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Pretty Amy Paperback – May 8, 2012
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
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"Pretty Amy will resonate with any teen considering or already on the wrong path. Burstein paints a bleak picture of teenage politics and one girl's search to fit in and be loved."- San Francisco Book Review
“A coming-of-age story without the comfort of padding…a relatable and compelling character [with] a lot of wonderful snark.” —New York Journal of Books
"Lisa Burstein has one of the most refreshingly real YA voices I’ve read in years. 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. Burstein's writing is beautifully raw and hyper-real. PRETTY AMY will shock you, make you laugh, cry, yell & cheer.”— Anne Eliot, Author of Almost
About the Author
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.
More About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Pretty Amy is a coming of age YA novel about Amy, a graduating senior who is hanging out with the wrong crowd~ beautiful Lila and trash talking Cassie. Amy finally feels like she fits in, but during a fateful prom night her life changes forever, and she has to finally grow up.
This novel is well written and while Amy is hard to like sometimes because of her bitterness, anger and frustration, we somehow get the sense she'll turn around at the end. I loved her parrot AJ and liked Conner.
The difficulty with novels such as this is that this is material we've all seen before. Teenage angst and a troublemaker who eventually sees the light through tough love. And there are some romance issues in the background. I recently sat in on a group of child psychiatrists who were talking about words they used to describe teenagers. These descriptives included overconfident, hormonal, defiant, experimental---all which were shown in this novel to the tee. The difficulty is going beyond the expected. I immediately compared this novel to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver which remains one of my favorite novels. These two novels have a very similar beginning-- but the books are vastly different in the way the material was handled. Unfortunately, while this book has many strong points, it does little to get out of the stereotype. However, the voice of Cassie is what is unique and gripping, and that is what carries the reader to stay until the end.
That said, this is a strong first novel. While there were no surprises, it was well written and flowed nicely with good characterization.
The book description gives you a good idea what to expect as far as the story goes, but what it doesn't tell you is that, although she is plenty lost and unsure of her place in the world, Amy is actually a very snarky and strong willed teenager. A good part of the book centers around her thoughts and actions as she copes with the deep doo-doo she has gotten herself into (and the even further doo-doo she gets herself into because of her thoughts and actions.)
To sum it all up, if you are a woman and you currently are or ever have been a teenager, I welcome you: this is the story of your life.
Lisa is a master of the element of surprise. And her surprises come via the backgrounds of her characters. Each of them has their own personality, from the "self-involved and overly helpful in all the wrong ways" mother, to the convenience store clerk who walks his own pace in life, to the two "bad girls" who compliment each other in a "back-handed compliment" sort of way.
And then there's Amy. Pretty Amy... Kudos to Lisa for successfully putting every insecurity and fear of the modern teenage girl into one single individual. Pretty Amy... more like Poor Unfortunate Amy. I swear, if I was her I would have probably had the same exact self-esteem complex that she does.Read more ›
I received an e-ARC of this stand alone novel tanks to Netgalley, Entangled Publishing and the author.
Before I read this novel I was sure to spend a good time and I was also a little afraid to be disappointed. It happens often when you're eagerly waiting for a novel. But, Pretty Amy is far much more than what I thought.
In my opinion, the author catches the spirit of all teenagers. Amy is a so believable character that, sometimes, I forgot it's just a book. There's a little of myself in Amy and I'm sure you'll feel the same when you'll read this novel.
Her voice is strong, full of questions about herself, about her future, about her parents and friendships and about how others perceive her. She's lost, she's naive and feels lonely even surrounded by people who care about her, but maybe not how she wants them to. Ho never felt this way at one point?
In my opinion, this novel is a real piece of life. We were all Amy at one point, even if our life and the consequences were different. That's why this book is so good. You picture yourself quite often.
The writing style of the author is simple, true and conveys perfectly Amy's story. From the first sentence to the last one, I was hooked, remembering what it was like for me when I was a teenager trying to fit in the crowd, in my family.
This novel is never boring. It's smart because it makes you think, which is even better for a YA book. If only I could read more books like this one!
Moreover, the chapters are not built following the same structure which is very important for the rhythm of the novel and also to keep the readers on the edge.
So, this novel is a must read for me. It's funny, it's also grave and it sounds true to the core. You can't be disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow...if you're charged as an adult, about to graduate high school and head to college.... can you really be this immature? I guess but I won't like you or care . Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cheryl Oblon
The book starts off from Amy and her two friends going to the prom. But their prom dates stands them up and when they cant get into the prom without the tickets , they end up... Read morePublished 14 months ago by nisha
I reviewed this on Goodreads originally and decided to add it on here:
I honestly loved this story. Read more
Pretty Amy is a book that I had wanted to read for quite awhile. I was thrilled when I won a copy. However, I was disappointed when it wasn't as good as I had hoped. Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Heather C.
Amy has been hiding behind her friends Cassy and Lila so that she doesn't have to confront who she really is. Read morePublished on May 11, 2013 by Shirley Quinones
I've been reading Lisa Burstein's novels out of order. I started with her novella The Next Forever and was hooked enough to want to read what came before it. Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Problem Solver
This book was the absolute bomb. I've never related to a character before quite like I did with Amy. So many of the same struggles and self doubts. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by BellaBunnell
Overall the book was well written and held my interest. I just couldn't seem to connect with Amy's character. Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by Kindle Customer
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. Read morePublished on March 15, 2013 by Kate