Lissa's Reviews > Good Girls

Good Girls by Laura Ruby
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May 22, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Recommended for: Kira, Paige, Cait, people against slut-shaming
Read from January 11 to 15, 2012

Also appears on Lissa Writes


I really liked this book.

There are a few parallels with Forever, and in fact this book even references Forever, but unlike Forever I wasn't reminded of the awkwardness and quite frankly horrible memories of my ex-boyfriend, but instead I was actually reminded of my fiancée.

So, win for this book already.

When someone takes a photo of Audrey, the school's resident 'good girl' - otherwise known as a spock, swot, or general nerd - in a compromising position with a boy at a party and spreads it around her school, Audrey has to deal with the fallout of a tarnished reputation, a broken relationship with the boy in question, the friendships of other 'good' and 'bad' girls, and her parents.

And the biggest question is, who took the photo and destroyed her reputation? Was is a friend of the boy? Was it Audrey's ex-boyfriend, the guy who couldn't handle being dumped? Was it another girl jealous that Audrey was casually 'hooking up' with the hottest guy in the school?

It doesn't shy away from uncomfortable issues. The scene with the doctor had me cringing. The reactions of almost everyone in the novel is completely horrible - most of the boys decide Audrey's easy and will want to have sex with them, the teachers who found out disapprove and think they're 'warning' her the behaviour wasn't 'appropriate' for a girl of her intellect, and the girls of the school turn into complete bitches. This is slut shaming from the point of view of the slut. And we all know that slut shaming in YA books is wrong and quite often misjudged.

Which is why I think a few specific people will like this book, because Audrey's still a good girl. She still goes to church (and to all honesty, normally I'm against using religion in YA novels but in this instance it works), she still studies hard, and she still works on her relationship with her parents. She also has hobbies - notably the school plays where she's in charge of the stage design.

But of course nothing is ever black and white. This novels explores the shades of grey of sluts and slut shaming and good girls. And I use the term slut ironically. Why do girls get called sluts and boys get called players? Why is a girl having sex a slut and a boy having sex a god? Why is a bad boy really a good boy, and a good boy is a pansy or a mama's boy?

Audrey's a realistic portrayal of a teenager, even if she's a little too perfect. I knew a girl like her at my high school who changed schools when something like this happened over the summer holidays. And the teenage voice in this book is spot on.

I think it'd be an accessible read for adults who enjoy reading YA books as well as a great book for the YA crowd. My version of the book had a parental advisory warning on it for mature content, so if a mother is thinking of giving this to her daughter, maybe she should read it first. I'd be more than happy to give this to a fourteen year old.
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Reading Progress

01/13/2012 "Mr version of this book has a PARENTAL ADVISORY MATURE CONTENT warning on it... LOL." 6 comments
01/14/2012 page 50
16.0% "Didn't want to put this down to go to sleep last night. Audrey's voice is cool."
01/15/2012 page 216
71.0% "I think I know some people who will really like this book..."

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