The Other Girl: A Midvale Academy Novel

Common Sense Media says

Fun prep school story, but full of racy content.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ultimately, Molly realizes that she should stop trying to be everything that Gideon wants her to be, and instead just be herself.

Positive role models

Pilar is portrayed as a rather unhappy character despite her physical beauty -- however, she does a calculation whenever she meets a woman, comparing how hot she is compared to her. She also starves herself to be thin. 

Sex

The opening scene involves Molly and Gideon "writhing half naked in an empty chapel." And that's just the beginning of the racy stuff.  In another scene, Gideon talks to his friends about getting hot and heavy with Pilar and what parts of her body she lets him touch. Molly uses her ESP to let a boy see Pilar naked, and later she and Pilar work on a scheme that ends up with Pilar having to make out with the slimy Dean of Standards.

Language

Pretty racy language. All the biggies are thrown around like crazy, as well as some pretty naughty slang for body parts, etc. 

Consumerism

Not overly saturated but Pilar does some serious shopping at stores like Fred Segal. Other mentions of brands like Coach, Coke, Target. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink and smoke marijuana. Gideon's roommates even grow plants in their dorm closet. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book features all kinds of racy material, from the main character planning to have sex with her boyfriend in the school's chapel to a scene where an underage girl makes out with a creepy dean as part of an elaborate scheme. There is swearing, drug use, and sex among the teens at Midvale Prep -- and the prettiest girl at school  pretty much starves herself in an effort to look thinner.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

This is a follow-up to Miller's Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn. But this time, instead of seeing and hearing everything that her boyfriend has to say, Molly finds herself alternately in the mind of super beautiful Pilar Binitez-Jones -- a girl whom Gideon (and every other boy at school) has a crush on. This leads to some majorly soul-crushing moments, like at an academic competition when Pilar thinks about Gideon: "If we win tonight... I will sleep with him, and I will totally try to stay with him too."  But eventually, though her ESP, Molly is able to make some smart insights about the insecurities everyone has deep inside -- and how to be happy anyway.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Readers shouldn't expect to really be challenged here, but as far as fun, fluffy, prep school books are concerned, this one is pretty well done. The cast of characters may be somewhat predictable -- Molly is smart but insecure, Gideon is sweet and clueless, while pretty Pilar's perfection comes at a price -- but the ESP angle is a fun device and leads to some hilarious moments (such as when Molly calls the Fred Segal store to warn them that Pilar has been trying on bathing suits without her underwear). The sweet underlying message about being true to yourself (instead of trying to be exactly what your boyfriend wants) will even leave readers feeling good about devouring this literary junk food.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of media about rich people. What other TV shows, books, and movies can you think of? How are we supposed to feel about the characters? Like them, hate them, envy them, judge them? What does this display of wealth do to our expectations of or (our contentment with) our own lives?

  • This book is number two in the series. Have you read other series? Why do you like them? What are other books you'd like to see sequels to? Are book sequels ever as good as the first book in the series? Why do you think publishers ask authors to write them? Do you think it has more to do with book sales -- or the creation of a really good character who has more to say?

Book details

Author:Sarah Miller
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
Publication date:September 15, 2009
Number of pages:304
Read aloud:14
Read alone:14

This review of The Other Girl: A Midvale Academy Novel was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bymusiclover206 January 1, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

its good but not for kids cuz there is stuff in there that kids shouldn't even be thinkin about

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bysassything March 12, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byXxbeautifulandsexyxX May 29, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Loved It.

It was a very excellent book but a bit too descriptive. They describe things young teens do not need to read about at this age and are a bit too innapropriate. They talk about drugs, drinking, and describe a couple about to have sex. I would not recomend this to your young child unless they are at least 14, or 15. Overall this was truly and amazing book and I would recomend this to older teens.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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