Good Girls

Good Girls

by Laura Ruby

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061884139
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 624 KB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Laura Ruby is the author of books for adults, teens, and children, including the Michael L. Printz Medal winner and National Book Award finalist Bone Gap, the Edgar Award nominee Lily’s Ghosts, the Book Sense Pick Good Girls, and York: The Shadow Cipher, the first book in the York trilogy. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program and lives in the Chicago area. You can visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

Good Girls

By Laura Ruby

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Laura Ruby
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060882239

Chapter One

Beg Me

Ash says she's the Dark Queen of the Damned. I say I'm the Empress of the Undead. My dad, passing by the bathroom where we're getting ready, takes one look and declares us Two Weird Girls from Jersey.

"That'll work," Ash says.

Tonight, we're Goth. We've got the layers of black mesh shirts, the cargo pants rolled up to the knees, the ripped fishnets, the combat boots, the white face makeup and the smudgy rings of eyeliner. Ash brought a can of black hair spray, but she's already used most of it on her curly brown hair. "Not sure if there's enough left for you, Rapunzel."

"Shut up and start spraying," I say. My hair is blond, and long enough to tuck into the back of my cargoes. Ash blackens the strands around my face and puts skunky streaks all around the back. The noise scares Cat Stevens--aka Stevie, The Furminator, and Mr. Honey Head--who is watching us from his perch on the toilet tank. He jumps down and dashes out of the bathroom.

"What did you do to Stevie?" my mom calls. I hear her murmuring, "Poor baby kitty. Little marmalade man."

After Ash finishes, we crowd the mirror. "We are so hot," she says. And we are. Dark and freaky and brooding, the way vampires might look. I should like it more than I do. My black bra doesn't fit right, and the straps dig into my shoulders. The fishnets itch. It's a stupidly warmnight, and I'm already sweating. Plus, I've got on so much mascara that when I blink, my lashes spike my skin.

It's different for Ash. She's sort of Goth-y anyway, with her pierced eyebrow and sharp cheekbones and the German swearwords courtesy of her Deutsch grandma. I lean closer to the mirror. "I should have bought contacts. In the store, I saw these green lenses with slanted pupils, kind of like a lizard."

Ash frowns. "You have the coolest eyes on the planet. Amber."

"Right," I say. "Like that stuff insects get caught in."

"Plus," she says, ignoring me, "you don't get contacts for one Halloween party." Ash blinks her own dark eyes, lush as melted chocolate. "And you can stop being so cranky, please."

"Sorry." I bite my lip. "Can you believe this is our last Halloween together?"

Ash's hands fly up. "Enough with the 'Can you believe this is our last whatever?' stuff. It's October. We've got like eight whole months of school left."

"More like seven."

"Seven, then."

"Six if you count vacations," I say.

"Audrey, the key word is 'months.' Besides," she says, digging her elbow into my side, "there are more important things to worry about right now."

"Like what?"

"Like a certain person by the name of Luke DeSalvio, who I'm sure will be at Joelle's tonight. You remember him."

"Oh," I say. "Right."

"Listen to her!" says Ash. "Oh, right. Like you aren't about to explode all over this bathroom."

"Yeah, well. Like you're always reminding me, it's not serious. We're just friends," I say.

"With benefits," says Ash, her voice low so my parents can't hear it. "Anyone for tongue sushi?"

I smile but don't answer. This is Ash, the girl whose name is always mentioned in the same breath as mine: AshandAudrey, AudreyandAsh. But there's so much I haven't told her, and now I don't even know where to start. What I do know: me and Luke aren't friends, me and Luke aren't anything. I had decided I would tell him this tonight, if the subject ever came up. But we never did do much talking.

"There will be lots of guys at the party," I say. "Who knows? Maybe I'll branch out a little."

"Really?" Ash says. "Well, well. I guess someone's got a brain in her head after all."

Her phone bleats like a sheep and she grabs for it, looks at the screen. "Picture mail," she says. She presses a few buttons and the image pops up. "My baby brother in his Spider-Man costume."

I look over her shoulder. "Cute."

"Please. The boy's a demon from hell. Last week, he actually peed in one of the houseplants." Ash tosses the phone back on the sink and shakes her head in the mirror. "The spray looks great on you, but it makes my hair look like ramen noodles."

That makes me laugh a little. "Squid-ink ramen noodles," I say.

