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Reviewed by Colleen Turner

In a place like New York City it’s possible to create a new life, be whoever you want to be. The vibrant city allows you to show whatever face you want to the world and keep whatever secrets you have buried as deep down as you wish. This is the case for three roommates – Cate, Renee and Abby. Each is presenting only part of themselves to the world, at least at first. But as these girls begin to let a little of their guard down and trust in the others, they soon discover that their happiness will only be found when they become true to themselves.

Cate has just become the features editor at the trendy magazine, Gloss. While she’s done more than her fair share to make it to this position she cannot help but feel she doesn’t fully deserve it. She’s smart, hard-working and more than capable – if only she could see past the secret always screaming to come out, the one that could potentially destroy everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. But who do you talk to about your worries when you never let anyone close enough to help you?

For Cate’s roommate and co-worker, Renee, the perfect life seems right within reach. The position of beauty editor has become available and she knows it will come with endless perks, including an increase in salary which she desperately needs. But for this bubbly, outgoing woman, one that doesn’t quite fit in to the typical size four life of a beauty magazine, she feels her added pounds might keep her from getting the job. Diet pills seem like the perfect answer, not only to getting the position but to attracting the attention of her crush, Trey. But does the end results of taking the pills make up for the health problems they start to cause?

Then there’s Abby, Trey’s sister. She’s run away from her life in Maryland – her job as nanny, her parents, the Master’s degree she was pursuing – and seems unwilling, or unable, to tell anyone what she’s running away from. The secrets she’s hiding seem too terrible and she doesn’t know quite what to do.

As these three women get closer and begin to open up about their families, their lives and what they have really been through, the weight of their secrets begins to lift. Each will have to tackle their problems on their own, but having the others for support will make it that much easier to handle.

Sarah Pekkanen has quickly become one of my favorite authors to follow. Her characters are so real and raw that it’s not hard to place yourself in their situations. They’re funny, dynamic and perfectly flawed so you can find yourself laughing at them one minute and crying along with them the next.

As women’s fiction goes she is top caliber, and These Girls does not disappoint. If you love authors like Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella, or just want a great read to keep you entertained, These Girls is for you.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Also by Sarah Pekkanen: Skipping a Beat & The Opposite of Me

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Washington Square Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.