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Pretty Amy by [Burstein, Lisa]
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Length: 355 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

You’d think life couldn’t get much worse than being arrested on prom night. But you’d be wrong.

No friends. My two besties, Cassie and Lila, are now officially parentally banned.

No summer of freedom. Instead, I’ll be working at a convenience store, earning money just so I can cover bail.

No future. Just a series of humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” designed to teach me a lesson.

The only silver lining is Aaron—a mystery wrapped in a leather jacket and wielding car keys—who just happens to show up right when I need him. Now I only feel alive when we’re driving together, the wind in my hair.

Maybe finally getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1984 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1620611198
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen (8 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No surprises, but strong characterization and well written 28 April 2012
By Christina (Ensconced in Lit) - Published on
Verified Purchase
This book came highly recommended so I decided to give it a try.

Pretty Amy is a coming of age YA novel about Amy, a graduating senior who is hanging out with the wrong crowd~ beautiful Lila and trash talking Cassie. Amy finally feels like she fits in, but during a fateful prom night her life changes forever, and she has to finally grow up.

This novel is well written and while Amy is hard to like sometimes because of her bitterness, anger and frustration, we somehow get the sense she'll turn around at the end. I loved her parrot AJ and liked Conner.

The difficulty with novels such as this is that this is material we've all seen before. Teenage angst and a troublemaker who eventually sees the light through tough love. And there are some romance issues in the background. I recently sat in on a group of child psychiatrists who were talking about words they used to describe teenagers. These descriptives included overconfident, hormonal, defiant, experimental---all which were shown in this novel to the tee. The difficulty is going beyond the expected. I immediately compared this novel to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver which remains one of my favorite novels. These two novels have a very similar beginning-- but the books are vastly different in the way the material was handled. Unfortunately, while this book has many strong points, it does little to get out of the stereotype. However, the voice of Cassie is what is unique and gripping, and that is what carries the reader to stay until the end.

That said, this is a strong first novel. While there were no surprises, it was well written and flowed nicely with good characterization.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hard slap of reality! 28 February 2013
By Angie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, Pretty Amy is a hard slap of reality. The cover looks fun and all, but look closely. She's in a prom dress in a jail cell. That's probably not fun at all, and Amy really may be facing some serious jail time if she's convicted of a crime she didn't even commit. Prom night was an unfortunate case of "wrong place at the wrong time" for Amy and her two friends. They were also stoned out of their minds, so it's no wonder they're being charged with possession, intent to sell, and sale of marijuana. However, Amy's mother is making Amy to everything she can to appear innocent in front of the judge.

After the initial arrest, the rest of Pretty Amy follows Amy as she does everything that her mother and lawyer tell her to do in order to prepare for her court date. It starts with a navy suit and therapy, then a job and community service. Soon Amy even finds herself in a jail cell wearing soaked pajamas. This girl just cannot catch a break! Amy grudgingly does as she's told, but all the while she's trying to figure out what's right for her. Her lawyer wants her to essentially rat out her only two friends, but Amy doesn't think she can do that even if it'll help her avoid jail time. She's loyal to girls who may not feel the same way about her.

I think that Amy's mother does a lot more harm than good. Not in regards to Amy's case, she really doesn't want her daughter to go to jail, but to Amy's self esteem. Somehow her mother makes Amy's legal trouble about her and acts out accordingly. She seems much more worried about how the neighbors will see her than her daughter's well being. And honestly, if that crazy woman was my mother, I'd probably rebel, too. I mean this woman sets Amy's mattress on fire because she's convinced she's detoxing from heroin, even though she has food poisoning! She doesn't even listen to anything Amy has to say, and as a result Amy feels utterly cut off from people.

This is a tough book. It's definitely not sunshine and rainbows, but it's not as heavy as other YA contemporaries either. It's just very real. The author does a great job showing how our choices have real consequences, whether we think about them or not. While I know the majority can't related to being faced with jail time, I do think many girls (and probably some guys) will relate to Amy's struggle in finding herself and facing the consequences of her choices.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, fun read! 27 April 2012
By ReadingCorner - Published on
Verified Purchase
Flying through the pages of Pretty Amy was like a trip back to the halls of my high school--the cliques, the heartbreaks, the searching, the uncertainty. Amy is searching--but she doesn't even really know what she's searching for (or perhaps even that she's searching). She's found a group of friends who make her someone, but is that someone who she really WANTS to be? Is it really who she is?

