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- Publisher: Entangled Teen
- Format: Paperback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 203mm x 28mm | 295g
- Publication date: 31 May 2012
- Publication City/Country: Fort Collins
- ISBN 10: 1620611198
- ISBN 13: 9781620611197
- Sales rank: 286,313
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.
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Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom. Burstein lives in Portland, OR.
By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 16 Mar 2013
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).
By Amy Fournier 24 Apr 2012
First I want to give this some cover love!! I adore the cover. Yes, it's a girl in a pretty dress...but she's in a jail cell. I love it!! Second, it's titled Pretty Amy which automatically makes it cool since that's my name. ;) Okay now onto the review. I really loved this book. I am slowly but surely becoming a contemporary lover. This book is absolutely raw and realistic. I think everyone can relate to Amy in some way. This was a fantastic book that follows Amy through a hard time and her struggle to find herself. It is laugh out loud funny at times, but very tense and hard at others.
Amy is a very insecure person. She feels like she doesn't fit in. She finally feels some sense of normalcy with Lila and Cassie, but doesn't really realize that she still doesn't fit, she is just there. We watch her struggle through the story. She is too scared to really say what she wants or needs. She would much rather hide and be invisible. She was so frustrating to me at times, but I totally understood where she was coming from. Lila and Cassie were her only friends in her eyes. The only people she could talk to. Amy is not a strong person, she is falling apart and doesn't know what to do. The more people try to help, the more she wants to push them away. The characters are all great too. I could totally imagine them all. How they talked and how they interacted with each other.
I was not like Amy when I was in school. I would always say how I felt, I was on the cheerleading squad, I was friends with everyone, I participated in all sorts of school stuff. I wasn't a "Lila" though. I didn't think I was better than everyone and I never ever put anyone down or bullied others like Cassie would. Just because I wasn't like Amy, doesn't mean I didn't have some of her inside of me. I was scared sometimes and didn't always feel like I fit in even though I seemed like I should. I was always a bit insecure. I was short, had frizzy hair, and no figure at all. My parents never really seemed to care what I had to say. I used to go out and party with friends and cause trouble. I was not arrested, but I had a situation where things were not great and I had to rediscover myself and figure out what I really wanted. That was the Amy in me.
Lila and Cassie are her friends. Lila of course is the super pretty one, who knows it and uses it. Cassie is the tough chick who everyone knows not to mess with. Amy is the normal, average one. She feels excepted, different, cool even. They get into trouble and rebel and it makes her feel good that she isn't doing what everyone else wants her to. Her mother is too perfect, her dad is never there enough, and her childhood friend Joe thinks that Lila and Cassie are bad news. They are all she feels like she has. It's hard when all you want is to be accepted and noticed. I really felt bad for Amy. I wanted to hug her and tell her she was better than all of that.
This book was fantastic. It was so real! I totally did a lot of those things when I was in school. Smoking under the bleachers, going out drinking, hanging out with some of the wrong people, and of course making some bad decisions. I just loved how I could totally connect with Amy even not having all that much in common with her. The writing was great at portraying how teenagers really act and talk. It captures how they behave and think. This story really reminded me of high school a lot, and even though I was not a lot like Amy, I know a lot of people who were. I think that every teenage girl should read this book. (Well, maybe 14+ age girls since there is profanity in it.) This book kept me turning pages, laughing, sympathizing, and getting frustrated and angry along with the characters. And it really does have a great message to it. (Besides don't get arrested lol) If you like realistic books that aren't sugar-coated, this is for you! 4.5 out of 5 stars!
By Margie C 24 Apr 2012
Pretty Amy was not what I expected - and that is such a good thing!
I expected the story to be lighter and fun, and again, I am so happy that I was wrong.
Amy's story is not dark, it may be slightly depressing and sad - but it has it's funny moments too.
I am amazed on how Lisa Burstein's writing was able to draw me in and remind me what it was like to be a senior in high school again - every time I was forced to put the book down I had to remind myself that I am no longer that teen and that I am married with children, a billion years away from being an 'Amy' again, lol! But every time I started reading again, I felt for Amy and knew exactly what she was going through... well, sans the arrest...
Amy is the quiet one of the group who goes along with whatever her 2 rebellious friends, Lila and Cassie, say and do. And in the process of being cool with them, she loses her longtime childhood friend.
Then on Prom night, the trio get ditched by their so-called dates and long story short, they end up being arrested for possession of pot. And of course, the teen drama begins and it's the end of the world as we know it! Amy is forbidden to see any of her friends, her cell phone is taken away, she has to get a job to pay for the attorney her parents hired, she has to see a shrink and she's pretty much on house arrest. She has also been expelled from school, which meant that she was not allowed to finish the last week of school - and even though she will graduate, because she was no longer permitted on school grounds, she was also not allowed to go to her graduation ceremony.
Now, we meet Amy's parents.
Her mom is overbearing, very picky and seems to care more about what people think than her only daughter. The Dad is very laid back and seems to be your typical kind of Dad that hasn't accepted the fact that his little girl is growing up and tries to downplay everything that is going on by making bad pancake breakfasts and letting his wife make the decisions.
At first, I really had a hard time with Amy's parents, I felt like they weren't really there for Amy and that they were being too harsh and making things worse for her. But then I remembered what being a teen was like, the things that I went through, the things I saw my parents went through and now that I am a parent too - I get it!
Amy's parents, just like a lot of parents, think that things for teens should be so easy.
They forget and don't understand how hard life could be for a teen, especially a teen that has lost her way and doesn't know who she is or who she wants to be. How difficult it is to find your own voice and just speak up. Amy has never had anyone to rely on or to talk to. No one who ever showed a genuine interest and listened to her... or did she???
The ending is really good. I won't say anymore due to spoilers!
All girls should read Pretty Amy!
No matter the age, just like Amy, you will find that you are never alone!
Praise for Pretty Amy "Pretty Amy is a coming-of-age story without the comfort of padding... Lisa Burstein's debut novel traces the saga of Amy Fleishman, age seventeen. The book opens on what is one of the most significant days of Amy's life: the senior prom... When the girls get stood up for the prom, they make a woeful decision that leads to them getting arrested and facing real jail time. It's a life-defining moment ultimately forcing Amy to explore and confront who she is--and who she wants to be. Lisa Burstein dares to write a young adult story with a female protagonist that minimizes the romance, focusing instead on the character's psychological underpinnings and true motivation... Pretty Amy makes a great selection for the school market [allowing] young people to debate the actions and motivations of the characters without getting bored in the process ... " --New York Journal of Books "Lisa Burstein has one of the most refreshingly real YA voices I've read in years. If you're looking for a helluva trip that begins with an imploding prom night, cruises through the murky waters of the wrong side of the law, bad boys, tough love, and toxic friendship, and ends up with all the right surprises, please get your hands on a copy of Pretty Amy -- STAT! " --E. Kristin Anderson, Co-editor of Dear Teen Me, Authors Write Letters to their Teen Selves "In PRETTY AMY, Lisa Burstein has masterfully captured the private heart and soul of what it means--exactly how it hurts--and how vulnerable life is for teen girls. Girls who live in a constant storm fueled by self-doubt, disconnected parents, twisted friendships and normal rebellion all wrapped up in a craving need for love and acceptance. Burstein's writing is beautifully raw and hyper-real. PRETTY AMY will shock you, make you laugh, cry, yell, cheer, look in the mirror and examine your own friendships as you relate to one or more of the unforgettable characters in this story." - Anne Eliot, Author of Almost
Back cover copy
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.