Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Published May 15th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing
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 their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls 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. 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.
Amy is one of those teenagers that so many can relate to in some way or another. She struggled to fit in and find 'her people' only to find herself in big trouble as well as discovering they perhaps weren't the 'her people' after all. Did you struggle to find your place in high school? I know I did. I wasn't really so much like Amy, but yet I found myself connecting with her on many different levels and kind of getting where she was coming from.
Amy gives out this feeling like she's numb. She had to deal with getting in big trouble and can no longer see or talk to her friends. Her control freak mother is all over her case, she has to get a job, she has to volunteer, and she has to see a shrink. Things have most definitely changed for her and now she has to worry about getting sent to jail as well. She doesn't know what to think, what to feel so she walks around in this state of numbness with her anger coming through at times. I didn't feel this overwhelming love for Amy because she gives off this cold vibe. She's angry and hurt and she's just not sure what she feels or wants to feel or what she's going to do about it. So no, I didn't love her. But as I read I grew to understand her and as she grew as a character and found some of her true self inside her and began to come out of her shell of numbness and anger I did start to love her. But she wasn't the easiest person to actually really like. This was one I had to really focus on putting myself in my 17 year old shoes. To remember back to when I was a teenager and how I felt. How angry I felt and alone and totally misunderstood. And once I did that, I felt a more true connection to the story and to Amy.
This book wasn't full of action and romance. It was about feelings and emotions and family and friends. It was about finding yourself and not being what you think others want you to be, or what you think you need to be. This book is about finding your way.
I definitely recommend this book to fans of contemporary YA. There's some themes and language I would recommend for more mature readers. Just remember the main character is a senior (well, she graduates in this book) so that gives you an idea of content.
I give this 4/5 stars.
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.