Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

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  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Source: eARC from Publisher via Netgalley for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Overview

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.


My Thoughts


First I want to give this some cover love!! I adore the cover. Yes, it's a girl in a pretty dress...but she's in a jail cell. I love it!! Second, it's titled Pretty Amy which automatically makes it cool since that's my name. ;) Okay now onto the review. I really loved this book. I am slowly but surely becoming a contemporary lover. This book is absolutely raw and realistic. I think everyone can relate to Amy in some way. This was a fantastic book that follows Amy through a hard time and her struggle to find herself. It is laugh out loud funny at times, but very tense and hard at others. 


Amy is a very insecure person. She feels like she doesn't fit in. She finally feels some sense of normalcy with Lila and Cassie, but doesn't really realize that she still doesn't fit, she is just there. We watch her struggle through the story. She is too scared to really say what she wants or needs. She would much rather hide and be invisible. She was so frustrating to me at times, but I totally understood where she was coming from. Lila and Cassie were her only friends in her eyes. The only people she could talk to. Amy is not a strong person, she is falling apart and doesn't know what to do. The more people try to help, the more she wants to push them away. The characters are all great too. I could totally imagine them all. How they talked and how they interacted with each other. 

I was not like Amy when I was in school. I would always say how I felt, I was on the cheerleading squad, I was friends with everyone, I participated in all sorts of school stuff. I wasn't a "Lila" though. I didn't think I was better than everyone and I never ever put anyone down or bullied others like Cassie would. Just because I wasn't like Amy, doesn't mean I didn't have some of her inside of me. I was scared sometimes and didn't always feel like I fit in even though I seemed like I should. I was always a bit insecure. I was short, had frizzy hair, and no figure at all. My parents never really seemed to care what I had to say. I used to go out and party with friends and cause trouble. I was not arrested, but I had a situation where things were not great and I had to rediscover myself and figure out what I really wanted. That was the Amy in me. 


Lila and Cassie are her friends. Lila of course is the super pretty one, who knows it and uses it. Cassie is the tough chick who everyone knows not to mess with. Amy is the normal, average one. She feels excepted, different, cool even. They get into trouble and rebel and it makes her feel good that she isn't doing what everyone else wants her to. Her mother is too perfect, her dad is never there enough, and her childhood friend Joe thinks that Lila and Cassie are bad news. They are all she feels like she has. It's hard when all you want is to be accepted and noticed. I really felt bad for Amy. I wanted to hug her and tell her she was better than all of that. 


This book was fantastic. It was so real! I totally did a lot of those things when I was in school. Smoking under the bleachers, going out drinking, hanging out with some of the wrong people, and of course making some bad decisions. I just loved how I could totally connect with Amy even not having all that much in common with her. The writing was great at portraying how teenagers really act and talk. It captures how they behave and think. This story really reminded me of high school a lot, and even though I was not a lot like Amy, I know a lot of people who were. I think that every teenage girl should read this book. (Well, maybe 14+ age girls since there is profanity in it.) This book kept me turning pages, laughing, sympathizing, and getting frustrated and angry along with the characters. And it really does have a great message to it. (Besides don't get arrested lol) If you like realistic books that aren't sugar-coated, this is for you! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

30 comments:

  1. Great review!! I will read this book pretty soon as well ... Glad you enjoy it :)

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    1. I was a very good contemporary!! It was very realistic and the characters were great!

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  2. I'm glad you liked this! I love contemporary, but prefer it when they are funny. For some reason I thought this didn't look funny, so I'm really happy to hear that ther are some great moments where you laughed out loud! I love the cover, but I totally didn't catch that she was in a jail cell! It seems so obvious, now that you've pointed it out.

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    1. It's not a really funny book, but there is plenty of humor in it.

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  3. "it's titled Pretty Amy which automatically makes it cool" YES!!! Haha. I'm really happy this is good but really I haven't read anything by Entangled Pub that I didn't absolutely love so I can't see this being bad. You were a cheerleader? Teehee. We didn't even HAVE cheerleaders! Or football. Which is probably why. lol. Anyways... this sounds really great and realistic I'm looking forward to it. The cover totally rocks even though it's a cliché girl on dress, it's still different y'know. :)

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    1. I love Entangled Pub!! Their books seriously just rock!! This was no exception. It was a great YA contemporary, which is normally not a genre I read much of, but I am really enjoying them lately. I love how even though it's a girl in a dress, the mold is broken by having her in a jail cell, which suits the book perfectly!! Yes, I was a cheerleader lol!! Our squad was really good at one point. We won competitions and stuff. I mean of course we cheered for the football team and basketball, but we were all about the cheerleading competitions!! They were so fun!

