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Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick Hardcover – April 27, 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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"Stop Being Lonely" by Kira Asatryan
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Famous for her roles as an angst-ridden teen in John Hughes classics like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, Ringwald, now a 40-year-old wife and mother living largely outside the celebrity spotlight, seems a credible source of advice for young women and a likely fount of behind-the-scenes Hollywood anecdotes; unfortunately, she provides little of either in this uninspired self-help memoir. Like a well-meaning but distant friend, the actress shares advice and observations on topics like love, clothes, and food, often focusing on the inane and obvious (souvenir t-shirts are both ugly and ill-fitting; rushing into sex is usually a mistake) rather than the personal or perceptive: "When you're a teenager, you're forever thinking: Do they like me? When you're a grown-up... the question becomes: Do I like them?" Ringwald occasionally involves her personal history, including the fact that the early stages of her romance with husband number two were mostly conducted over email, but she skimps on the details that her fans are probably looking for, with surprisingly little reference to the movie work that made her an icon of suburban youth in the 1980s. Color illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A lighthearted guide for women…who want to be reminded of their youthful, carefree selves.” (New York Times)

“She’s not afraid to dish….Ringwald shares the secrets of what has worked well in her life….[She sheds] light on who she’s become off-camera, and that person has a lot of good advice to share.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“[A] woman’s dream bible: It is about finding inner beauty when you are no longer 16…. Ringwald truly wants women to feel admired and confident at any age, and her passion comes across as clearly (and quirkily) as it did in her teen movie years.” (The Daily Beast)

“[Ringwald’s] book offers tips on prettifying from the inside out.” (People)

“A warm and chatty guide to aging gracefully.” (Salon.com)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; First Edition edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061809446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061809446
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Molly Ringwald began her film career at the age of thirteen with her Golden Globe-nominated performance in The Tempest. Her extensive film credits include The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps, Fresh Horses, Betsy's Wedding, Billy Bob Thornton's short film Some People Call It a Sling Blade, and the now iconic coming-of-age movies Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club. On stage, Molly has starred in the Broadway production of Cabaret, the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Enchanted April, and the Bob Fosse musical Sweet Charity. Molly can currently be seen starring in the breakout hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. She lives with her husband and three children in Los Angles, CA, and Getting the Pretty Back is her first book.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So unfortunate . . . I really, really wanted to like this book. Like many women in their 30s, I was enamored with Molly Ringwald (in a girl-crush, that's who I want to be sort of way) throughout high school. So when I happened upon this book in my local library, I immediately grabbed it. Though I was hoping for an autobiography, I must say that when I read the flap I was intrigued. Molly Ringwald was going to give me advice. How cool is that? And she's going to help me get my "pretty back" (ok, I never knew I lost my "pretty" but if I needed to retrieve it, I was glad that it was Molly who was going to help me find it).

Then I read the book. Which, as I stated above, was unfortunate. Because I no longer felt like I needed to "get my pretty back". I more or less felt that I needed to get the last 20 or so years of my life back. You see, I haven't ever made a movie; lived in France; fallen in love with a man several years my junior who was dating my friend; and/or had his children. I'm not inclined to throw dinner parties on the rooftop garden of my New York apartment (so creating the perfect cheese plate is a lost art to me) or go on wine buying "binges". I don't care how to tie a Hermes scarf because I can't afford one. Nor do I want to hear someone espousing the benefits of peels and injectable fillers. Perhaps, my life has not been as exciting as I've led myself to believe. Or, perhaps, this book is not as great as the editors copy led me to believe. I honestly didn't know that a book could give me low self-esteem. Though now she is perfectly poised to write a follow up tome on "How to Get the Dignity Back".

To say that this book left me cold would be an understatement.
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Format: Hardcover
What I Loved: Molly narrated her own book and I think this works for this book. She has a good reading voice.

What I Liked: This book covers everything from dinner parties to lipstick. I can't think of a topic that she did not cover. In that aspect, this book delivered on it's promise to give you advice on how to handle anything. I also enjoyed when she threw in antidotes about her life over the years. Those little stories were the best part of the book.

What I thought was So-So/Didn't Like: I really wanted to love this book but most of it was "eh". I am not sure that most of her advice is good for everyday people. It is probably because I am not a fashionita. I do figure that I am not the main target audience for this book. It just seemed a little out of reach for most normal people.

Why I gave it a 2: I will admit that this is one of those books that will probably get ratings from bad to good because it really is more of a personal type of book. The advice either appeals to you or not. I love Molly Ringwald and feel like this book will appeal to other people. It just didn't work for me.

Who I would recommend it too: Anyone who likes non-fiction advice books on beauty, travel, wine, and cooking.

Author Website: Harper Collins Book Site
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like memoirs and (auto)biographies this is not the book for you. If you want relationship and fashion advice from a pretentious celebrity...go for it.
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Format: Hardcover
Witty. Inspiring. Humorous. Vibrant. Touching. Relatable. Perfectly Pretty.

I opened Getting The Pretty Back, read the first page, and I didn't stop until there were no more pages to turn. The book not only recounts elements of Molly's life, but it also inspires, encourages, and mirrors every woman's life. It was refreshing to read chapters on dating and love, fashion and hair, friends and social networking, and the importance of family and how family shapes you. The book is perfectly relatable and you can feel the emotion of every written word.

It also cannot go without mentioning the vibrant colors, the darling illustrations, and the brilliant quotes that are strategically placed throughout the book. They are the perfect addition to the book, adding another dimension - fun/light-heartedness.

When you read Getting the Pretty Back, you will laugh, you may cry ( those poems are touching), you will feel uplifted; and most importantly, you will feel pretty!
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Format: Hardcover
What I immediately loved about Ringwald's book is the spirit of being true to yourself. As soon as I read the line, "I discovered...that as long as I set the trend, instead of following it, I'd be okay," I knew that the Molly we all loved and believed in was still very much with us. The book may offer beauty and fashion tips, but it's all presented in a way that allows women to take the advice and make it their own. Though Molly sings the praises of designer bags, she also knows that the funky purse found at Target makes way more sense for most women. It's a sentiment that makes being pretty accessible, just as Pretty in Pink did nearly twenty-five years ago.

Of course, the book isn't just about looking good - it's really about feeling good. Getting the pretty back involves maintaining healthy friendships, pursuing our dreams, eating, entertaining, exercising, and encouraging confidence and individuality in our children. Somehow the idea of eating seems the most revolutionary of all. While most style books emphasize dieting and staying trim, Molly gives us permission to round up our friends and have some fondue. How do you not love a girl who loves food?!

Getting the Pretty Back is not a dishy memoir, but Ringwald's experiences are woven throughout the narrative. We definitely get a sense of who she is and what's she's been up to, but that's not the point. This charmingly illustrated book does exactly what Molly has always done so well: it empowers women to be the best possible version of themselves. I can think of nothing prettier.
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