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on January 22, 2011
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. While I'm not apposed to self-help books and am all for personal betterment, this book failed in both categories. The advice was trite and lacking in depth, emotion and, most shockingly, usefulness. It came off as self-indulgent fluff targeted at a select few. (Most likely, those who've never seen the inside of a Target.)
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on January 22, 2011
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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on March 29, 2013
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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In college I was on the lacrosse team, took kick boxing (the kind were if you drop your guard you get punched in the face), I minored in Gender Studies and fixed my own beater car; I don't want you to think I am a powder puff. But I did all that stuff and also wore sassy skirts, kitten heels and worked at a cosmetic counter to pay rent and tuition. I fully embraced my feminine side and had a great time. But after back to back kids, my girly tendencies quickly gave way to sweat pants and 50 extra pounds of flab.

I stumbled upon this book by accident and am glad I did! I found it very fun and affirming. It reminded me that it is important to not lose yourself, that you are a better mom if you take are of yourself in a way that is above just brushing your teeth. I read the Kindle version in two days as I nursed my 6 month old baby. I was sad to see it end, it felt like talking to a girlfriend about things that had been bothering me.

Some people may think this book is too aloof because it talks about Hermes scarves and cheese platters, but I found it enjoyable. It is perfect for all you girly girls out there who owned your own REAL toolset at 21, went clubbing and have found yourself deep in a diaper bag in your 30's. It is a really nice pick-me-up!
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on October 3, 2013
I admit it, the main reason I bought this book was because it was by Molly Ringwald. I always loved her 80s movie, as a huge 80s buff.

This book was a chapter book describing various ways to basically enjoy your life. However, the author lives in France and many of the ideas she had to enjoy life really were not ideas I could relate to living in Nebraska. I am not saying our state is a backwards, we don't knows squat are of the United States. It's just that the cultures are so different. Plus, many of her ideas sounded way out of my budget. They really were not for the typical, middle class, woman.

I did enjoy seeing how she lived her life and what she did for enjoyment; but as far as a "self-help" book, I will have to pass on this book's ideas.
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on May 1, 2010
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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on May 10, 2010
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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on April 5, 2014
I was very disappointed in this book. I was hoping it would be a fun read, but honesty? It basically was just a bunch of materialistic, shallow "advice" lumped together with no actual depth and a very weak theme. I couldn't even bring myself to finish it, because I felt like she was insulting my intelligence.

Here are a few examples of what really turned me off (from what I read):

She goes on for half a chapter about why you should throw out all of your tee shirts with writing on it (and offers no good excuse why), only get solid color shirts only-- and only from one specific brand, because all others are too cheap. So, basically, I'm supposed to to throw out all of my graphic tees-- which I happen to like-- and trade them in for solid color tees just because MR says so? Screw that!

She also goes on about why everyone should have a Hermes scarf, even taking up two pages telling you how to tie on! Seriously? Was she getting paid by Hermes to promote their scarves? And even if I could afford to buy one (I can't, not all of us have been lucky enough to be in movies), I don't need to sit through four pages on how to tie one.

Her chapter on fitness, she basically just peddles yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. Not that these are bad things, but most of us don't has time/money to go to these classes. She said that group classes are $10 for yoga... Um, WHERE? The cheapest class in my area is $40.

In the chapter about clothing, she tells us that we should get a friend to help us throw out some of our clothes. Not a terrible idea for those of us who tend to hold on to stuff, but then she tells us to get one of our gay guy friends to help. She says they are always harsher and more honest about how your clothes look. That is such a stereotype. Most of my gay friends couldn't care less about fashion, actually. I'm glad Molly is so open minded this she makes this assumption about gay men...

There's more, but I'm sick of typing. You get the idea.
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on September 6, 2012
I Know that I am not the right audience for this book....it is supposed to be for 40 year olders...I'm almost 60 now. But I remember the enlightenment I felt after 40, it was liberating. And, I tried to share that feeling. But I felt it was rather self serving. As I felt the book was as well. I'm glad Molly Ringwald is happy and liberated. But the rest of us have already walked a mile in our own shoes and I am sure she would never be seen in my shoes! And I know I couldn't walk 2 feet in hers and my entire wardrobe likely costs less than one pair of hers!!
Anyway, the book needs a warning, NOT FOR WOMEN OVER 40! Been there-done that!
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on May 22, 2010
I wanted to love this book. It seemed perfect. My big screen BFF from high school, Molly Ringwald, turned 40 (just like me), had kids (just like me) and lost her pretty (too much like me). She worked to get her pretty back. I need to do that! Sat down and read the whole book in two hours. Save your two hours.

She starts with such a great premise: remember who you were before the responsibilities of life took over and bring that pretty back into your life. The problem is, she spent the book explaining who she is and showing you how to be her. Why would I care what her favorite lipstick colors are? Why do I need to know her wardrobe essentials? Instead of encouraging women to look at who they were and have become, she shows you how to be just like Molly. She also spends time showing you how to stay bitter as she takes digs at neighbors and a ex-boyfriends' family. She even gets a little weird when she brags her four year old believes in evolution.

The premise for this book is awesome. Hopefully someone will give it another try and get it right.
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