Author – Lisa Burstein
Pages – 304
Publisher – Entangled Publishing
Series – Pretty Amy
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 Rating – 3 ¾ Stars
Amy is a self-conscious teenager. So self-conscious that she taught her parrot to say “Pretty Amy”. She was a nobody through most of high school. Until she met Lila and Cassie, two stereo-typical “bad girls”.
Now, she’s getting ready to go to the senior prom with them. Lila and her boyfriend Brian arraigned for some of Brian’s friends to go with Amy and Cassie and Amy is pretty excited about it. Until Brian and his friends stand them up. As retaliation, Lila breaks into Brian’s house and steals a huge bag of pot.
Instead of going to prom, the girls drive around smoking and are eventually arrested and charged with possession and intent to sell (standard if you are caught with a large amount). Amy’s parents take her phone and forbid her from speaking to Lila and Cassie. She has to get a job, she has to pay for her own lawyer, she has to start therapy and do community service to make herself look good before her trial date. She’s suspended for the rest of her senior year and not allowed to attend her graduation. Her mother is furious (more on the mother later) and her parents attend graduation without her.
Amy is lost without her friends. She’s depressed and no longer knows who she is. The boy who stood her up locates her and shows interest but can she really trust him? During her punishment she often watches the house across the street, thinking of the boy she used to be best friends with but gave up by becoming friends with Lila and Cassie. The only way Amy can save her butt from jail is by turning in her best friends (this doesn’t make sense to me, they were caught together).
This book was nothing like the summary describes. There was nothing funny and it’s not particularly heartwarming. It’s actually a pretty depressing book about a young girl who thinks she’s nothing without her friends. She has no other friends besides Lila and Cassie, and she’s kind of a little brat. She smokes and drinks because her friends do. She wants so desperately to fit in and it’s almost painfully clear to the reader that Lila and Cassie don’t even like Amy that much. She’s like their little pet.
And the mother? She’s a freaking psycho. She habitually nasty to Amy, she doesn’t ever listen to a word Amy says. She degrades Amy and her decisions (not that Amy’s decision are all that great but you get what I mean). When people ask Amy a question, her mother answers for her and it’s usually snarky. Her mother even dragged Amy’s mattress out to the backyard and LIT IT ON FIRE because she thought Amy hid heroin in it (because of a joke). Honestly, if I had a mother like that I’d probably smoke pot and drink too.
I wanted to like this book and I did, a little. But overall I felt like every character in the book was a stereotype. Amy was a stereotypical self-conscious girl, Lila and Cassie are stereotypical bad girls, and the mother is a stereotypical judgmental Jewish mom.
While the book was well written, I was annoyed by all the characters and that turned me off from the book a bit. Especially with the mother. I found myself rolling my eyes every time she was mentioned.