inside of being in Nikki's thoughts most of the time.  Relatable characters in Shasta, Mark, Cal, Al and Nikki's dad.  Would have been interesting to have learned more of their backgrounds.  The history of the Airstreams and their renovations was unique and a highlight in the story.  A heartwarming read. 
Thank you to the author, publisher-William Morrow and Netgalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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Welcome to Beach Town is a fantastic beach read. Niki lives in a foster care home and attends a prestigious private high school. Her dad owns a airstream trailer park at the beach.  Niki is a surfer graduating at the top of her class.  A scandal drives her to leave. A personal tragedy brings her back to town after 15 years. She now has a baby sister. She fights to save her self and her future.
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Absorbing story of life, surfing, school, art and family.
Nikki is a world class surfer and an outstanding student until an accidental death brings her to ruin from telling the truth. Doing the right thing is not always without cost and pain. 
Amazing characters and situations. Too complicated for description and too wonderful to miss 
I recommend it.
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What I enjoy about Susan Wiggs is that her writing is descriptive and her characters are real. i enjoyed the fact that Nikki stood up for what she believed in even though she was aware of the consequences. Nostalgia, love, and loyalty were important aspects to the story. She ran away from her hometown when she as valedictorian was shunned because of her speech. Fifteen years later, she returns and fights once again for her beliefs and was not to be bullied by the powerful family which dominated the town. #WelcomeToBeachTown #SusanWiggs #NetGalley
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I have read the author in the past and really enjoyed her books. This was not  my favorite of her work. I found the characters unlikable and parts of the story did not go together.  The book is broken into four parts and they do not line up with each other . Nikki is a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks with an attitude.  She hates everyone and everything about her life and plays the victim.  She has a opportunity to go to a prestigious school for rich kids and graduates with honors. When she is giving her validictorian speech she trashes a overdose theory of a death of a friend of hers at the school. She is removed from the stage and humilated. Throughout her life she seems to self sabatoga herself and it is not until she works on a vintage trailer park with her flaky Father that she begins to find out what she is made of.  A baby appears in part of the book and Nikki takes on the responsibilty but the author does not explain why even though its referred to as her sister.  I read it to completion but it was difficult to get through. I did enjoy reading of the quaint beach town setting. 

Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley.
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I love Susan Wiggs' novels. Welcome to Beach Town was good, but in my opinion, not great. There were four sections to this book and each section on its own was pretty interesting but putting them together was somewhat disjointed. Part Two, Nikki and Johnny's love story was beautiful and very emotional. That section touched me the most.

Bringing the baby Gloria into the picture was a little odd to me (although I get why) and Gloria being referred to as a baby, although she was two (I visualize "baby" being an child 0 -12 mos.).

Although this was not my favorite Susan Wiggs novel, I look forward to reading more from her.

Net Galley provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I reviewed this for Library Journal please check in with the issue nearest to release day to see my entire review
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Hometown girl Nikki was given the chance to attend private school with the rich and famous, where she became best friends with the senators son Mark. When Marks  killed in a hazing incident the school tries to hush up, she stands before the class on graduation day telling the truth about what happened to her best friend, knowing she’s ruined her chances for her scholarship at college. Instead she meets Johnny Mercury and becomes a pro surfer. When life forces her back to her hometown she makes the best of her new life. I like the authors style of writing and the fact she kept Nikki as a real person, and not a rag to riches story.
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Wiggs gives readers another story to tug on their heartstrings and delivers with Welcome to Beach Town. Nikki is the strong heroine of the book who overcomes difficult circumstances. With the help of others, she rises and heals old wounds and reaches acceptance.
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Alara Cove, California - 2008 to Present

It's high school graduation day at Thornton Academy, a prestigious private school in the beach town of Alara Cove. Scholarship student Nikki Graziola is the surprise valedictorian in a school where only the richest, most influential families send their children. Nikki, the daughter of a local surfer, has been given the amazing opportunity thanks to her "foster" mother, Carmella. And now it is Nikki's time to shine. But there is a pall over the entire school after the death of one of Nikki's closest friends, Mark McGill, son of a wealthy local family. And, despite her impressive grades, and acceptance to college, Nikki decides to reveal to the guests what really happened the night Mark died. 

After having shaken the Alara Cove's most powerful with her revelations, Nikki knows that sticking around her hometown will be impossible. Surfing has been her life, and she's a star, so for the next several years, Nikki heads out into the competitive surfing world, falls in love, and, while not making a comfortable living, is famous. But a tragedy sends her back to Alara Cove, her father, old friends, and the very people who have not forgotten her speech at Thornton Academy.

Nikki realizes that her father, Guy, who runs an Airstream trailer park on the beach is in need of help when powerful Alara Cove leaders want to reclaim the land that he leases from the town. With the help of Carmella, and fellow "foster" sister Shasta, Nikki begins to get involved in the refurbishment of the park, knowing that her past reputation isn't going to help. She also gets reacquainted with her life-long friend, Cal, who makes no bones about how much he cares for her, and always has. Can Nikki get her life back together, keep her father from losing his business, and maintain a new relationship? It won't be easy. 

