Title: Mostly Good Girls
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: October 5th 2010 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover, 347 pages
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?
My thoughts:I wanted to really like this one, you know? It’s gotten pretty good reviews, so I figured it would be a sure thing. But I just couldn’t love it. I liked it okay, but I definitely wouldn’t call it a must-read.
Right off the bat, why do the chapter have names? That seems like such a childish thing. Especially with names like:
Katie’s boyfriend (is probably not a serial killer)
Getting comfortable with our … never mind, I can’t say it [the it in question is sex. gasp!]
Katie’s family only talks to God
Some of the chapters were only a few pages long. One was actually just one page. When I got to the end of the page, I literally thought “One page chapters? Really? Am I in first grade?”
The plot was very basic. Two girls are besties, one starts to act different and like a boy, the other one is left behind. There is no great mystery or puzzle to solve. No climax to build toward. It kind of coasted along very evenly, then just petered out at the end.
To me, the story smacked of immaturity. Like this reply from Katie when Violet asks about her new boyfriend:
“Did you kiss him?” I asked.
“Of course! If you don’t kiss someone, he’s not your boyfriend. He’s just your friend. Who’s a boy.”
Really, is that what girls are learning these days? Or is that the result of going to an all-girls school? Maybe it is… Having never been to one, I wouldn’t know.
There were random chapters and sections mixed in that had nothing to do with the story at all. They seemed like filler, just created to make the book a little longer. I know most books need extra information to make a book more balanced and full, but lots of this book just seemed tacked on with no purpose.
The characters are rounded, if a bit shallow. Maybe I’m too old to really judge this, but they seemed so young to me. Not like any 16-year-old I ever knew in my teen years.
Sales never made me care for the girls, to feel invested in them. At the end of the book, I didn’t really care how it ended, how each character grew (or didn’t).
The dialogue seemed a little forced to me. It was very casual and seemed mostly real, but every once in a while, somebody would say something and it seemed like maybe Sales had hit up the Urban Dictionary and was trying to fit in some teen slang.
Zero sexy hotness. (I mean, look at the last quote above. Can you see those girls doing anything sexy or hot?)
There were a few great lines, like this random fun quote:
I was almost hyperventilating with jealousy. Scott Walsh must be the perfect boyfriend. If I were Julia, I would have been like, “So sorry, family, the death of Grandpop is really sad—but I’m sure he would have wanted me to stay in Boston this holiday season, with Scott Walsh.” And the ghost of my grandfather would have appeared just to confirm, “Yes, my dear granddaughter. Stay with Scott Walsh. For he is God’s gift to womankind.”
I consider Mostly Good Girls an average easy read. Fine for a day at the beach or a plane trip.
* This has bugged me for some time – can somebody please tell me why the cover model has gray legs??