Book Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Title: Pretty Amy (Pretty Amy #1)
Author: Lisa Burstein (twitter: @LisaBurstein)
Genre: contemporary romance; realistic fiction;
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: 8th May 2012
Pages: 352  pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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 the girls get stood up for prom and 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. Even 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 Review:

Being arrested on Prom Night and subsequently suspended from her last few weeks of high school is now how Amy Fleishman expected to be finishing her senior year. But after getting stood up and a prank gone wrong, that’s exactly the predicament Amy and her two best friends (Gorgeous Lila and Sassy Cassie) find themselves in.

It surprised me that I took an instant dislike to Amy – I don’t even know what it was about her that rubbed me up the wrong way. That said it didn’t take long for her to grow on me. She’s confused and holding on to her popularity vicariously though her friends. But when they drop her – she’s all alone and facing a criminal conviction. There were times that her actions confused me and almost had me yelling at her but deep down she’s just a girl who made some wrong decisions. She’s very much a blank canvas as the start. Her opinions and thoughts are those of her friends but when cut off from her social network she needs to find herself. And despite a few missed turns and detours I loved the Amy who was found at the end of this book.

This is a novel that’s character driven with most of the action being conversations people are having with Amy or her own thoughts. I loved the characters. Most of them I’m glad are fictional and I never have to ever have the misfortune of meeting in person but I loved how they interacted with Amy and the parts they played in her story. Joe, Conner and Cassie (and AJ!) were my favourites for different reasons. I even liked Amy’s mother – I feel like she’s a good woman who’s been put in a difficult situation that not even Dr. Phil would be able to help her out with. So she tries as hard as she can to try to get her family though as best she can.

Over all this book is nothing like I thought it would be. It’s better. Pretty Amy tells the story of a good girl who has not truly gone bad but just doesn’t know how to get her life back on track.

I’m delighted to see there’s a novella to see what happens to Amy next (The Next Forever) and a novel devoted to Cassie (Dear Cassie).


Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


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