"You have to get your parents to take you to normal restaurants once in a while. Pizza, anyone?"

"We go out for pizza. Of course, it's the kind with a cornmeal crust and gobs of goat cheese."

"Goats!" says Ash.

My not-quite-normal parents are waiting for us in the living room with two glasses of wine and a digital camera--the wine for them, the camera for us. Usually, I hate all the pictures. I don't need anyone documenting my awkward teenage years. Tonight my dad insists and for once I'm okay with it, maybe because I don't look much like me anymore. My dad has us pose on the antique church pew against the yellow wall. He backs up and almost falls over the coffee table. My mom laughs and takes a sip of wine, shining and velvet in the light. They love this part, the part when I'm getting ready to go out but I haven't left yet. I wonder if it will be hard for them when I'm off at college. Besides Cat Stevens, I'm all they've got.

"Okay, girls," my dad says. "Look Gothic!"

"Goth, Dad," I say. "Not Gothic."

"Sorry," he says. "Ready? Say 'Goat cheese!'"

Because it's my dad, we both yell "Goat cheese!" In the picture, we've got the black hair, the white skin, and the bruise-colored lips, but we're both grinning like five-year-olds. Ash takes one look at the picture and says, "We've got to work on our attitudes, girl. We've got to think dark thoughts."


Excerpted from Good Girls by Laura Ruby Copyright © 2006 by Laura Ruby. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Lisa Tucker

“Clear-eyed and perfectly pitched, this is an incredibly brave story, and Laura Ruby is a writer to watch.”

Rosemary Graham

“Good Girls sizzles with passion, insight, humor, and wisdom. A stunning read.”

Carol Weston

“A brave, funny, and realistic love story about high school seniors and the assumptions they all make about each other.”

Libba Bray

“Harrowing, honest, poignant, and wickedly funny, Laura Ruby’s so-good novel comes out swinging.”

E. Lockhart

“Frank, fearless, and very funny, Laura Ruby explodes stereotypes.”

Chris Crutcher

“A page turner that tells a powerful truth about girls and about our culture.”

Customer Reviews

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Good Girls 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Audrey Porter is a good girl. The kind that works hard to keep up her grades, spends weekends working in her dad's store, manning the cash register, and basically just being a good daughter and a good friend. Things change, though, when she falls for Luke DeSalvio, a guy known around Willow Park High School as a player.

Audrey's best friends, Ash and Joelle, had warned her from the beginning not to lose her heart to Luke. But unlike her dedication to schoolwork and good grades, there's something about being with Luke that turns her brain to mush and her normal level-headedness to idiotic levels. After Audrey hears that Luke has been with another girl (as if all of his constant flirting wasn't bad enough), she decides to call off their friends-with-benefits, not-really-boyfriend-and-girlfriend relationship. Unfortunately, she decides to do this after one last hurrah with Luke, one last make-out session at a party that puts her in a very compromising situation. A situation that someone captures on their cell phone camera and proceeds to distribute among the student body.

She could have ignored the millions of instant messages on her computer calling her a [...] and a ho, she even could have ignored the leers and jeers of the guys in the halls at Willow Park. What she can't ignore, though, is the fact that someone has sent the picture to her father's work email address. Or that Mr. Swieback, the principal, found copies on the library computers. Or that even Ms. Godwin, the drama teacher, seems to think Audrey is some type of sex maniac.

Humiliation complete, Audrey must come to terms with her new social status, which has nothing to do with being a good girl. Along with Ash and Joelle, who have stood beside her, she forms a new, tenuous friendship with Pam and Cindy, two girls who had previously held the title as school [...]. But as Audrey realizes that she may have been wrong about the girls, especially Pam, she also realizes that being a good girl doesn't mean always being perfect.

