Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading: Pretty Amy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just Finished Reading: Pretty Amy

Pretty Amy

by Lisa Burstein

Published by Entangled Publishing

on May 8, 2012

Source: gifted by a friend

Content: drug use -- but shows the negative consequences in a realistic and non-preachy way





My summary:  Amy is just trying to go along with her two best friends, Lila and Cassie, who have found them each a date for the prom. But when the guys stand them up, one thing leads to another, and the next thing Amy knows, she's in jail.  Instead of attending prom and graduation parties, Amy will have to attend arraignments and counseling. What she doesn't realize is that she'll also have to dig deep and figure out where she's going with her life.

My take: I read "prom"+ "arrested" and assumed this would be a Hangover-esque book for teens. Not at all. Pretty Amy actually takes a look at what can easily happen to a kid who just goes along with a friend's not-so-bright-idea, a kid who happens to be there when trouble goes down. Amy's not a bad person, she just wants to stand out. To have everyone notice her. To feel like "Pretty Amy," which is what her pet bird calls her. So she gets what she wanted, but not in the way that she expected.

It would be easy for a book like this to be humorless and preachy, to go all "Just Say No To Drugs" and make Amy the poster child for wayward kids. But Pretty Amy doesn't go that route at all. The book is edgy and hilarious. 

Sample:

Amy's Dad, on the way to lunch after her arraignment: "What are we in the mood for?"
Amy: "What was I in the mood for? A gun with one bullet in it. A bottle of strong liquor. A rewind button."

But Pretty Amy didn't just make light of Amy's problems. It was also realistic. I'm reading along, waiting for poor Amy to hit bottom. And she did, a few times. I was practically yelling at her as I was reading, warning her not to trust that person, not to make that decision. But, just like in real life,  she has to make her own mistakes and learn from them. Her problems didn't just disappear by magic.

If you love contemporaries, love funny books, and enjoy books about flawed characters who struggle to straighten everything out, you should definitely try Pretty Amy!



16 comments:

  1. I also thought this would be a fun prom disaster type of book. But I've read a few reviews of it now and it seems to be way serious. Amy has a lot of the typical teenager problems and I heard a crappy mother. Nice to know there is some humor.

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    1. I didn't see her mother as all bad. She sometimes just didn't know how to help her daughter. There was definitely some tough love in there, which was probably what Amy needed!

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  2. I hate when that happens!!! SOOOO annoying! Also, I think this one looks great. I'm looking forward to reading it. I like the quote you included.

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    1. Yeah, Blogger has been weird since the new interface in April. So I decided to just go with it LOL.

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  3. I was expecting a funny book when I read this too, but it took me by surprise in a totally good way. I loved the raw honesty in this book. I really felt bad for Amy. Even not ever being in a situation like hers I understood her, I felt for her, and mostly I wanted her to come out on top. I can't wait for Dear Cassie to hear Cassie's story. She seems like a very complex character. Great review chick!!

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    1. Oooh, I didn't know there were going to be companion books, tracing what happens to all three friends. That's so cool!!!

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  4. This is definitely the book for me since I am loving contemporaries a lot more, love funny books, and enjoy flawed characters. Hopefully soon I can pick this book up. Got a few books open now but I can read fast when I want to lol.

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    1. Then this is perfect for you. It will definitely be up for grabs on a Freebie Friday -- probably on June 1.

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    2. Awesome I look forward to that.

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  5. I've got it to read soon! It's in the pile of near future reads! Really looking forward to this one :-)

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  6. I like the idea of the book openly discussing a troubling issue like drugs without preaching to the readers. I think that too many times a book gets preachy about these issues and I know I get turned off even though I usually agree with the sentiment. I can only imagine how someone who does not agree or does not know what they think about the issue feel about it after reading a preaching book.

    Shanan
    http://thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/

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    1. I agree! This book really shows the consequences of making a mistake, and is still funny and hopeful at the same time. I enjoyed it a lot!

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  7. I was not sure what to expect with PRETTY AMY. I have a pretty good idea now thank you.

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  8. Pretty Amy has been on my TBR list since I saw that pretty cover. I'm so happy to hear that it didn't get all preachy because that was a concern, I'm not a big fan of preachy!

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  9. I'm glad you liked this one, because I've had it on my TBR list for a while! It sounds like Amy was a lot like me in high school - I wasn't a bad kid but I did go along with a lot of stuff and could have gotten in a lot of trouble! ;)

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