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?
Hi again, it's Isabele! The story centers on Violet, an upper middle class girl attending a private school full of uniformed, falsely nice, I-have-more money-than-I-know-what-do-to-with girls. So when Violet’s best friend Katie Cabot Putnam starts making questionable choices, Violet remains oblivious during Katie’s private rebellions. While Violet fights to follow her strict goals penned at the beginning of the year, she finds herself following Katie’s every whim and whimsy, and most of the time they aren’t good ideas. Simply because Katie realizes first, and has been since seventh grade, that Westfield girls are groomed to be meek, respectable, and nice. No matter what. And for some undefined reason, she feels the need to go out and preform a bunch of ridiculous experiments to prove to WHO (honestly, it was never made clear) that she won’t be one of them. And drags her best friend, who is clueless, down with her.
Ok, so when I picked this book of the shelves, I knew it. It looked like a Book Belles sort of book, from the beautiful cover, to the plaid lining on the back, indicating this would be a boarding/private/wealthy kid book. I was happy about that fact, myself being an avid reader of that type of book. Well…the well written versions. Let me start off by saying, this book did not have a lasting impression on me. I wasn’t dying to read the next, which there isn’t, and I didn’t find myself staring at the cover after I finished it, whispering to myself, “This was amazing!” No. No whispers, not this time. Now, for those of you that don’t know, I don’t rate using the star scale, system…etc. I rate using a simple, easy to understand scale. It goes off like this:
NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL
So this book was hard to place, as there are only four categories, and personally, I wasn’t too crazy about this book. It was very amusing, and Violet’s quick wit had me suppressing giggles while reading in public, but also lacked depth. But for those of you YA Lovers, well, Lisa Sales’ debut may be the one for you.
There wasn’t really that much of a plot to begin with, just a list that we watched, from the outside, as Violet attempted to complete each one. Now, after awhile, following Violet gets a bit boring, but Sales always struck back with a teeny detail that kept me going. And every once in awhile, I kept thinking to myself about Violet, whenever I came upon a super uncomfortable moment, “How could such a smart girl act so awkward?”
The author didn’t exactly make the reason clear why Katie started acting like a spineless fool until the very end, and very little did her reasons make actual sense. It sounded so very pseudo rebel to me.
But for those of you into the very YA type books, you know, those kind ‘trying-to-find-myself’ sort of books? I’ve found another for you. Leila Sales shows us that it’s okay to fail, maybe even satisfying (that last comment was quoted directly from the book), you don’t always have to stick to the list, and that you shouldn’t be so uniformed.
As stated before, there was nothing memorable about this one. Strong language, as any other YA book, and a vague plot was not a good combination-especially tossing in the fact that some things, even at the end, remain a mystery.
“Two little maids from school are we,” Katie sang. “Dumb as a schoolgirl well can be. Filled to the brim with insanity. Two little maids from school!”
“At the Westfield School for Wayward Girls, everyone was special- but some were more special than others.”
“Actually, I guess all my projects with Katie blew up in our faces. The Harry Potter tours, the pool-shark plan, baking cookies, even getting drunk…all epic failures. But they’d made me happy.
And maybe that was what Katie meant.”
For those of you that use the star scale, a solid three out of five stars.