Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl

The must-read YA romcom of 2022

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Pub Date 3 May 2022 | Archive Date 3 May 2022
Bonnier Books UK, Hot Key Books

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The hotly anticipated second book from Joya Goffney, author of the 2021 YA romcom Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry.

Monique lives a perfect life - a preacher's daughter and the girlfriend of the town's golden boy. But it's not that simple. She's torn between her parents who want the pure virginal daughter, and her boyfriend, Dom, who wants to explore the more intimate side of their relationship.

Tired of waiting, her boyfriend breaks up with her, spurring Monique to discover she has a medical condition that makes her far from perfect and she concocts a plan to fix her body and win him back.

With the help of her frenemy, Sasha, the overly zealous church girl Monique's mum pushes her to hang out with, and Reggie, the town's not-so-good boy, Monique must go on trips to unknown and uncomfortable places to find the treatment that will help her.

But in doing so, she must face some home truths: maybe she shouldn't be fixing her body to please a boy, maybe Sasha is the friend she needed all along and maybe Reggie isn't so bad at all.

This is a powerful journey towards loving yourself, about body and sex positivity, with heart, humour, family intrigue and a dynamic and delicious love triangle.

The hotly anticipated second book from Joya Goffney, author of the 2021 YA romcom Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry.

Monique lives a perfect life - a preacher's daughter and the girlfriend of the town's...

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ISBN 9781471411113
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Featured Reviews

I am so glad this book exists. As someone who has struggled with Vaginismus for the past year or so, I really felt myself reflected in the pages of this book. I honestly wish I could have read this years ago!
I think its so important to bring awareness to this topic as it is something so many women struggle with, and many of us don’t understand what is going on with our bodies.

I felt that this book handled the topic with sensitivity and I loved how positive Monique’s journey was. It was so wonderful to see the characters around her support her. I absolutely loved Reggie and Sasha. Their friendship group is the best.

I also loved watching Monique’s relationship with her family develop.

Once again, I am so glad this book exists. I think every teenage girl should read this because its such an important topic. Similarly to Monique, I’ve had a really unhealthy relationship with sex for most of my life and this book made me feel so safe and seen. Joya Goffney is now definitely one of my favourite authors. Both her books have been fantastic and important.

This review is quite incoherent because i’m feeling alot after finishing this book.
Just please please please read this when it is released in May 2022. You will not regret it.

**Thank you so so much to netgalley and the publisher for sending me an eARC of this book. This in no way affects my ability to give an honest review**

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I love this author. I enjoyed their first book and i love how i get the exact same feelings whilst reading this one!!!! All those intimate scenes and the SLOW BURN OMG KILL ME NOW. Loved it.

The characters were written so well, the plot sounds ridiculous but on paper it reads so well and it was quite eye opening as well. I related to it a lot, i come from a very strict background, so it was interesting to see how everything played out.

One thing i realised whilst reading this, is that even though one of the characters is a horrible person and treats Mo the wrong way, i still felt bad for them... and that annoys me because im like that in real life as well!!! I always give chances to people who don't deserve it and reading Mo go through it made me stop and think about my own life.

Amazing, amazing, AMAZING. Cannot wait to purchase a physical copy and this author is on my auto buy list!!!!

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I absolutely loved Joya Goffney's debut novel and it was one of my favourite reads of this year however this novel is very close behind. I absolutely adored this story. Joya writes really good YA teen rom coms that feel reminiscent of the books I was reading 10 years ago but they are just more modern. The diversity as well as the important conversations around sex and taking back control make this an unmissable 2022 YA read. She truly is one of the greatest YA contemporary writers around at the moment and I hope she gets more recognition.

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After quite a slow start to the year in terms of reading, this book was a breathe of fresh air. I speed through it in under a day and was absolutely obsessed. I didn't think it would be possible for me to like this one as much as Joya Goffney's debut (which I LOVED) but I think I actually have a new favourite. It was full of heart, hope and love and I hope everyone picks it up this year!

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I've been struggling to write my review for Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl and it's not because I didn't like the book, but in fact the extreme opposite: I loved it. It's my first 5 star read of 2022. How am I meant to write about a book that I loved dearly without exposing all the spoilers? This is a book that I want people to read and discover the joy and magic of it themselves.

