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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Release: October 5, 2010

Source: Publisher (for Traveling to Teens tour)
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 making Scott Walsh fall in love with her. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, Scott Walsh’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 fail?
When reading Mostly Good Girls, the first thing I noticed was the length of the chapters. They were all short -- some being only a page or two -- and quickly got to the heart of the matter. Instead of flowery descriptions and long internal monologues, Sales cut to the quick of things, leaving just enough space for some witty humor. This style of writing gave the entire book a very clean, concise feel and provided a great window into Violet's mind.

The humor in the novel was another bonus. With Violet attending a posh prep school, there was no shortage of wacky legacies and rich teens overly obsessed with being politically correct. My favorite scenes were by far those about Violet's work on the yearbook committee and her leadership of the school's literary magazine. In these scenes, Sales was especially deft at poking fun at Violet's peers. Similarly, Sales did a great job of writing the witty banter between Violet and her best friend Katie. Not only were their conversations and projects entertaining to read about, they also gave a sense of how close the two were and how well they fit together, a bond that played an integral role in the novel.

Mostly Good Girls was largely about Violet grappling with her self-perception and her worry over loosing her best friend. While well-written and entertaining to read, I would've liked to see a more dominant plot than simply self-discovery. The story bounced along from one sparse chapter to the next, much of the time with the chapters being seemingly unconnected. And though Violet grew over the course of these events, I felt as though much of that growth was a byproduct of Katie's choices and personal rebellion, and not of Violet's own decisions.

In the end, Mostly Good Girls provided a witty narration of important struggles that many teens face. Though I personally did not connect with Violet and her story as much as I would've liked to, I do believe that teens will identify with this witty, yet self-conscious character.

3 stars 

1 comment:

  1. I did not care for this book much either. Thanks for the honest review :)


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