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  4. Bah! I can't believe I missed this on NetGalley....
    review -- I am even more excited about this book now that I have read it

    I love that you were a cheerleader!

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    1. I don't think it was ever actually on NetGalley. It was through widget invite via NetGalley. Entangled posted on twitter that they were taking emails for an hour and then they sent the widget. I think they did it a few times. I happen to just be a twitter addict and saw when it was tweeted lol!! It's really good. I think you would enjoy it.

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  5. I'm really excited to read Pretty Amy. My arc should be here any day now *checks calendar, stares at mailbox*. I'm happy Lisa was able to portray teens in a realistic manager. I get bored w/perfect, innocent mc's. I'm really excited you loved this, since we have very similar taste in books. Great review, chickadee!!

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    1. Thanks babe!! I think you will love it. It's done so well!! You really feel like you are in Amy's head. Trying to figure out what to do wanting to be brave enough to make the right decisions. Not because someone else wants you to. I have a paperback copy pre-ordered and I am excited to get it.

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  6. Love your review. I am looking forward to reading this.

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  7. I can totally see you as a cheer leader and very outspoken when you were in HS. I think I was more like how you describe Amy. I may have gotten over some of it BUT I'm not sure it ever leaves you completely. May need to read this one to see how she works through it.

    Nice review. Thanks for sharing.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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    1. Thank Valerie. Yeah, I have never had an issue with saying what was on my mind. Perhaps a little too much haha!!

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  8. Really, really awesome review. I've wanted this one ever since I first heard of it, but now . . . I really need to get my hands on this. Yours is the first real review I've seen, and now I'm convinced. I absolutely love books that manage to show teenage life as it really is, not prettied up for the sake of an entertaining tale. I think I'm going to be a big fan of this one.

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    1. I hope that you really like it. I thought it was great and it was really told in a teenage voice.

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  9. Awesome review, Amy! It's great to hear so many good things about this book and I am definitely more eager to read it. I don't actually pick out many contemporary books myself but this one sounds like it could be a great read. I like that you were still able to connect with Amy even if you didn't have much in common with her. I love the cover too! :)

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    1. I think that because she seemed so real, it was easy to connect with her. I hope that you like this book if you decide to read it.

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  10. I have not heard of this book at all but now I want to read it! And I'm totally loving on the cover too. :)

    Jenny at Books to the Sky

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    1. The cover is awesome!! Actually I participated in the cover reveal for it, that is how I heard about it. I am glad I did. It's a great book.

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  11. Great review Amy! I was excited to read this book before (pre-ordered it), but now I'm even more excited about it! Annnd...I just got a bookmark & signed bookplate from Lisa in the mail today! Woot! I think I might just relate to Amy in this book. High School was a tough time for me. I did make some great friends who I'm still friends with today, but I was never one to join the clubs/groups/etc. I also took a test and got out early from high school partly because of the way I was treated by some of the more popular students. They did not make high school a fun experience & I just wasn't into being at school that much. So thankful for the friends I made though! :-)

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    1. I got my bookmark and signed bookplate in the mail 2 days ago!! I also pre-ordered it and I can't wait to have the pretty book in my hands. That sucks that school wasn't a pleasant experience for you. I was one of those people who got along with everyone. I didn't hang out in one certain clique. I always stood up for people too. I don't like when people are mean to others. Glad to hear that you have some awesome friends that have stuck with you since then. I have a few high school friends still too.

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    2. I loved that you stood up for people Amy :-) I apologize if I was a little TMI in my comment! High School just brings backs some bad memories, but I also have some good ones too!

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  12. I love the cover too! I love hearing personal stories in reviews. Helps to make the story more real. Thanks for sharing. :) I'm really looking forward to reading this book! Great review!

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    1. Thanks hon!! I loved how even though I wasn't much like Amy, I could still connect with her and understand her. That is what a good book is all about!

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  13. This cover is GORGEOUS...I'm slowly becoming a YA contemporary lover as well...and this just got added to my TBR list ;)

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  14. Great review Amy! I also love this cover! I haven't heard much about this but I think that I definitely have to pick this up now. I love stories that are real and Pretty Amy sounds like something I will love. I think that I would probably find myself relating to Amy. Must get a copy of this when it comes out!

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

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    1. I am not big on contemporary and I really loved it, so I think contemporary lovers will really enjoy it.

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  15. This book sounds so interesting. I have a feeling I might love it too :) Your review just makes me want to read it right away.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Amy !
    This is the first time I've come across your blog and it's awesome !

    New follower :)

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    1. Thank you so much!! I am glad you like my blog. :)

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