Four high school girls get roped into a summer reading club with their moms under duress. All of them are going to be in the same AP English class in the fall.
The protagonist, Adrienne, tore up her knee and missed a scheduled canoeing trip. Instead her leg is in a brace but she isn't very motivated to rehab it like she is supposed to. She is a typical teen angst drama queen (too plain looking, too heavy, don't like my hair, etc.). She is in frequent conflict with her mother, primarily because she will tell Adrienne nothing about her father (not even his name). Her mom will only say that the condom broke so Adrienne is proof that they aren't 100% effective.
Cee Cee is wealthy. She wrecked a car (didn't even have a learner's permit) and her summer trip to Paris turned into taking French in summer school. She is the instigator who constantly gets Adrienne in trouble (sneaking out at night, drinking, etc.) but doesn't suffer the same consequences.
Jill is the standard straight A/prom queen/cheerleader. She was a Chinese orphan adopted by Americans. It was her mother's idea to do the club to force her daughter to expand her horizons. And Wallis is the weird outsider from the poor side of town, a new girl who has skipped a grade, doesn't have a tv, doesn't shave her armpits, and is evasive about her home life.
None of them want to participate, as evidenced by the different names that get suggested for the group:
The Mother-Daughter Book Club and Conspiracy League
The Literary Enslavement Society of West New Hope
The Involuntary Book Bondage Guild
The Unbearable Book Club of West New Hope
The Extremely Unbearable Book Club for Irresponsible Girls
Theoretically, the book club was supposed to bring the girls and their mothers closer together but instead it does the opposite. Cee Cee keeps getting Adrianne in trouble, Jill is disgusted with both of them, Wallis won't share any information about her family, and the moms are screaming accusations at each other.
Finally an incident occurs which forces them to work together. However, to the author's credit, she didn't pull a "Breakfast Club" ending and make them all best buddies afterwards. They pretty much just dissolved the book club and went their separate ways.