Saturday, 4 August 2012

Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein


Title: Pretty Amy
Author: Lisa Burstein
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Won from goodreads
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: May 8th 2012

Tell Me About It
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
I won Pretty Amy a while ago and it took forever to get here thanks to the postal service.  The first thing that catches my attention is the front cover, and how the background is a dirty, dingy prison cell, and the foreground is a girl in an amazing prom dress.  I love the contrasting images and once I had finished reading Pretty Amy, the cover fits in perfectly with the story.

Within the first few pages of Pretty Amy, we get to see what type of relationship Amy has with her mother, and it's not a good one. I got the impression Amy's Mum isn't around much for important things in Amy's life, like picking out prom dress, and this quote says it all
"If bitching were karate, my mother would be black belt."

As we learn more about Amy, we get to see her relationship with her friends Lila and Cassie, and see how unbalanced and bad it is for Amy. Amy is like a third wheel, and Lila want's everything her own way, and when we are first shown glimpses of this I thought to myself why was Amy staying friends with these people. But as Amy's story is explained and why she is friends with them, then I did begin to feel sorry for her.  However after a prank pulled by Lila the girls end up being sent to prison. As punishment Amy has to pay for the lawyer and find a job, as well as being sent to volunteer/rehabilitation therapy picking up trash, helping in a nursing home, and helping in a farm. Her friendship with Lila and Cassie slowly disintegrates and Amy begins to see the truth and gets to look deep inside herself to find her true worth.

I did feel sorry for Amy, yes she made mistakes that could have been avoided, but in my opinion the facade that others see is not what Amy is. She goes along with others to feel loved and wanted and to have a sense of security knowing that others do want and like her being around, rather than doing what she wants to do or what is right for her. She only ever had one true friend, who she lost due to Cassie and Lila.

Pretty Amy is a great read and focuses on real life issues, peer pressure, drugs, drink and although Amy is telling the story, it's not glorified or made prettier, it's 'real issues' that I am sure plenty of teenagers dealt with, and still do now. Amy makes choices that may not have been the best to make, but she eventually learns the consequences of her choices and mistakes and I think these are portrayed very well.

I can't wait to find out Cassie's side of the story when her book is released.

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