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Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Title: Mostly Good Girls
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: 10.5.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Prep School, Friendship, Pressure, Love, Humor
Pages: 288
Description (from GoodReads):
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?

You could say MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS is about high school and its stresses. Or prep school. Or friendship. Or first loves. But I like to say that Leila Sales' debut novel is about growing up... the growing up that each and every one of does in high school, only more entertaining and witty than our own lives.

Violet is definitely her own person, but most girls will relate to her in one way or another. She's competitive, stressed about school, often feels second best, can't help but compare herself to her best friend, has been in love with the same boy for years, and she feels totally and completely overwhelmed the majority of the time. At multiple points throughout the novel, I found myself commiserating with Violet as she confronts the changes and challenges in her life.

What I enjoyed most about this novel is that there really wasn't one big issue. While I love novels that confront big, difficult topics like the death of a loved one, teen pregnancy, drug use, etc, etc, MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS took a different approach. There is some talk of bullying, but, for the most part, Violet is dealing with everyday, "normal" issues. Like grades and the distance that sometimes forms between previously inseparable best friends. Novels about those intense topics are needed and always appreciated, but there's something about Violet's story that pulls you in, even without those shocking twists and gutwrenching material.

MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS is a funny, relateable first novel and I can't wait for more from this talented author!


  1. I just got this one so I'm glad to hear you liked it! I loved your review-to the point, but still descriptive :) I really like books that actually address some of the normal things teenagers go through, like grades, which seems to never come up!

  2. I like the sound of this one! Thanks for reviewing it!

  3. Great review! I really enjoy those "coming of age" books.

  4. I didn't enjoy reading this book, but I am glad you did. :)


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