In 1997, grunge is king, Titanic is a blockbuster (and Blockbuster still exists), and Thursday nights are for Friends. In Bellport, Connecticut, four best friends and high school seniors are ready to light the world on fire. Melissa Levin, Priya Chowdhury, Tara Taylor, and Suki Hammer are going places. Their yearbook superlatives confirm it: Most Likely to Win the White House, Cure Cancer, Open a Michelin-Starred Restaurant, and Join the Forbes 400.

Fast forward twenty-five years and nothing has gone according to plan as the women regroup at their dreaded high school reunion. When a forgotten classmate emerges at the reunion with a surprising announcement, the friends dig out the yearbook and rethink their younger selves. Is it too late to make their dreams come true? Fueled by nostalgia and one too many drinks, they form a pact to push through their middle-aged angst to bring their teenage aspirations to fruition, dubbing themselves the “Most Likely Girls.”

Through the ensuing highs and lows, they are reminded of the enduring bonds of friendship, the ways our childhood dreams both sustain and surprise us — and why it’s deeply uncool to peak in high school.

Book Type:

Women's Fiction / Humor

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Excerpt: The Most Likely Club
By Elyssa Friedland

Excerpt: The Most Likely Club

From Elyssa Friedland, author of LAST SUMMER AT THE GOLDEN HOTEL, comes a hilarious story of a group of friends, who at their milestone high school reunion, make a pact to finally achieve their high school superlatives one way or another. THE MOST LIKELY CLUB is out this week, and I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from the novel below!

The smart-but-social table in the lunchroom was in the back corner, underneath a row of wall-mounted pennants boasting victories in swimming, wrestling, and football, and kitty-corner from the hot-and-popular table, which was next to the cafeteria line. This ensured the jocks, and those lucky enough to orbit them, got first dibs on the sloppy joes and hash browns. Scattered in between were the artsy types, the nerds, the Phish-heads, the goths, and the milquetoasts who defied classification. Melissa Levin, Suki Hammer, Priya Chowdhury, and Tara Taylor had taken over the smart-but-social table during their sophomore year, inheriting it from students who’d graduated the year before. Bellport Academy, the tiny private school in their posh hamlet in Connecticut, had the usual Anytown, USA teenage groupings. If the social cliques were any more stratified, it would be a pyramid scheme. Melissa, Suki, Priya, and Tara had been best friends since the eighth grade – a convenient time to fortify a social circle, or square, as in their case. They had agreed that upon entering high school they wouldn’t attempt to penetrate the popular crowd, but they wouldn’t fall in with the geeks, either. They’d occupy the precious space of honor roll students who still get invited to parties.

Their plan worked. The four of them stuck together, earning high marks–Priya always on top–and carrying enough social currency that the jocks and cheerleaders knew their names and the nerds knew better than to ask them to study. And now they were seniors. Graduation was only a month away. Today was the day they’d been dreading, anticipating, imagining, and stressing over all at once.

It was yearbook day.

Yearbook day meant finding out if all their efforts had paid off. Having the right clothes (a fake Kate Spade could pass muster if the stitching was fine enough) devoting time to eight-

minute abs (and buns!), leading the extracurriculars, maintaining GPAs above 3.5. College admissions season had already come and gone, arguably the more important barometer of success in high school. But the four friends were more anxious about the yearbook superlatives than whether the college envelopes in their mailboxes were thick or thin.

There were fifty superlatives each year and approximately two hundred graduating seniors. The entire class voted. Some results were obvious. Kim Konner would get Most Popular. She was a blond Jennifer Love Hewitt, tits on a stick with girl-next-door approachability. Lulu Anderson would clinch Most Fashionable; her collection of baby doll dresses was ripe for a Seventeen magazine spread. Charlie Rice would get Most Athletic, and Byron Cox would get Most Likely to Win the Lottery (and lose the ticket). Suki, Priya, Melissa, and Tara had agonized over what they’d get, silently fearing how it would affect their dynamic if they didn’t each clinch something…

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