I really enjoyed GOOD GIRLS. This is a book with heart and emotion, with true-to-life characters who don't preach or moralize, but who work hard at being the best type of people they can be. There are girls like Audrey, Ash, Joelle, Pam, and Cindy in every high school--just as there are boys like Luke and the insufferable Chilly. This is definitely a book for your keeper shelf.
Alicia10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the book good girls by laura ruby. I chose to read this book because the cover looked intersting and the back summary was very intersting. after reading this book i learn a lot about the book and the people on it. the characters are very realistic in there own way. they had diffrent personalitys that made them all good friends in the end even through there hardships there friendship comes through.In my story there asre many hardships. the frist one is someone takes a embarsing photo of the main charatcer audrey. then when her friend ash finds out they get into a big fight and become enemys. Audrey gose over to sit woth her new freinds one day and Ash comes over and they become friends again but then at prom pam the girl who befriended audrey...admits that she took the picture and was very sorry. Audrey forgives pam and they are all friends forever until graduation as you may or may not see friendship is somthing that nothing can replace. its the best thing to forgive and forget as these girls learned you have friends all the way to the end.this book was a very good book and it did meet my expectaion. it was a quick read i read the whloe book in 4 days. i really liked it and i look forward to more books by laura ruby!!
calexis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know the little description on the back of the book doesn't describe much. So this is my own little attempt for a summary. Basically.. it's about a girl, Audrey, who's been hooking up with a boy. Unfortunately, one night, she was caught in a compromising position which is captured by someone's camera phone. Pretty soon everyone received this photo, in her school and even reaching her own parents. There. I didn't give away much. This story was a lot better than I expected it to be. It's about peer pressure. It's about misunderstandings. It's about loyalty with friends. It's about prejudging people. All the things in high school that make it that much worse. Although I doubt that most girls would actually get caught doing that.. this book connects with girls on some level. Definitely recommend to all girls -- good and bad -- out there.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
GOOD GIRLS is a gem of a good read. Super-smart Audrey does something completely out of character for her before school starts: she hooks up with Luke, the well-liked, athletic playboy. Party after party, they hook up, yet hardly ever speak in school. Audrey feels more for Luke than she¿s felt for any other boy, but as she watches Luke talk to other girls, she can¿t help but draw back from a possible romance between the two of them.Then someone takes a picture of Audrey doing something with Luke, and the picture is passed around to everyone. Even Audrey¿s teachers and parents see it. Audrey goes from having a fairly decent reputation to being labeled as a slut. The consequences of the photo are far-reaching: Luke isn¿t talking to her and her parents don¿t know how to act around her.However, some of what happens in the picture¿s aftermath surprises Audrey. She befriends several girls she had always considered as slutty before, and she learns that she does have the ability to be strong while people snicker behind her back.GOOD GIRLS is snidely hilarious and a surprisingly feel-good read. It¿s raw and explicit; I wouldn¿t recommend it to anyone not in high school yet. However, Audrey is a great, strong protagonist with a wonderful voice. Not everyone has been in Audrey¿s particular situation, but I¿m sure that everyone knows how it feels to be hurt, and then to rise above it.
thekaisu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I... don't really know what to say.It's a really nice book and it kind of overwhelmed me at first when I realized what this was all about.This book is talking about delicate issues about sex, and well, high school life, friendships and teens today. I was once a teen, and I think I can relate with Audrey. We were once young, we do things we regret doing, things that embarrass us. It's just that reading this like this is... a bit new to me. Laura Ruby's writing style is nothing really special but she has a way of just delivering and saying everything using simple words.
4sarad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I heard this book was wonderful, but I thought it was pretty ordinary. The book certainly made you wonder what you would do if everyone in the school (even teachers¿ and even your parents) saw a picture of you going down on some guy. I did like that it went through exactly what it was like going to the gynecologist for the first time¿ and it did a good job describing how nervous you are the first time you have sex. Otherwise I just feel like I didn't get too much out of it. Why did they go to the prom in wedding dresses? I couldn't tell you. One strange thing is that usually books like this are about girls who aren't TOO popular¿ maybe even kind of weird or outcasts, but this book's characters seemed to be the most popular girls in school although they never specifically said anything or acknowledged it. It was kind of strange. Oh, and the main girl had sex with this guy and they had never really even had a conversation before¿ but of course it was LOVE.
hezann73 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick read about an embarrassing situation. When pictures of Audrey in a compromising situation are emailed out the whole community, Audrey suffers a shattered reputation, but starts to see things in a new light.
MrsHillReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm going to recommend this book to many of our high school girls. I thought it was a good read...a cautionary tale. As an adult I think the sex scenes are too detailed; but many high school students will identify with Audrey. Did I like this book? Well, no--it made me uncomfortable--but I think it has an important message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book!!!!
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Judith Ascenzi More than 1 year ago
must read
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Addison Rice More than 1 year ago
this is a must read!
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