So, what I will say is that Goffney is a fantastic writer. After their debut, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry, I was already sold on them and added them to my mental checklist of 'auto buy authors' and this book really hammered that point home. I'm very eager to read anything else Goffney has coming - if she wants to e-mail me an early draft of anything, my inbox is ready and waiting with eagerness LOL.

Like with Goffney's debut, I enjoyed very much the character arc / growth of the main character as they explore their identity, everything that makes them feel uncomfortable, like an outsider, like they don't fit in, like they're too much or too little, and learn to be comfortable with themselves - and to learn how to be comfortable with the 'uncomfortable'.

I enjoyed seeing Mo grow and go on a journey of dismantling her feelings of self worth and identity that was negatively impacted by factors such as religion, dealing with parental pressure expectations and learning about her medical condition. Mo doesn't feel like she can go to a medical professional about her condition which adds another layer to the story about sexual health education and how this can have a negative impact. As a consequence, we see Mo struggle to overcome with the stigma and shame she feels, how this impacts her self worth and how she views her relationships with those around her.

Another bonus part of this book for me was the friendships. I loved seeing her become friends with Sasha and Reggie, who challenged Mo in many ways. They supported her through her struggles but also by becoming friends with them, Mo had to learn to deconstruct her preconceived notions of people and the way she was stereotyping them (something she did to herself). Honestly the most precious part of the book.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. Goffney has talent and skill as a writer, she writes sensitively and boldly, exploring all areas of a subject with grace, humour, and emotion. Thus, Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl was a heartfelt, emotional and humourous journey about learning to love yourself for who you are and not who you want to be. Goffney captures humanity - Mo and co still have a long way to go at the end of the book, but the novel set about a character arc where you can imagine them past the books end, as if they were real, and tangible, people. And that is her talent as a writer.

Thank you to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC of "Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl" by Joya Goffney.

I loved Joya's debut novel so I had high expectations for this. And it didn't disappoint! I loved this book to pieces and it felt so personal and beautifully raw. Thank you Joya for this book. It was a beauty.

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Okay, this is a hard book to review without spoiling everything, but first thing's first - I LOVED it.

It's been a while since I read a YA contemporary - actually, probably since last July when I read the debut by this author, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. I enjoyed that book but it was nothing mind blowing, so I didn't have huge expectations for this one. I'm steadily growing out of the genre and only requested this arc because I'd read the author before. I thought I would read it quickly, enjoy the mild entertainment, and promptly forget about the details if you asked me about it in a months time. But I literally couldn't be more wrong.

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl is a powerful, inclusive story about a girl learning to respect and love not just herself but also those around her. There is so much growth in this book, and not just from the main character, Mo. Her heavily religious family have this "good girl" path they want her on, and she thinks she wants it, too, until she starts to break the rules and realises it's not actually going to ruin her life. That perhaps she can be both of these people - a good pastor's daughter and a normal, explorative teenage girl. Contemporary YA characters can often feel superficial, especially when you're older than the character, but Mo was written pretty perfectly.

The diversity is wonderful, including different races, sexualities, even having a nod to gender pronouns. And, of course... the main focus of the book, her vaginismus. I'd heard of this condition before but not by name, and I think it's so important that a topic like this is the MAIN FOCUS of a YA book! Not only do you get a great story, but you get educated, too. Even better that it was based off the experiences of the author!

There's one scene near the end of the book that didn't quite sit right with me, where (without spoiling too much) a bunch of adults shunned a teenager out of a room. I get that it was the villain of the story, and it was meant as his comeuppance, his closure - but the adults should have known better.

Overall this was a wonderful read that I would recommend to teenagers (maybe 16+?) and adults. When this comes out in May I plan on buying a physical copy too, as I think it's a great addition to every bookcase and I'd love to lend it out throughout my life.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Books for an arc in exchange for an honest review.*

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This book is something I think every young person (14+) needs to read. I appreciate that some of the topics in this book can be deemed as too young; especially with the age of consent being different; but I think it’s extremely important that young people learn the message that their body is theirs. Not anyone else’s! The fact Mo had to learn that through being hurt and betrayed is heartbreaking. But to see her personal journey through this book was just beautiful.

The positive messages in this book are something every young person needs to read; stand for what you believe in, don’t let other peoples views change yours, be true to who you are and do things when you are ready not anyone else!

