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The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland

Contemporary fiction

The Most Likely Club

by Elyssa Friedland

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Quick take

In your yearbook, this novel would be nominated for Most Likely to Warm Your Heart and Give You Major Nostalgia.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Female_Friendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Mama_Drama

    Mama drama

  • Illustrated icon, Techie

    Tech world

  • Illustrated icon, 90s

    90s

Synopsis

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 Chowdury, 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.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Most Likely Club.

The Most Likely Club

Prologue

BELLPORT, CONNECTICUT

1997

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 Phishheads, 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.

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Why I love it

Elyssa Friedland has a unique ability to get inside women’s lives and minds and bring us with her so that we can vividly experience their friendships, career aspirations, romantic relationships, family dynamics, and parenting journeys. This is why I have been a longtime fan of her work.

In her latest book, The Most Likely Club, all of her authorial gifts are on display. Here we meet four old high school friends, Melissa, Priya, Tara, and Suki, who face their upcoming class reunion and the yearbook superlatives that captured their hopes and wishes. The women find themselves reflecting on aspirations not realized. They ask themselves whether those are still their dreams as they navigate the modern-day demands of being a spouse, parent, daughter, sister, and friend. And they must do so as secrets of the past emerge and risk upending their lives.

The Most Likely Club is an entertaining and thought-provoking book, with themes of second chances and the road not taken. You will laugh and root for these women while reflecting on your own challenges, choices, and aspirations not-yet-realized. You will see yourself in one (or more!) of these women and their stories will inspire you in your own journey. This is a book for you, your mom, your best friend, and your book club to savor.

Member ratings (4,439)

  • Shalane H.

    Hayward, CA

    Great characters! Resonated since I’m about the same age & have 3 close friends from hs. Fun to think about it not being too late to change things in your life! Love the positivity & friendships ❤️

  • Christi D.

    Midlothian, TX

    Highly enjoyable book! If you are a 90’s kid, you’ll love all the references and nostalgia as a group of four friends travel back to their 25th high school reunion to revisit the class of 1997.

  • Brittany G.

    Toledo, OH

    A sweet book about friendship and growing up. I really enjoyed it, though I truly disliked the character of Suki and wish she wouldn’t have turned. The other 3 were adorable, real, and fun to read.

  • Shannon B.

    Mountain Ranch , CA

    I could not put this book down. As someone who just passed the 20 year HS reunion mark, this book felt so relatable. What happens to all those big dreams and why not go after them? Perfect summer read

  • Rhaina M.

    Kohler, WI

    Finished this book in two days because it’s that good! It’s a trip down memory lane. Friendship that goes from superficial to real, something a lot of us can probably relate to. Highly recommend!

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket