It’s hard for me to talk about this book. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I expected after reading the synopsis. I was expecting a straightforward story (and it was in many respects) but the simple plot of a great friendship that was strong and supportive and changing and fun all wrapped up in one ended up being slightly more complex.
Mostly Good Girls is about two best friends, Violet and Katie, who are in their junior year at a private, all-girls high school in a town outside of Boston. It is a quirky story about the girls, their friendship and how they navigate the tremulous waters of their junior year. Dealing with the pressures of school and family, their friendship changes in a way that creates discontent between the two. Ultimately it becomes a year they won’t forget.
Told from Violet’s point of view the audience gets to see how she is feeling and thinking and how she reacts when Katie makes decisions she doesn’t agree with.
Although the plot wasn’t initially clear it did finally make an impact much later on in the book to leave me really liking Mostly Good Girls. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into it since I heard mixed reviews, but Violet and Katie made this story so enjoyable. The focus on their friendship was the absolute highlight of the story and carried the book. I found them realistically portrayed, down-to-earth and extremely likable. The humor and connection that they shared was solid, entertaining and downright honest. It was what a friendship is at 16 – uncertain, intense and sarcastically fun. I honestly giggled out loud a few times at some of the conversations they had. Sales wrote them exactly how I would expect teenage girls to be written. They never once seemed older then they were and I appreciate that in a good YA story.
Violet was the quieter one of the two. She was an overachiever always striving for perfection and working hard to get it. Katie on the other hand was louder and naturally smart. Good grades were handed to her and it she was inherently perfect. The problem is that Katie didn’t want to be perfect. She wanted to be who she was and not who everyone thought she was which caused a problem for Violet because she thought perfection was everything and Katie should be thankful for that. This, right here, is what caused the rift between them. Katie all of a sudden isn’t fitting into the mold Violet had created for them and she doesn’t know what to do with that. When Katie starts “rebelling” Violet freaks and the discord intensifies. Slowly she starts to see that perfection isn’t happiness and it is okay just to be who you are. Sales certainly did well in creating great character progression in a true and believable way.
The setting of the book was pretty accurate and typical for a private all girls school. As a graduate of one, a much bigger one then Westfield, I felt it was true to form. My school wasn’t as competitive when it came to academics, but Mostly Good Girls gave the same catty feeling from the girls that my school had. Everything was a competition and things were no different at Westfield. The teachers though, they were another story. They seemed to be totally clueless as to what was going on. They wanted everyone to act like one big happy family when that just isn’t possible. Especially when you have a bunch of women with different personalities. Instead of embracing peoples’ differences, they wanted everyone to conform and that just didn’t seem realistic to me.
All in all Mostly Good Girls was a fun and entertaining read that made me smile and I think will make you smile too.