Mostly Good Girlsby 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&… See more details below
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?
STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal, Oct. 2010
"Brilliant, poignant, and straight-up hilarious. Leila Sales is a fresh and fabulous new voice in YA."
Lauren Oliver, bestselling author of Before I Fall
"Written as a series of notably short chapters, the names of which provide a fair amount of punch on their own ("Sophistry in Spanish class")....[Mostly Good Girls is] overall an enjoyable, light read."
"Private-school culture functions only as a backdrop here; Sales focuses her debut [Mostly Good Girls] on the dynamics between Violet and Katie, and the friendship story is refreshingly free of confrontational cliques and catty female stereotypes, while short, snappy chapters keep the story moving.... Recommend this to fans of Meg Cabot’s novels and academy-based stories." Booklist
"Sales conveys the dynamics of the girls' friendship with honesty and a light touch." Publishers Weekly
Violet Tunis has always felt like second best, especially when she's around her particularly smart, wealthy and beautiful best friend, Katie, who seems to effortlessly be the best at everything. Having been friends from the seventh grade (after a brief three-day period when they were "sworn enemies"), by their junior year at their tony Boston private school, Westfield, Violet has come to accept and admire Katie's success.However, when Katie starts acting in a self-destructive manner by quitting crew, breaking Westfield's rules and engaging in risky behavior with drugs and alcohol, Violet is torn between her loyalty to Katie and her own internal barometer of right and wrong. Written as a series of notably short chapters, the names of which provide a fair amount of punch on their own ("Sophistry in Spanish class"), some sections feel abruptly staccato and underdeveloped. Although overall an enjoyable, light read, there are few surprises, and the pat ending leaves this text feeling flat. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Read an Excerpt
Getting comfortable with our …
never mind, I can’t say it
Sex ed has got to be the most embarrassing subject a high school could possibly teach. It’s also useless, since the only thing Ms. Wheeler lectures about is various forms of birth control: the pill, condoms, sponges, etc., all of which may be academically interesting but is still practically meaningless, since I don’t know any boys. Well, okay, I know Scott Walsh and a few other Harper Woodbane guys—but I can’t imagine ever being in a position where exchanging sexually transmitted diseases with any of them would be an option. Learning how to protect myself from chlamydia is nice, but if Ms. Wheeler really wants to sexually educate me, she could start by teaching me how to talk to a boy without choking on my own saliva.
Today in sex ed Ms. Wheeler talked about what our “options” would be if we got pregnant, which is ridiculous, since everyone knows that if you get pregnant, you get kicked out of school. The Westfield School offers a few key perks that our local public schools do not, including
a) no one ever brings a gun to school.
b) every student goes on to a four-year college.
c) none of the students are ever pregnant.
Those are the rules.
Still, Ms. Wheeler told us that if we got pregnant—presumably through immaculate conception, since 96 percent of us aren’t sleeping with anyone—then we could get an abortion, or we could carry the baby to term before giving it up for adoption.
Rachel was taking copious notes, I assume because she thought there was going to be a test on this material, not because she was truly worried about getting impregnated. Rachel, like me, doesn’t have even a dot next to her name. I also couldn’t help glancing at Mischa(!) to see how she was taking all this. She sat in the back of the room, painting her nails, looking bored and virginal. Playing it cool, Mischa.
Pearl raised her hand and asked, “But if you get pregnant, can’t you keep it?” We laughed at her because, like, no, you can’t keep it. We’ve all met Pearl’s mom. She’s the dean of admissions at Harvard Business School, and she’s just counting down the days until Pearl is old enough to be CEO of a multinational corporation. If Pearl thinks she can just give all that up to become some child raiser, she is even more of a moron than I thought.
Ms. Wheeler, though, is the sort of teacher who doesn’t believe in telling students that they’re wrong—which may be why she teaches sex ed as opposed to math. So she just hinted to Pearl that it’s hard to be a full-time college student while mothering a toddler. Duh, Pearl. Then Ms. Wheeler had us all say “vagina” a bunch of times in unison, so that we will become comfortable with our vaginas.
Do you see what I mean about sex ed?
© 2010 Leila Sales
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