Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
First published: May 8th, 2012
Source: Received from publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Goodreads Summary:
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 Rating: 4.0  / 5

First thoughts:
Growing up, having dates and figuring out what's important for you isn't the easiest thing we're confronted with in life and that's exactly what Amy is going through. With an overbearing mother, questionable friends and a disastrous prom night she ends up believing that her life is over. At times heart-breaking but told by a really likable and witty protagonist Pretty Amy is a really awesome contemporary novel.

More detailed:
Pretty Amy isn't even close as light-hearted as the summary might make you believe. I found it to be a fairly heavy read, but nonetheless very eye-opening and hard to put down. After a disastrous prom night Amy finds herself arrested along with her "best friends" and all of sudden her life is completely changed - or over, as Amy seems to believe.

I'm pretty sure that fans of Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler will love Pretty Amy as well. They're both dealing with teenagers who all of sudden are in contact with the law system and have to change their life in order to save themselves from huge consequences. And their main characters are both entertainingly witty and sarcastic.

While I really enjoyed reading the story from Amy's point of view, because Lisa Burstein's writing style makes it so easy to understand Amy, I had lots of problems liking the other characters. At certain points it seemed like  we were witnessing Amy's fight against the rest of the world and it can be a bit tiring for me, if a main character doesn't get to experience any uplifting moments.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Pretty Amy though. I felt constantly sad for Amy, wanted to scream at her parents, her lawyer, and her friends and crossed my fingers for her happy ending. If you're looking for a thought-provoking contemporary coming-of-age story, be sure to add Pretty Amy to your to-read list, but be aware that while there is a bit of romance, the focus is on Amy dealing with the consequences of her prom night.

YA Contemporary Challenge 2012
2012 Debut Author Challenge

Buy a copy Pretty Amy:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Have you read Pretty Amy? What did you think about it?
Do you plan to read it?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


  1. I haven't read Pretty Amy yet, but I do want to! It sounds like a contemp that I might really enjoy.

  2. Great review! I love a book that really makes you think and doesn't leave your mind. I'll definitely be given this book a shot.

  3. The summary intrigues me. Jail on the prom day? And I definitely will enjoy reading witty characters!

    I've already bought a copy and will be reading it soon.

    Thanks for sharing your review. :)

  4. I didn't know this was more of a heavy read! I'm glad I haven't started it yet because I'm just in a mood for light books. Thanks for the great review!


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