They're not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys. Even within their friend group, our narrator is closest to Brittany Jensen, an unapologetic tomboy. Except Jensen's interests may be diverging from her friends'. And within our narrator's own family—in the lives of her exhausted mother and beloved, genius older brother—life-changing events may be taking shape.
[A] bittersweet, funny and totally nostalgic foray into the minds of teenage girls and their secrets, betrayals and dreams ... If you love teenage dramas and reminiscing about ’90s and early aughts fashion and music, you’ll find much to enjoy here. Ackerman has a knack for immersion, and she weaves in her music references, fashion choices (including the tiny designer purses I once coveted in high school!) and lingo seamlessly ... Funny, heartwarming, and full of nostalgia and vivid descriptions, The Brittanys is a solid read.
[Ackerman,] a Brittany herself, writes in an easy, compelling voice ... The novel’s conflict lies in its lack of one, even when trauma emerges. Narrator Brittany expects explosions of drama to mark her young life, but her privilege insulates her, leading her to a future where she might one day process her struggles. For book groups and readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories.
...heartfelt if flat ... Unfortunately, only the two main Brittanys receive more than surface-level treatment, and sections told from a later-in-life perspective add little to the story. Though the skimpy plot reads as true to life and the elements of nostalgia are spot-on, the narrative fails to get off the ground.