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"The whole of a young life is measured in its summers." - Grandma McCurtis
Welcome to the summer of 1996 in Rutledgeville, Virginia. It's a town that sits in the shadow of a large water tower, where everyone knows everyone, and the high school class each year has the same last names in the yearbook as the one 20 years before.
Addison McCurtis has been visiting her grandma here in "The Rut" her entire life. But this summer is different; Addie's grandma is sick. Addie and her wanderlust-afflicted mother are called back home to help with her care. But unlike trips of the past, this one lays the foundation for something Addie has never had: a permanent zip code. With the summer days stretched ahead of her, Addie befriends the girls of the Rut:
McKenna Holt: The beautiful, fiery blonde who is in love with love. She's Addie's neighbor and the girl who always feels inclined to follow a good time...sometimes to her own detriment.
Rhiannon Lowell: The smart girl who happens to be from the wrong side of town and who has a heart the size of the commonwealth. Rhiannon is wise beyond her young 16 years, mostly because she has no choice.
Together with new friends and an entire summer before them, the girls of The Rut will forge the new frontiers of first love, first loss, and first true friendship. Before those three months of summer are over, one thing will be clear: summer will be the one that stands out above them all.