Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Violet Tunis is a junior at Westfield Prep, a private all-girls school in Boston. She and her best friend Katie are your typical HS students; trying to manage their academic, social and family lives. But unlike Kate, extracurricular and grades do not come so easily to Violet--she actually has to work for them. Nevertheless, Violet is a good student and the editor-in-chief of The Wisdom, the school's literary magazine.
Differences or no, Violet and Katie have been friends forever; they share similar interests, both have a good sense of humor, and both lust for the same guy; Scott Walsh, the cutie from Harper-Woodbane, the nearby all-boys school. The two cause their fair share of shenanigans and seem to share matching wits. The two have their own adventures together, trying to get the typical "teenage girl experience" which is no easy feat in some aspects, since their interaction with boys is rather limited.
But as junior year progresses, Katie starts to change, she starts ditching the extracurricular activities she used to love, gets a boyfriend who isn't as nice or hot as Scott Walsh (in Violet's opinion at least), and hardly cares about her school work any more. Violet doesn't understand why Katie would ditch everything she has: stellar grades, effortless skill at extracurricular activities, including crew, and a good reputation--everything Violet has to work so hard to get. As the two start drifting further apart--both as friends and their opinions--Violet may learn more about what her best friend and her viewpoints. Violet will have to learn to open her eyes since she's been in private school her own life, but their transformations may just help both of them learn more about themselves and how to stand up for what they believe in.
Although the premise of the book is a bit cliche, I think Violet's voice made it stand out. She's funny, quirky and believable. Despite the fact I attend public school and not private school like Violet does, Violet is still a character many teenage girls can relate to; many of us work for good grades, worry about college, and pine for cute boys. I really liked how there were short little chapters with fun titles--some were funny, some simple and to-the-point, but Violet's voice can be heard clearly through all of them. I loved the vignette-style of this book; that along with Violet's voice really made this book very enjoyable for me.
Overall, I have to say I had a fun time reading Mostly Good Girls and going on Violet's journey with her. Violet's got a wry sense of humor that provided plenty of laughs and readers really get to see Violet and Katie grow as they learn more about themselves and what they care for. Mostly Good Girls is not too heavy, but not too light-hearted either. It's a good debut from Leila Sales that most readers will enjoy!
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