Title: Mostly Good Girls
Author: Leila Sales
Author: Leila Sales
Source: Traveling to Teens
The higher you aim, the farther you fall….
It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and making Scott Walsh fall in love with her. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, Scott Walsh’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie.
When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge epic fail? [via GoodReads]
This was such a fun book to read. Ms. Sales' writing was witty, fun, clean... the chapters were short and you absolutely love the protagonist, Violet, from the start. Violet has just commenced her junior year at Westfield, a very posh, all-girls school. She has a list of things she needs to accomplish throughout the school year in order for it to be the BEST junior year ever! Along with her BFF Katie (who is just as equally awesome), she plans on getting a perfect score on her PSAT's, improve the school's literary magazine, pass her driving test and make Scott Walsh fall in love with her... Piece of cake right? Not exactly.
What can I tell you... there were so many different aspects of this book that I loved. The fact that it takes place at an all-girls boarding school alone - had me at hello. But aside from the great setting, we had a phenomenal leading lady with the perfect sidekick in Katie. The situations they find themselves in had me laughing (more than once)... needless to say, all sorts of hilarious shenanigans ensue.
I truly thought this would be a coming-of-age story, and yes, it had its moments where it was, but mostly I found it really inspiring to read about the friendship that Violet and Katie have. It truly captures how wonderful a friendship can be. How it's not always perfect, but with all sorts of fighting and drama, but yet, it's still something you treasure and work at.
I read this gem in a few hours. It was a very light and simply a lovely read. I liked the fact that Violet has so much growth throughout the story and I really appreciated that it dealt more on the girls' friendship then it did on boys. Kudos for that! This is one that can be recommend to just about anyone. It's light, it's funny and the writing is witty and clever. A lovely read!
A note from Leila Sales on Humor Writing.
On my blog tour, I’m going over tips for humor writing. So far, I’ve talked about agreement, using gifts, and the rule of three. Tip of the day:
A callback is one specific example of my Humor Writing Tip #2, “Use the gifts you have given yourself.” A callback is a word or line or idea that isn’t necessarily funny the first time it appears, but it becomes funnier every time thereafter, when it shows up in different, incongruous circumstances.
One of my all-time favorite examples of a callback is in Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. At the beginning of the book, they introduce the Little Red Hen, who’s bitching about how she planted the wheat, and she sowed the wheat, and she baked the bread, and blah blah blah. She’s a funny character from the start. But she becomes way funnier when she shows up unexpectedly, pages later, in the middle of the Jack and the Beanstalk story.
I’ll show you one of the callbacks that I used in Mostly Good Girls. Early on, there’s a chapter called “Genevieve is anorexic,” and it lists the top five reasons why Violet theorizes that her classmate Genevieve has an eating disorder. Many, many chapters later, Violet and Katie have the following exchange:
“The recipe calls for half a tsp of vanilla,” Katie called, sounding panicky.
“Okay.” I tried to be soothing. “Half a tsp. Do it.”
“Is a tsp a teaspoon or a tablespoon?”
I shrugged. “Does it matter?”
Katie slammed the bag of flour down on the counter, making a loud noise and causing the white powder to fly everywhere. Buster made a high-pitched noice and retreated to the corner of the kitchen. “Of course it matters!” Katie said. “These cookies are my gift to Martin. They are my attempt to show him that I can care for him. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so I can’t get to Martin’s heart if my cookies have too much vanilla, or too little vanilla!”
“Hold up,” I said. “They say that? About the stomach and the heart and stuff? Who says that?”
Katie was holding measuring spoons up to the light, her forehead wrinkled. “I don’t know who. Everyone.”
“Is this another Genevieve line? Because, seriously, Genevieve is an anorexic, so you can’t just trust everything she says about stomachs.”
You can’t use callbacks on every page because then they won’t be unexpected. The element of surprise is key. Use sparingly for maximum effect.
Next stop on my blog tour: Yet another unbelievably awesome tip for mastering humor writing! See you there…
Be sure to check out the Traveling To Teens website for more information about the tour, Leila's tips and other blog stops. Also, tomorrow 5 lucky readers will have a chance at winning a copy of Mostly Good Girls.