I think this is a very important subject that a lot of young people will not have any idea about. I have never heard of it before this book. It normalises the stigmas that can sometimes come with being a teenager in a very difficult time for young people.

Well done indeed!

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When Monique is dumped by Dominic, her boyfriend of two years, because of her inability to have sex with him, she sets out to resolve the problem in order to win Dom back. Unwittingly recruiting the help of the Church loving girl-nextdoor-type and the local bad boy, Monique tackles the conceptions her parents and society have projected of what makes a “good girl” versus what she wants for herself.

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl tells the beautiful coming-of-age story of a young girl taking back control of her sense of self whilst making better friends and having a great time doing so. It was such good fun yet handled very sensitive subject matter; I couldn’t put the book down - I read it in one sitting!

Notably, most importantly, not only is Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl an entertaining read, it raises awareness of a medical condition, which Goffney writes in the acknowledgements as well, hopefully aids people in their understanding of vaginismus. Personally I hadn’t ever heard of this before and *wish* so desperately that I had known what this was as a young teenager. The awareness being brought to vaginismus is nothing short of phenomenal. I am certain it will help with people’s education, the provision of a safe place for people to not feel so alone and further yet, for some, support their understanding of themselves.

The characters were all likeable, and those who weren’t (lets all take a guess who, harhar!) served their purpose. Monique embodied the fear and confusion many kids experience when growing and changing, whilst her friends, Sasha and Reggie, supported her with emotional support or comedy where appropriate. It was very satisfying to see her explore and embrace parts of herself which she felt pressured to correct or avoid as a result of peer and parental pressure. Furthermore, I really, really enjoyed the “don’t judge a book by its cover” contrast between Dom and Reggie. And, if Goffney has any notion to write a follow-up exploring Sasha’s story… I would be cheerleading for it, that’s all I’m saying!

Goffney’s writing was impassioned throughout; easily readable with so much love, humour and sensitivity from beginning to end. The climax of the book was very emotional and unflinchingly captured the deep rooted worry most young adults have in navigating adult waters; from prejudices to difficult conversations… my heart was in my throat. Also, Goffney, my eternal thanks for the closing scenes… It was as powerful as the female Avengers coming together on screen.

Joyously tender, humorous and a true triumph of YA contemporary fiction. Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl is a terrific read for teens and fans of YA alike. Goffney is definitely an author to follow!

Thank you kindly to the publishers for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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Ya know what, shout-out to the doorman at work who called in sick which meant i had to go on door duty for a couple hours because the boredom of sitting in the cold is what made me start this book.
I loved everything about this book from the three dimensional characters to the super important and relevant topics of sex and religion and how those two things intersect.
This is my first time reading from Joya Goffney but it won't be my last.

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I literally adore this author. This first book was just wow and I have been highly waiting for the next book and let's just say it doesn't disappoint. It's a wonderful feel good book, that is sooo easy to relate to. We have all been there (if your an adult reading this that is) or could well be going through the same things (if you are a teen) either way. It's really easy to relate to and really easy to read. It's feel good and comforting and like a hug in book form. Loved it.

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After absolutely loving Goffney’s first novel - Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry - I was delighted to have this book approved on Netgalley.
This book follows Monique the “alleged good girl” who struggles to navigate her teenage relationship under the watchful eye of her father, a preacher at the local church.
Goffney also writes about a medical condition in a sensitive way that I’m sure will resonate with many people and hopefully offer reassurance and comfort for any readers experiencing this and feeling unsure.
The development of the relationship between Monique and her mother was so emotional and I loved the way it changed throughout the novel Not only did I love the characters but the overarching themes concerning female empowerment and the notion that your body is your own are both incredibly powerful and important messages for young readers and I think this would be a great book to accompany any sex education curriculum in schools.
If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would!

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Goffney has done it again!

I must admit, the first chapter had me feeling a bit uneasy with the way Mo was presented but reading more, I was hooked and finished it in one day!

The story is so important for girls that are reaching this stage in their life when it comes to sex, relationships and knowing their own bodies. I appreciate Goffney so much for writing this story that will go on to impact girls around the world who may not know what's happening to them if they're going through the same thing.

REGGIE! My heart loves him. I liked him from the very first scene and he is such a well written character. Every girl and woman deserves a Reggie! Such a sweetheart.

And Goffney, championing female friendships with Sasha and Mo. Yes. Please.