As always, Susan Wigg has penned another page turner that reflects real life. Nikki is all too human, and all too honest. When she loves, it's all the way. But with a certain faction in her hometown town who doesn't understand honesty as she does, how will Nikki survive her latest endeavor? A true beach read, don't miss WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN.
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A scandal at the Thorton Academy changes things in this town.  Can someone come home after a long absence and find that people can forget and that towns can change and find a happy future
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Another heartfelt, engaging story from this wonderful author! Nikki leaves her California coastal hometown right after high school, after causing a scandal. She has an early marriage, and when she is widowed after just 15 years, she returns home. But she's changed, and so has her town. She struggles to fit in and get back on her feet. She's a great main character, and the setting -- a beautiful beach town, complete with lots of surfing -- is just as appealing. I look forward to recommending this book to readers who love Susan Wiggs many great titles, as well as readers who enjoy Nancy Thayer, Elin Hilderbrand, Kristan Higgans, and Mary Alice Monroe.
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This was a great book.  Perfect summer beach read.  Success, tragedy, and the importance of doing what is right.  I would highly recommend it
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Welcome to Beach Town 
by Susan Wiggs
Pub Date: June 20, 2023 
William Morrow (imprint of Harper Collins) 
Every town has its secrets...

Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 
In idyllic Alara Cove, a California beach town known for its sunny charm and chill surfer vibe, it’s graduation day at the elite Thornton Academy. At Thornton, the students are the worldly and overindulged children who live in gated enclaves with spectacular views. But the class valedictorian is Nikki Graziola, a surfer’s daughter who is there on scholarship. To the shock of everyone in the audience, Nikki veers off script while giving her commencement address and reveals a secret that breaks open the whole community. As her truth explodes into the light, Alara Cove will face a reckoning.Not my favorite book by this author. I ended up skimming through. 
There were a lot of pages on surfing.  I would have liked more dialog and less rumination. 3 stars
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This was a love story, but the true love wasn’t between people, it was for surfing. There were a lot of pages devoted to surfing in this book!
Nikki stood up for her best friend which lost her everything, even after the truth came out to back her up. Then she met Johnny and ran away but tragedy bought her home to finally deal with her childhood issues, her relationship with her father and reignite her love for her beach town.
This had more substance than most beach reads. I would have liked more dialogue and less rumination. I did find myself skimming lots of sections. It is an easy way to tell the story but isn’t the best for readers (in my opinion).
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.
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Few authors hold your attention and devotion for an ineffable number of years. Susan Wiggs is definitely one. Haven’t met a Susan Wiggs book that isn’t dog eared from multiple reads. WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN is fated to become the latest in that category. 

Visions, Susan Wiggs books create visions with her use of scenery, of course, but more so with her use of thoughts and dialog. You would be amazed at what her characters think about, these are the insights into who they are, what they have experienced and possibly what their future looks like. 

Small examples of lines that just make you smile. For example. A bookstore in this small town The White Rabbit Bookstore with signage that says feed your head. You are probably smiling already. 

Beach Town is small but pretty mighty when you consider its history and attractions especially for those that love anything surf related. Nikki and her dad Guy have made it their hometown. Life has given both of them some major heartaches, but they have learned to keep their heads above water. The surf is their life blood. And in WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN Susan Wiggs tells the story of this father and daughter duo that have something incredibly special. Not a demonstrative love like some families. A unique bond that has stood the trials of life and time. 

Folks make mistakes, take risky chances but in the end, it is those that form the basis of their true character. Nikki and Guy are great characters, and candidly great folk. They don’t see how wonderful they are. But we do. 

WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN is a look at Nikki’s life starting as a teen, high school, young girl with a single dad. It was as unconventional as could be and yet Nikki was a star. Independent as could be. Devoted friend. Intelligent and committed to being number one. Competition was in her veins. But the one thing she couldn’t do was change her status in Beach Town. She was a townie. No wealth, no important name, no status. 

In short Nikki was always looking for a way out of this town. But as luck would have it, she short circuited her one golden ticket. She took a risk. And it totally changed the trajectory of her life plan. Time for a new one perhaps. 

Life sometimes moves in a circle bringing you back to the beginning and hopefully directing you to new chances. In WELCOME TO BEACH TOWN by Susan Wiggs we get to watch the lives of several folks that live in this small shore town as they experience many life altering events. 

Simply wonderful tale of keeping your eye on the prize and at the same time accepting unforeseen circumstances. In short life. Positively masterfully crafted by Susan Wiggs.
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Sometimes you just need a book written from the point of view from a young adult to take you away from midlife or late adult issues. This is one of those books - a quick, enjoyable read set in sunny coastal California. Was life ever this simple?
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