Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Book: Mostly Good Girls
Author: Leila Sales
Published: 2010
Source: Local Library

Violet is the most conscientious scholar at the exclusive Westfield school, the hardest worker, the long-suffering editor of the world’s most ludicrous lit magazine. Her life revolves around getting into a good college, with all the attendent studying and standardized-test-taking stress that entails.

What saves her sanity is her best friend Katie. They pass snarky notes in class, mock their classmates ferociously, and take on silly projects together. Violet can’t imagine life without her. But things are changing. Katie’s changing, and if Violet wants to keep her best friend, she’s going to have to learn to let go.

The format of this book is an interesting one. Each chapter is almost like a short story or a vignette in itself. They rarely build on the chapter immediately preceding, and they seem to be in the order they are largely due to chronology. But through the course of these cobbled-together bits, you see the slow change in Violet and Katie’s relationship. Which of course is how these things happen, right? The change happens, the crisis or the break or even the separation, and you go, “Where did that come from?!” Then you look back over the last few months or years and go, “Oh. Yeah. There. And there. And I think there too.”

Okay, so this all sounds very Literary and Important and Somber and Meaningful. But I would be doing you a disservice if I let you think that was the book I read, because the book I read was hilarious. Katie and Violet are best friends because they are both whip-smart and utterly irreverent (mostly inside her head in Violet’s case). Their phone conversations alone are masterful in their kookiness.

Poignant and funny, this book has ensured that Leila Sales makes it onto my auto-read list.

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