Violet and Katie, juniors at a prestigious prep school in Massachusetts, have been best friends since seventh grade. The pair is usually inseparable as they navigate the cutthroat halls of Westfield School. However, a series of events puts a strain on their seemingly perfect friendship. The trouble starts when the effortlessly perfect Katie does a personality 180. Violet, who works overtime to maintain her grades, edit the school literary magazine, learn to drive, and figure out how to talk to her long-time crush does not understand the changes she sees in Katie. Violet struggles to come to terms with the way her friend and their friendship are changing.
I really enjoyed this quick and hilarious debut novel. This character-driven novel is light on plot, but certainly not fluff, as it tackles some hefty issues in a humorous way. This book is seriously laugh-out-loud funny. Violet’s voice is so real that I had to look up Leila Sales to make sure she herself was not a prep school student. What I liked best about this book is that the issues are universal-friendship, crushes, stressing about school and grades- and the message is simple: people change and you have to learn to roll with the punches. I think it’s a tough lesson to learn at any age, but particularly difficult for a teenager. I also loved the way each short chapter was like a stand-alone short story that offered a new glimpse into the lives of these girls. Leila Sales is definitely an author I will be watching.
The content of the book is pretty mild, though Violet has a mouth like a sailor! There is gossip about sex, drinking, and anorexia and references to homosexuality. There is nothing new, nothing graphic, and nothing that the average teen hasn’t seen or heard before.
For other laugh-out-loud reads check out Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, or Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. For more prep school/boarding school reads pick up Looking For Alaska by John Green, The Disreputable HIstory of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, or Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. If you want more books about besties try Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian or Devilish by Maureen Johnson.