by Elisa Ludwig
Katherine Tegen Books
March 13, 2012
Source: Netgalley, which provided me with an e-ARC on behalf of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Mature Content: some fairly tame partying scenes
My summary: When Willa Fox's artist mother sells her paintings for big bucks, Willa is whisked from a public school in Colorado to an exclusive private academy in sunny Arizona. Willa is quickly drawn in by the Glitterati, the school's in-crowd. But after a whirlwind of shopping and girl talk, Willa learns that her friends aren't so welcoming to all new students. In fact, the Glitterati uses an anonymous blog to cyberbully other girls. Soon Willa has had enough, and hatches a daring -- if imprudent -- plan to steal from the Glitterati and give the loot to the needier students at school. She's a modern day Robin Hood!
The opening chapters of this book had me laughing out loud on the subway. (I think the hipster next to me was convinced I was mocking him for listening to "Last Friday Night" on his iPod.) As the book opens, Willa Fox cruises into Valley Prep Academy on a bright orange vintage Schwinn bike, is almost run down by a car, then spots the hottest guy she's ever seen. Things for Willa get even better when she's taken in by the Glitterati, a posse of rich girls.
After that, there's a lengthy period of set up -- a long stretch of shopping and parties and gossip. Eventually, Willa realizes that her new friends are not only rich and gorgeous -- they're mean. They use an anonymous blog to cyberbully a group of scholarship students, calling them skanks and making fun of their downscale clothes.
Willa decides that something has to be done, and that she's just the girl to do it.
She decides to steal from the Glitterati and give the loot to the scholarship students. At first, I thought Willa was going to give away money, but no. In a sort of fairy-godmother-slash-makeover-show move, she buys the girls clothes, playing ding dong ditch with her Neiman Marcus packages.
For a while, everything's going fine with Willa's plan. Willa's mom is too distracted by some sinister guy to pay much attention to her daughter's comings and goings. But then everything goes disastrously wrong...
This book had a little bit of everything: one part fish-out-of-water tale, one part caper story, one part issue novel. In a refreshing turn of events, Willa keeps Aidan, the aforementioned hot boy, at a distance for most of the book. Adult readers may cringe at the constant brand-dropping and Willa's belief that new clothes solve everything. But the book makes clear that Willa will have to face the consequences of her actions.
In fact, Pretty Crooked ends abruptly, so readers will have to pick up the next book in the series to find out what happens to Willa -- and what the heck her mother is up to. My verdict? I found Willa funny enough, her mother mysterious enough, and supporting characters Cherise and Tre interesting enough to be up for following their adventures into another book.
Try this book if you liked:
This sounds like a fun book, I think I would like it. Thanks for the great review!ReplyDelete
I pass The Versatile Blogger Award on to you. Check it out: http://polliwogblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/versatile-blogger-award.htmlReplyDelete
I visited you on your blog to say ... thanks SO much but I already had the honor!Delete
I agree with everything in your review! I found myself more intrigued with what was going on with Willa's mom than with her shopping, boys, and parties. I wish that we'd gotten to know at least a little something more.ReplyDelete
I feel she could have completed this story in one novel rather than a duo? trio?, but I guess most books have sequels now. :-(
I've been meaning to go over and read your review -- I don't like to read other people's until I write mine.Delete
And, agreed. I'm like: Dang! Another cliffhanger???
Hmmm...your review has left me on the fence concerning this one. It sounds fun, with all the Robin Hood references, but all the fashion label name dropping is a big turn off for me (I never made it past Book One in the Blue Bloods series for that very reason) BUT thank you for writing this informative review and giving me some more food for thought:)ReplyDelete
Strangely, it doesn't bother me that much. It can make the book feel dated fast, though...Delete
I hate when books end abruptly!!! I just had to say that. :)ReplyDelete
LOL. It does seem to be the trend these days.Delete
This does sound like a great book! It does remind me of Mean Girls.ReplyDelete
If you loved Mean Girls, definitely give it a try :)Delete
I was so excited when I saw this one on NetGalley. I love the idea of a modern retelling of Robin Hood with a female heroin! How awesome is that! I'm actually even more happy about it being a somewhat comical read. There doesn't seem to be enough of those out there lately! I'll have to power up my kindle and read this one really soon! Great review Jen! :)ReplyDelete
I think you'll love it. Let me know what you think!Delete
Laugh out loud is good. I'll be giving PRETTY CROOKED a read.ReplyDelete
I know. I love a narrator who can make me laugh.Delete
Sometimes brand name dropping bugs me but it seems like it's central to this plot so I don't think I would mind and as long as she learns her lesson it's all good.ReplyDelete
Could not have said it better myself :)Delete
I really must read Pretty Crooked, it definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great review-I am now looking forward to this even more than before. =)
I'm so glad :)Delete
Pretty Crooked definitely sounds like such a fun book to read. The cover alone is awesome with Willa making off with what she stole. I especially like that there will be a sequel to this book. I love the idea of Willa stealing from the Glitterati and giving to the scholarship kids. For this book it just sounds perfect, even if it is stealing. There is alot more to this book on a more emotional level and I definitely need to read it.ReplyDelete