Author: Leila Sales
Publication Date: 10/5/10
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Blurb (GR): 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?
Review: I once got in a fight with a friend about Roseanne. Like an actual anger, didn’t talk to each other for an hour afterwards fight. We were having a discussion about what shows are funny and what shows are funny. Obviously, Roseanne is just kind of funny, but she was (and still is) adamant that that show is hilarious. Now, this friend is one of my favorite people ever. She is the same person that once found rollerblades in our garage and had our friend Dan pull her up the main drag in her pajamas on Alumni weekend while she smoked a cigarette. She is the same friend that wore a green sequined jacket out to the bars after another friend found it in her grandmother’s attic on vacation. I love her to death, but Roseanne is NOT funny. I don’t care how many times my friend tries to scat to cheer me up, Roseanne will never be funny. Spaceballs is funny. Arrested Development is funny. Two and a Half Men is NOT even amusing. Leila Sales is funny, at least when it comes to YA books. I’ve only read the two books she’s published thus far, but I will read everything she writes from now on because I know she’ll be good for the laughs.
I picked this one up at the library after loving Sales’ sense of humor in Past Perfect, and Mostly Good Girls, her debut novel, didn’t let me down. Violet Tunis and Katie Putnam have been best friends since the 7th grade and are now juniors at an all-girls prep school in Boston. Now, maybe I thought so much of this was hilarious because I went to an all-girls high school, but I think most readers would think it was funny. It’s a story about two best friends who are trying to do well in school, find a boyfriend when there are no boys around, and figure out who they are and what they want. The pacing is fantastically quick because the story is told in short vignettes rather than longer chapters. I read it in one sitting despite its 340 or so page length.
I was totally charmed by Katie and Violet’s friendship and the cast of characters in their social circle was hilariously spot-on. A plot roundup really isn’t in order because this is truly a story of a friendship. This book made me miss my high school friends like the desert misses the rain. Then again, I’m pretty sure approximately 27% of my body is made up of nostalgia.