Mostly Good Girls

For Ages: 14 and up
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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 figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush’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 failure?
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  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442406810 | 
  • October 2010 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS by Leila Sales

When the pressures of prep school build up, cracks can appear in the funniest places. Westfield girls are trained for success—so why does Violet’s junior year feel like an epic failure?

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Read an Excerpt

Mr. Thompson’s
sordid past


Poor Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson is my precalc teacher, and he is also the only male at the Westfield School. Unless you count Mr. Roebeck, the bio teacher, which I don’t, because he is approximately two million years old and the only manlike thing about him is that he wears neckties.

Oh, and also there are the maintenance men, but nobody counts them, because they are manual labor. We generally don’t notice them at all, except on Maintenance Man Appreciation Day. This is a holiday in March, but they don’t get the day off or anything. All that happens then is, whenever we... see more
Dots, dashes, stars,
and exclamation points


In English class this morning, Katie and I made a list of how far every girl in our grade has gone. The hardest part was remembering everyone. For the longest time our list had only fifty-two names. Turned out we were forgetting Rachel Weiss.

Once we had written down all the names, we marked them with cryptic symbols to indicate their sexual experience. The symbols had to be cryptic in case someone else was reading our list over our shoulders, which probably someone was, because the other option was to listen to Lily Vern explain, for the twentieth time, why Wordsworth is the... see more
Exclamation points only

Mischa and Zoe are the only girls in the junior class who have had sex, so they got the only two exclamation points on our list. For the rest of the morning, whenever Katie and I saw them, we exclaimed, “Mischa!” or “Zoe!” This cracked us up, but Mischa and Zoe were less amused, since they weren’t in on the joke. Not to mention that Mischa is never amused by anything. That is just her way.

Katie and I got lunch from the cafeteria and carried it outside. The breeze had a bit of a bite to it, the first hint that it really was autumn. The midday sun shone down brightly,... see more
Getting comfortable with our …
never mind, I can’t say it


Sex ed has got to be the most embarrassing subject a high school could possibly teach. It’s also useless, since the only thing Ms. Wheeler lectures about is various forms of birth control: the pill, condoms, sponges, etc., all of which may be academically interesting but is still practically meaningless, since I don’t know any boys. Well, okay, I know Scott Walsh and a few other Harper Woodbane guys—but I can’t imagine ever being in a position where exchanging sexually transmitted diseases with any of them would be an... see more

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