This was such a feel good story tackling a not-well known medical condition and I eagerly await for what Goffney will write next!

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Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl is a captivating story about a girl discovering who she wants to be and reclaiming her body and her desires for herself, whilst learning what it truly means to have someone accept you for who you are.

Monique is the daughter of a pastor in a small town in Texas. She is expected to be the perfect virgin daughter, who is not allowed to have sex until marriage. So when she discovers she physically cannot have sex and her boyfriend of 2 years breaks up with her, she has no one she can turn to for support. Enter the conservative church girl Sasha and bad boy Reggie and their top secret quest to cure Mo so she can win her boyfriend back. Mo embarks on a journey of self discovery and learns maybe she doesn’t need sex to be worthy of love, maybe Sasha is the friend she needed all along and maybe, just maybe, Reggie isn’t so bad after all.

Wow. This book is not what I was expecting at all. I thought it would be a typical YA rom-com, focused mainly on the love interest, with other storylines taking a back seat. However, Goffney has produced an incredible, sex and body-positive story full of family, love and fun. I loved that Mo was responsible for her own self growth and it was not attributed to a boy. Her struggle to overcome the shame and worthlessness she feels was truly inspiring.

The pacing was excellent and it was very easy to read, I finished it in one day. The climax of the book was so well written and emotional, my heart had so much sympathy for Mo. I think it is a testament to Goffney’s writing that I growled with frustration several times at the pure ignorance and arrogance of some of the male characters (if you know you know). I loved the focus on the strong women in Mo’s life and the chapter in the kitchen towards the end was so satisfying.

Overall this is a heartfelt, emotional and educational read. I am grateful this story highlights the struggles women face with societal and familial expectations around their body, health and sex. I recommend this for all YA fans, teens and adults alike, and I will definitely be adding Goffney to my auto-buy author list.

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I loved it!! This is not your average book and it covers a topic you never hear about. I remember being Monique's age and all those worries and concerns and can only imagine how much more worry would come from being known as and having to be the "good girl".
Now as a parent I can relate to wanting to protect my child and everything about her, so that I can understand why Jesse and Bianca did what they did.
What really got me with this book is you get to see it from all angles, you get to see how opinions and perspectives can change. How support can come from the people you least expect and how the people you expect it from can let you down. I really don't want to give any spoilers away, as I think everyone should get to experience this book in their way so all I will say is GO READ IT!!

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This book had me hooked from the word go. Monique is the daughter of a pastor and as such, she’s expected to be a model of good virtues. The pressure from her parents to live the life they expect of her is becoming too much and while she wants to rebel against their strict rules, she’s also terrified of being cut out of the family the way her older sister was. Her boyfriend is pressuring her to have sex but her fear of breaking the rules is too great to overcome.

Monique’s journey of self discovery is heartwarming and tragic in equal measure. I loved her realisation that she needed to live her life for herself and make her own decisions, not be pressured into doing things to make other people happy.

As an adult, and not the target audience, I want to defend the parents in the story, who are simply trying their best to help their daughter navigate the complexities of growing up. The story is as much about their self discovery as the parents of a teenager as it is about Monique herself.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Confessions of An Alleged Good Girl is an utterly incredible, coming of age YA that brilliantly explores body and sex positivity, the toxic views on sex and sex education and through Monique and her experiences, raise awareness of of vaginismus. This is a beautifully crafted and compelling story that I know will be invaluable to many readers who might—like Monique—might not have access to sexual health services or information.

Monique, a Preacher’s daughter and girlfriend to the town’s golden boy seems to have the perfect life. But, with her parents thoughts on sex before marriage ever present and her boyfriends pressure to get intimate, Monique is torn.

Tired of waiting her boyfriend breaks up with her, spurring Monique into discovering her inability to have sex is caused by a medical condition. To win him back Monique plans to resolve the “issue” with help from the only people she can turn to—frenemy (and fellow church girl) Sasha and the town’s resident bad boy Reggie.

But I’m doing so, she must face some home truths: maybe she shouldn’t be fixing her body to please a boy, maybe Sasha was the friend she’s need all along and maybe Reggie isn’t so bad after all.

I found it utterly riveting and thoroughly entertaining and though Joya Goffney’s own experiences with vaginismus allow her to expertly and sensitively delve into such sensitive subject matter with gusto, she still manages to keep the plot lighthearted whilst bringing awareness to a condition that isn’t widely known about.