Amy will, I think, steal your heart from page one of this book because her slightly broken, pessimistic personality turns her into a real person--not just another character on the page. Many readers will find themselves identifying with Amy's struggles to find her place in the world amidst the many pressures and pitfalls of being a teenager (even though most of us PROBABLY weren't arrested on our prom night, if we went at all). Her snarky wit, which manifests itself in hilarious one-liners, will have you laughing out loud and taking notes so you can steal her humor later. Now, I'll admit that there were times I wanted to reach in and shake the poor girl because she's seriously a hot mess and she just needs to step it up a bit! BUT, I think sometimes these sorts of characters are the ones that really insert themselves into our memories and the ones that we can relate to because haven't we all made stubborn mistakes and decisions?

Ms. Burstein's writing truly brings together this story in a perfect portrayal of the turbulent adolescent years. I felt like she really captured the emotions of being a teenager--the ups and downs, disappointments and revelations. I'm young enough that I remember quite vividly my own moments of utter betrayal at the hands of "friends" and the moments of pure bliss that showed up at random, unexpected times. This story brings you back to your own experiences, no matter how different they were from Amy's. We all had moments where our parents were the bad guys and we were too cool for school, where we struggled to find a place to fit in and once we did weren't sure that it was really the right place.

Pretty Amy is a realistic portrayal of the world that your average teenager lives in. Sure, there were moments that required a bit of suspension of belief, but the overall tone and story rang true for me. Amy's story isn't clear-cut--her path is messy and filled with moments of uncertainty and betrayal. If you're looking for a fun contemporary YA read with a snarky protagonist, you can't go wrong with Pretty Amy. I've already pre-ordered a copy of my own. :)
4.0 out of 5 stars Such strong characters 2 May 2013
By Problem Solver - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've been reading Lisa Burstein's novels out of order. I started with her novella The Next Forever and was hooked enough to want to read what came before it. I have the follow-up, Dear Cassie, in my TBR pile.

This was a really strange read for me and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I am the parent of a girl AND someone who works in secondary education. Amy, the narrator, has to be one of the most miserable human beings ever written. She is sullen and snarky and rude to pretty much everyone. She wallows in her own self-pity for 99% of the book and bases her worth on her friendship with two girls who treat her like crap. In other words, she's a typical teenager. She made a choice years before to be friends with Cassie and Lila, thinking she'd be cooler by association, and when a crisis hit, she found out she was back at square one and didn't like herself very much.

I found this to be my thought process while reading:

- Wow, she's awful.

- Wow, she reminds me of some of my students.

- Wow, I hope my daughter doesn't grow up to be like her.

As a parent, I shuddered thinking my child will one day think of me the way Amy thinks of her mother, that she will make choices just to spite me. I know it will happen, logically, I definitely did it myself, but its painful to think about. I think that Burstein nailed the teenaged angst and self-hate. I think it must be terribly difficult to write someone who has very few redeeming characteristics, draining and exhausting I would bet. In the end, Amy is presented with a new beginning of sorts and though the ending comes sort of abruptly, it is the right ending I think. She has begun her evolution of accepting herself as she is, which is often the spot teens find themselves in at the various built-in crossroads in their lives, so again, what Burstein wrote is very truthful. I would be so curious to discuss this one with high school seniors or college freshmen to see what it made them feel and if it was different from what I experienced.

This is one of those books I can't say I liked, but I can say with confidence that Burstein is a very talented writer for creating this story, these people. Amy is a character that I think is going to stick with me for a long long time. I did want more background on Lila and Cassie and what made them so heinous, so lucky for me, there are more books!

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful coming of age story! 12 May 2013
By Shirley Quinones - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amy has been hiding behind her friends Cassy and Lila so that she doesn't have to confront who she really is. This comes to a halt on a fateful night where bad decisions will lead her to question her actions and her friendships, ending in her finally taking a long look at herself and deciding if she accepts it or continues on her self-destructing path.

I was immediately drawn into this story by Amy's self-deprecating voice. From the start you could sense how troubled and lost she was and that it all came down to her not knowing how to relate to her peers. Although she did fine with her friends, you could tell my their exchanges that she was keeping herself at bay there too. She admired Cassie's strength and Lila's beauty, but she didn't think she added anything special to her friendship, even when you could easily see that she was the more rational of the three.

I liked how the author, Lisa Burstein, took she told Amy's story in a way that really gave me insight into everything that could be the cause for Amy's troubles - her parents, her school, her lack of self-esteem. All these factors were presented in a way that felt real and believable. Through Amy's detailed introspection I could understand where she was coming from, even if in my teenage years I didn't experience most of what Amy did.

I enjoyed the range of emotions brought to the page, the secondary characters and what they brought to the story, but most of all I enjoyed Amy's development into a young woman who accepts herself as she is and wants to take her future in her hands now that she has found herself.

Pretty Amy is a wonderful coming-of-age story that will tug at your heartstrings and make you remember all the things young people struggle with today.