Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

The higher you aim, the farther you fall….

It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie.

When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge, epic failure?

Mostly Good Girls is a story about Violet Tunis, the ultimate overachiever. If I got a dollar every time she says "I have to study," I'd be rich. It was a light, quick read for me, and more at once it had me having laughing out loud. It was definitely the fun read I was expecting it to be.

I feel like every teenage girl would be able to relate to this book in some way. I know I did. Some of the things Violet did, or said, or felt, were just so me. I loved her voice, it was witty and very casual, as though I was having a conversation with her. She was definitely annoying and judgmental, but I could relate to her on the respect that she puts way too much pressure on herself academically. I did feel like by the end Violet had grown and learned from her mistakes. And I loved her relationship with her best friend Katie. The two of them together produced some of the funniest scenes. Like, there's this one scene where they're having a sleepover and they try to get drunk, just to see what it would be like, and it was just so good.

It's easy for books set at private schools with rich kids to get unrealistic. But Mostly Good Girls is a realistic portrayal. Not necessarily concerning the actual school or the administration--but in how the students act. Their parents wealth may have bought them into the school, but they don't buy their children's grades. The girls have to work for them. And not all of them are even wealthy to begin with. So that entire aspect of the novel was done well.

While I liked the voice of the writing, sometimes I didn't really care for the way it was written, concerning chapter breaks. Sometimes it felt as though each chapter was it's own mini-story, and it didn't always flow as one coherent novel. There wasn't enough of a plot or storyline, it was more just a book documenting the life of an overachiever. There were points when I was just waiting for something more.

Bonus points for setting! Love when books are located in Massachusetts. And Leila Sales incorporated many common locations and events into the story. It just made me like the book that much more. Also, I liked that there was practically no romance in this novel, concerning the main character. That's so rare in young adult novels, and I'm glad this was just a story that focused on a girl in a coming-of-age type scenario.

Overall, Mostly Good Girls was a solid, light read. I feel like in some way, shape, or form, any teenage girl would be able to relate to this book. I wish there was some more substance to the plot, and it had more of an emotional pull on me. But it's a quick read that will have you laughing out loud, or at the very least cracking a smile.


Roxy said...

You're right about the whole private school filled with rich kids thing. When that happens, I usually put the novel down because I guess I know longer like the novel anymore. Weird I know! :) Anyway, great review!