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Mostly Good Girls Hardcover – October 5, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442406798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442406797
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,489,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9-11–Katie and Violet have been inseparable since seventh grade. The competition among the juniors at their all-girls private school is fierce, even between these friends. Violet doesn't understand Katie's recent decisions to keep her PSAT scores a secret, quit crew, get intoxicated, and date a guy who appears to be a loser. Violet is jealous that Katie can effortlessly do everything, making her question why she is seemingly throwing it all away. In an effort to rekindle their strained friendship, the girls publish an unauthorized parody of their school in the literary magazine that Violet edits. She takes the punishment that is doled out, but Katie does not comply with what is asked of her. With this turn of events, Violet finally learns what has been motivating Katie. Witty and unpretentious, Violet is a likable narrator. Some of her funniest reactions are in response to the dating advice Katie shares from a magazine she's read. Each of the classmates has a discernible personality. The girls discuss crushes, fashion, and gossip, but Sales delves into more serious issues like the pressure to be perfect and how it can manifest itself. Suggest this one to readers who enjoy the writing style of Ally Carter. A strong debut that is not be missed.Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Violet Tunis is starting her junior year at Boston’s prestigious Westfield School with an impressive to-do list, and she has set a difficult agenda for herself, from acing her exams to reeling in her crush, and maybe even becoming famous. What she has not anticipated is the subtle shift in her relationship with her best friend, Katie, a girl for whom success is effortless. Private-school culture functions only as a backdrop here; Sales focuses her debut 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. At times whiny and clueless, Violet may strike some as an unlikable narrator, but she tells her story with honesty, and the reassessment of her goals at the end of the book rings true. Recommend this to fans of Meg Cabot’s novels and academy-based stories. Grades 8-12. --Kara Dean

More About the Author

Leila Sales grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Chicago. Now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works as a children's book editor. Leila spends most of her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, dance parties, and stories that she wants to write. Learn more at

Customer Reviews

Some surprisingly depth for what I had anticipated would be just a quick fun read.
Another part of this book I adored was the way its plot mostly focused on friendship, mainly the one Katie and Violet have.
I really just all around loved this book and I would have read 100 more pages of it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was pleasantly surprised by Mostly Good Girls. I picked it up expecting a light, humorous read, which it definitely is. But it's also so much more than that. There's an undercurrent of teenage angst and confusion and all the stress that goes along with being sixteen years old.

Violet is a hilarious and witty character. There were plenty of moments during the course of the book where I literally burst out laughing at what she said or thought. She's brilliant and lovable and she's so...sixteen. Which is perfect because I can easily remember myself three years ago when I was sixteen and think, yeah, wow, I felt exactly like that. And Katie - I can easily see where she was coming from too, because my best friend went down the same path Katie did.

Leila Sales did a brilliant job at creating her characters and the world they existed in. I went to a small private school when I was in middle school, and I can see the similarities between my school and Westfield. Her writing style was effortless to get into. Her writing is amusing and real, much like her characters.

For the first half of the book, I kind of felt like not a lot was happening. There were a lot of hilarious moments and events, but the main story arc didn't really occur until about halfway through. The beginning was mostly backstory, I guess? It was all build up to the main story arc. But that was okay because the first half of the book was really, truly funny. It was more of fly-on-the-wall view of Violet's world and all the things that happen to her and how she feels about it. The second half that starts to get more serious and delve into the more deeper issues of being a teen. There was still the hilarity of the first half of the book, but it began to focus more on how people grow up and grow apart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Connor Coyne on January 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not going to give a plot synopsis; there are some great reviews already posted here that already do just that! I'm going to talk instead about what surprised and impressed me most about Sales' wonderful debut:

This book is a bona-fide page-turner.

If I think back over books I've described as "page-turners" they usually have a plot of outrageous drama: murders, explosions, hauntings and the like. Of course, a story is only addictive when engaging characters confront pressing dilemmas, but most writers who knock together a page-turner like to make use of the murders and explosions. Literary Fiction (and Literary Young-Adult, which is how I'd describe Mostly Good Girls) is often funny, charming, and revealing, but not typically "addictive."

Mostly Good Girls is.

From the first page where we get Violet Tunis' list of goals for her Junior year (a list more ambitious than anything most of us have contemplated in high school) to the high stakes of friendship, family, and career that come into play down the line, this book is funny, charming, and revealing... and also absolutely refuses to be put down.

For starters, the two main characters, best friends, are infectiously human. Violet, the "I" of the story, is a hard-working girl from an academic family attending a prestigious all-girls prep school. She's far from unfazed... in fact she's almost perpetually "fazed" by her surroundings, which makes her humor, energy, and candor all the more mesmerizing.
Her friend Katie is dynamically different. She from old-money, her intelligence and success come seemingly without effort, and her spontaneity is both more explicit and risky than Violet's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Narcisse on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book was delightfully fun and funny. The writing was good and the characters felt true to life and believable. Violet and Katie reminded me so much of my best friend and myself in highschool. They were silly and held witty and amusing conversations that had me laughing out loud on several occasions and earning me some strange looks from the people around me. They got into a little bit of trouble but really were, as the title says, mostly good. I loved that the characters felt so natural and real. All of my best friends have been girls just like these. They were realistic and lovable, so I felt that the characterization was done really well.

My one complaint would be that the plot doesn't really go anywhere. It was a cute and fun story, and I enjoyed it, but there just wasn't really that much happening in it. There is some minor conflict between Violet and Katie and there are some shenanigans, but mostly it's just teenage girls being teenage girls. While the conflict isn't very prominent, it is realistic, so I could still appreciate it for what it was - a good example of mildish everyday type of issues that can arise between friends as they grow up.

Overall, I liked Mostly Good Girls despite its gently sloping story arc, and a bit because of it. I enjoyed it as a true to life story that could have been an excerpt from probably most people's highschool experiences. The humor was entertaining without being over the top. It felt like reminiscing, and it left me feeling the kind of happy that you feel after you've had a good, long laugh with friends.
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