Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Mostly Good Girls

byLeila Sales

Paperback | September 6, 2011

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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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Title:Mostly Good GirlsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:September 6, 2011Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442406801

ISBN - 13:9781442406803

Appropriate for ages: 14

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Mr. Thompson’s sordid pastPoor 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 one of the maintenance men around school, we have to say to him, “Thank you for all your hard work!” Inevitably, the maintenance men will respond by looking like they want to kill us, or themselves, or everyone, and then they’ll sort of grunt, “You’re welcome,” and go back to emptying the trash receptacles in the bathroom stalls.But Maintenance Man Appreciation Day is only one day out of the year. The rest of the time we lead an entirely man-deprived existence, with the exception of poor Mr. Thompson, who is our Brad Pitt, Elvis Presley, and James Dean all rolled into one.Mr. Thompson is, at the absolute least, twice my age. He has an awkward, scrappy beard and high-top sneakers that are persistently too white, as though he polishes them on a regular basis. When he gets excited about a mathematical theorem, his voice squeaks. On his upper arm is an unarguably stupid tattoo of a smiley face, the result, my best friend Katie believes, of drunken misjudgment. Katie tells the tattoo story like this:When Mr. Thompson was a young and impressionable math undergrad, he got it into his head to pledge a fraternity. All the new pledges had to drink a lot of alcohol—like one keg each, Katie says. (She doesn’t care that this isn’t physically possible.) In a drunken stupor Mr. Thompson wandered away from the frat house, fell in with a gang of thugs, made out with a sexy homeless leather-clad hippie transvestite, and got a smiley-face tattoo at the local drug dealer’s house.Unfortunately, he never made it into the frat—due to some technicality, Katie explains, vaguely. And the sexy homeless hippie transvestite turned out also to be a gypsy, so she disappeared into the cloudy night, leaving Mr. Thompson with nothing but a broken heart and a goddamn stupid tattoo.Now, I hope I’ve been clear here: Katie made this story up. It is a total lie. However, this doesn’t stop all the lowerclassmen from believing it. I mean, the tattoo is right there! Clearly visible! So obviously the rest of the story must be true, too, right?So, in short, Mr. Thompson is all around a little bit lame. Plus he is married and has a three-year-old son. But! He is undeniably male, and so every girl at Westfield flirts with him. Constantly.In class today, for example, Tasha sashayed up to his desk while the rest of us were silently trying to integrate an expression. Tasha cooed, “Mr. Thompson? I’m having a lot of trouble with this problem.”Mr. Thompson said, “Just give it your best try. We’ll go over it in a few minutes.”Tasha said, “Yeah, but it’s really hard. I think I need extra help.”Mr. Thompson said, “Do you want to come back to the math office during lunch?”Tasha said, “I was thinking more like Saturday. At ten p.m. At your house.”By this point in his career Mr. Thompson doesn’t even have the decency to look scandalized by this sort of sexual harassment. He just looked tired and told Tasha to sit down.Everyone else in the room was in hysterics. Mostly because there was no way Tasha needed extra help from Mr. Thompson. Because she is not technically in his class.I’ll grant you it’s only four weeks into the school year, so maybe he hasn’t memorized all his class rosters yet, but still. Mr. Thompson does not notice much. The Tasha Incident was, Katie wrote to me in a note, further proof that he is in a DRUNKEN STUPOR.I responded to Katie’s note by scrawling, Oooh, hopefully that means he’ll get another tattoo this afternoon!When Mr. Thompson confiscated this note, he just read it, sighed, and said to us, “Katie? Violet? Please try not to write notes in class.” Katie and I nodded solemnly. Then he dismissed us all ten minutes early to lunch, which meant that everyone in my math class got two helpings of bread pudding!I think Mr. Thompson may quit soon. It’s just this hunch I have.© 2010 Leila Sales

Editorial Reviews

"Sales conveys the dynamics of the girls' friendship with honesty and a light touch." --Publishers Weekly