Audrey is the stereotypical good girl. She is ranked fourth in her year, is a loyal friend and a loving daughter. However, Audrey holds one secret which makes her a bad girl. When a photo of Audrey and popular boy, Luke DeSalvio, doing naughty things is spread throughout the school she becomes a laughing stalk and even her dad is sent a copy! Audrey has to learn to deal with the cruel attention and prove that she isn’t a very bad girl.
I never read the blurb of Good Girls so when I read the first few pages of the story I thought it was going to be about the friendship between Audrey and her best friend Amy. The book opened with the two going to a Halloween party and Audrey emphasises how they only have six months together before High School is over. Although, it turned out to be about what happened between Luke and Audrey at that fateful Halloween party.
The book mainly conveyed issues of sex and sexism in High School. I felt sorry for Audrey because it’s not very unusual for girls, good or bad, to be ‘sexually active’, especially in this day and age where teenagers tend to experiment. There were a few intimate scenes, but they weren’t extremely embarrassing to read.
Sexism was shown by how girls get blamed and are disproved upon for having sex whereas males get an out of jail card:
“You thought I was a slut,” she says. “Don’t deny it. I heard what people said about me.”
I blush, and I hope she doesn’t notice. “What’s a slut, anyway?” I say. “Why isn’t there a name for guys who do the same thing?”
“Player. Pimp,” she says.
“Please,” I say. “Those are compliments.”
Scandals about a teenager never affect the gossipers; it’s just a piece of drama for them. It’s only the person or people who the gossip is about that are affected. I enjoyed reading about how Audrey coped with being the top slab of gossip for the month. Audrey dyes her iconic blond hair the colour of dirt, tries to become a more tougher person and makes friends with the school ‘slappers’ to get away from it all.
I wasn’t too keen on Audrey’s best friend Amy. She seemed slightly selfish and her grieving over her ex-boyfriend Jimmy lasted too long. On the other hand I really liked Luke. I thought he seemed like a good guy and no wonder he was angry with Audrey’s endless mixed messages! She dumbed him on the day the photograph was taken and didn’t acknowledge him in the school halls. Both Audrey and Luke didn’t understand how to work their relationship and this ultimately pulled them apart.
There was one particular person who I thought had taken the photo, even though someone else had already confessed to it. I was both right and wrong: right that the confessor was a liar and wrong about who I thought the photographer was.
Around sixty pages before the end I thought that the book was going to finish because things seemed to be coming together, but I’m glad it didn’t finish. It was brilliant how Audrey and her friends added a twist to their prom which cemented a new start for all of them. Bad girls can turn good.
Verdict: 3.5/5 – A poignant tale showing the outcome of High School gossip.
Read if you liked: Play Me (Laura Ruby), Sophie & Carter (Chelsea Fine) and Epic Fail (Claire LaZebnik).