Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Check It Out: That’s what girlfriends are for

Memorial Day is an unofficial kick off to the summer season. Gather up a few of these reads, all about friendships, and get ready to head out to the beach.

What’s summertime without a wedding celebration?

“Girls in White Dresses” by Jennifer Close follows Mary, Isabella and Lauren as they set out after graduating college. For these three friends they are discovering their own paths into early adulthood while attending numerous bachelorette parties, weddings, and showers, both bridal and baby.

It seems as though moving on after college only happens to their friends and their happily ever after dreams won’t ever come true. Close’s debut is like a series of connected vignettes portraying the three friends lives.


Rachel Bertsche chronicles her real-life journey of going on 52 friend dates in “MWF Seeking BFF.” Bertsche, a married white female, relocates to Chicago leaving behind her childhood friends from New York. She soon realizes that she longs to have a friend she can phone at the last minute to grab a bite to eat, go get a manicure, or simply visit and chat with in her new locale.

This yearlong search to find a gal pal recounts the highs and lows in her friend dating quest and includes snippets of scientific research in an upbeat and approachable style.

Southern girl Graciela ‘Ace’ Jones sets out to right some wrongs in Stephanie McAfee’s debut, “Diary of a Mad Fat Girl.” Ace’s bags are packed and she’s ready for her annual vacation, a week in Panama City Beach with her best friend Lilly. But when Lilly unexpectedly cancels the trip Ace knows something is wrong.

On top of that, Lilly is about to lose her teaching job because she’s under suspicion of sleeping with a student. Ace recruits their mutual friend Chloe to help confirm that Lilly is innocent. The three friends embark on a whirlwind of antics to settle the score.


Author Valerie Frankel puts together an unlikely quartet of women in “Four of a Kind.” The only connection Bess, Robin, Carla and Alicia have is the fact that their children all attend the same New York private school.

They meet to form a new PTA group known as the Diversity Committee. The first meeting the women decide to get to know one another better by playing Texas Hold ‘Em where they play for secrets about themselves instead of money. The committee meetings end up as monthly poker nights where the four women bond together learning more about themselves through each other.

Like Frankel’s unlikely quartet, author Wendy Wax brings three strangers together when they discover their financial manager has vanished with their life savings. He did however leave them with Bella Flora, a beachfront house that defines the term fixer-upper.

Deciding they’ve got nothing else to lose, Madeline, Avery and Nikki take on the challenge of restoring the house. Through this process they soon realize the power of true friendship in Wax’s “Ten Beach Road.”

Check out any of these friendly reads at the Newport Beach Public Library and gear up for the beach reading season.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.