I think the most important phrase that is continuously used throughout the chapter thus far is “I just wanted to get settled”. I assume that this expression is significant to the story especially at the beginning because in the many years of friendship between Bridget, Lena, Libby and Carmen, they have never spent a summer apart from one another. In the time period that this book is written in, all four girls feel out of place in the situations that they are put in.
For example, Carmen expects to spend her summer with only her father, whom she does not get to see very often and is very shocked and taken aback when he surprises her with an engagement announcement to Lydia, a woman Carmen has never heard or seen before in her life. Her father moved in with Lydia and her family, and Carmen is staying in the guest bedroom for the summer. She is angry and disappointed that her father never mentioned this to Carmen at all, and she is upset because Carmen is “a guest in a guestroom of a family that will never be” (pg. 60) hers. The desire to “settle in” is evident in Carmen’s situation because she feels out of place in this family who she has just met, when she originally expected to spend the summer with her father in his old, shabby apartment.
As well, Lena is spending her entire summer in Greece visiting her grandparents, and she “felt ashamed for not speaking Greek” (pg. 40) even though she wishes that she was able to. This would make Lena feel unsettled because while the rest of her family would be able to communicate in her own native language, she would not be able to and this would result in a feeling of wanting to fit in with the rest of the people she is spending time with.
Another character who is looking to “settle in” is Libby, who is spending the summer in her hometown. She is working as a sales associate at a local convenient store and on her first day of work, she is ignored, bossed around, and accused of shoplifting. She absolutely detests it already, but “she knew from experience that there were few career…