Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales. (Grades 8+) Simon Pulse, October 2010. 347 pages. Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher.
Violet Tunis has plans for her junior year at the Westfield School, an elite prep school for girls. She wants to get a perfect score on her PSATs, improve the literary magazine, spend lots of quality time with her best friend Katie, and make Scott Walsh fall in love with her. But even as she goes through her junior year making witty observations about her classmates, speculating about a certain teacher's smiley face tattoo, and lusting after Scott like she's always done, little things are beginning to change. Maybe it starts when Katie gets a perfect score on her PSATs and doesn't tell Vi...
Holy cats, this is an awesome book!
So... I've had this one on my TBR pile for quite awhile. I think I snagged my ARC at BEA back in May. And I kept putting it off and putting it off because, to be brutally honest, I hate the cover. To me, it doesn't look young or funny. It looks like adult chick lit. But then I kept reading positive reviews of it. Kelly of Stacked started gushing about it and I knew I had to pick it up. I'm so glad I did!!!
Leila Sales's debut novel is hilarious and touching at turns. The way it's written... some people have described it as vignettes, but to me it felt more like a journal (although it's not actually written like a journal). And okay, not only does Violet have this awesome sarcastic wit that kept me laughing out loud, but she felt so real to me. At one point, no joke, I was reading and Violet made a comment about something seeming like it was from a young adult novel and I actually thought to myself, "Ironic! Violet's commenting about young adult novels when she's in a young adult novel!". Yeah, I had forgotten that the book was written by an author. I had forgotten that Violet was made up.
The book's about friendship. It's about relating to your best friend and how sometimes that's hard, especially when you're in school and you have a million things pressuring you all at once. It's about how things start to change and maybe they can't be the way they were and dealing with that.
Funny, serious, realistic, and absolutely un-put-down-able. Mostly Good Girls is one of my favorite books of the year. This is Leila Sales's debut novel and I will definitely be looking for more from her!
I'd recommend this to fans of the Jessica Darling series by Meghan McCafferty (although Violet's definitely... nicer than Jessica) and fans of authors like Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, etc.
Leila Sales shares her thoughts about the cover over at Melissa Walker's Blog and you can read more reviews at Stiletto Storytime, Presenting Lenore, The Crooked Shelf, and Sarah's Random Musings.
Mostly Good Girls is on shelves now!