Monique’s depth and dimension as a character was superb and her conflicting emotions (fear, guilt, shame, anxiety) surrounding her body and sex will definitely resonate with readers currently facing similar experiences or situations, and hopefully encourage them to seek help or a safe space to talk about it.

I honestly loved both Sasha and Reggie-who were two of Monique’s biggest supporters throughout and I’m soo glad she had them both, cheering her up and being there to confide in when she needed it the most. One of the characters I didn’t particularly like in the beginning does get a redemption arc that I enjoyed (don’t worry it’s not who you think) and I really appreciated that they owned up to their mistakes in the end and sought to actively help.

The love triangle aspect was interesting but I have to say, the contrast between Monique’s ex-boyfriend Dom and Reggie was a really interesting one and proves that people’s perceptions of others aren’t always accurate. This is also the case for Sasha as well, who despite Monique’s initial judgement is actually pretty amazing.

Overall, this is a heartfelt, inspiring and thoroughly insatiable story of self love, body positivity and reclaiming your sexual identity that YA romance lovers simply must read!

Also, thanks to Hot Key books and Netgalley for the e-arc.

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I was so excited to receive this ARC!! Many thanks to Netgalley/author/publisher for an advanced copy!

This book had me hooked from the start! The characters, the storyline, the location! Wow I loved it!

Monique is the daughter of a pastor and as such, she’s expected to be a model of good virtues. She’s expected to be well behaved, smart, keep on the down low kind of girl.

Monique is fed up with having to play by her parents strict rules and wants to do what she can to rebel against them without getting caught.

Her older sister was cut out of the family the way and she does not want this to happen to her.

This definitely felt like “a coming of age” story as you watch Monique deal with what she needs to do for her life and how she realises she needs to live and not be held back by her strict parents.

This was a great read and I cannot wait for the release date!

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REVIEW: Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This is the second book by @joya.goffney that I’ve read that solidifies how important it is to see your self in art because i enjoyed it sooo much!

After the amazingly cute #ExcuseMeWhileIUglyCry, I was so excited to have been approved for an ARC of Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl and it did not disappoint!! 😫💙

Main character, Monique is a ‘Church Girl’; a girl with a preacher for a father who is expected to be perfect and live up to all the ridiculous standards that a supposed Child of God should adhere to. When her seemingly perfect church boyfriend Dom breaks up with her for her inability to have sex, Monique is forced to question everything shes ever known (or in this case not known) about her life and the choices only she can make for it.
(Remind you of anyone 🐺😆)

I’ve met many a church girl and the depiction of them in this book is so real for those in and out of the church, that I commend Goffney for that alone.

Both Joya’s stories are amazing, not only for their depictions of African American lifestyles but for how relatable they are to both African Americans and Blacks of other nations. There were so many fun moments between the family and friends of the main character that had me laughing out loud because I’d been, done and said so much of it. That in essence, is what makes Joya’s books so wholesome; yes for the Black community, but for other communities to see us in non derogatory or discriminative lights.

Where Joya created an amazingly hot character in Carter, in her previous book; she does this again in new character Reggie and to a lesser extent with Dom. Fae warriors are great and everything but nothing compares to the hotness of a secure alpha Black man. Even if he is 17 in this book! 😂

In short, I loved this book. Yes for the relatable content, humour and cuteness but for the positive Black narrative and romances that more people need to know about.

For a quick, easy and fulfilled read, I commend you to pick this up when its out in May!

Thank you to @netgalley @harperteen for the eARC. All views are my own.

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This is a great coming of age book about a 17 year old girl, Monique, who defines herself by other peoples’ opinions of her. The local pastor’s daughter, Dom’s girlfriend, but can Monique find out who she truly is? This story tackles real and relevant teen issues, a fab read.

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Oh this was nice but I think it's going to be one of those books that is difficult to review without spoiling it for others.

A great bunch of characters are here as well as loads of body and sex positive messages.

Monique's father is a Pastor and as such, she is expected to be perfect in every way. She does well in school and attends church every week and even has a boyfriend who is the golden boy of the small town in which they live.

However, when Mo is unable to have sex with her boyfriend and he breaks up with her, Mo begins to take steps in "fixing" herself in the belief that this will bring her boyfriend back.

Will Monique discover her own self worth during the journey?

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