Most girls in high school are not the prettiest, the smartest or the most experienced with boys. Most the girls in high school are pretty normal actually, they make up the background of the teenage experience but they’re still special in their own way. Most the girls in high school are “mostly good girls”. Take sixteen-year-old Violet Tunis, a junior at Westfield, an exclusive all girl prep school on the outskirts of Boston. She’s your everyday girl. Trying to keep her grades up, spending good times with her best friend Katie and even nursing a hardcore crush on a boy seemingly just out of her reach. She’s a girl that most girls can relate to. She’s not uber rich and not totally popular but she’s even better because she’s real.
In Leila Sales debut young adult book Mostly Good Girls, Sales shows us that normal is not only okay but unique in it’s own right. Channeling every girl’s high school experiences such as crushes, wanting to fit in and that relationship with your best friend that just seems to click like no other, she has given us a winning work that teen girls can not only relate to but also laugh out loud along with. In her sarcastically funny vignette style chapters she manages to make Violet Tunis a character you will not only love but also wish you could be friends with in real life. Every experience or event in Violet’s somewhat average life becomes instantly alive with her witty humor and slice of personality shining through every time. She makes you laugh, she makes you smile and she makes you feel like you’re not alone.
Violet’s relationship with her best friend Katie is also a riot with tongue in cheek humor and a wonderful reflection of that one friend who just “gets” you like no one else. However people change and readers get to watch as Violet and Katie fight to hang on to what they have as each also has to in some instances go their own way. Katie may be Violet’s other half but what happens when your other half becomes all that you want to be and your still stuck behind at sixteen, never been kissed and without the perfect PSAT score? As Sales puts it:
“I’ve watched Katie cry and I’ve watched her sleep; I’ve watched her try on a Versace dress; I’ve watched her bite into a whole onion and I’ve watched her fight with her mother- but there was just something weird about watching her stick her tongue into a stranger’s mouth. Like she was a stranger herself.”
In a greatly relatable tale about what life really is like in high school even if you do go to a Prep school, Sales has given girls a wonderful stylish work on real life. It’s not Gossip Girl, it’s just the every day life of Violet Tunis but it’s pretty darn funny and impossible to put down.
Also check out Leila’s Blog The Leila Texts.