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11 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody wonders, it's just no one talks about it
Have you ever been out with the person you're seeing when you run into someone who they know, but seem not to want to introduce you to? When you ask later, they'll say, "Oh, that was just a friend." In your mind you'll conjure up all manner of sordid details about their past association because, obviously, it was an ex. The jealousy will be overwhelming even though your...
Published on April 24, 2007 by K. Hinton

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chain, chain, chain, chain of...?
Picked this up at the library on a whim when I spotted it nestled in the comic book section. It's a series of largely single page illustrations accompanied by short pieces of texts, usually a sentence or two and occasionally a full paragraph. The text and images are the links in the chain that connect us all together, the invisible ties we form in our relationships...
Published on September 23, 2007 by Jamie S. Rich


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody wonders, it's just no one talks about it, April 24, 2007
This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
Have you ever been out with the person you're seeing when you run into someone who they know, but seem not to want to introduce you to? When you ask later, they'll say, "Oh, that was just a friend." In your mind you'll conjure up all manner of sordid details about their past association because, obviously, it was an ex. The jealousy will be overwhelming even though your partner came home with you and seems to have completely forgotten about the encounter.

That's what this book is like.

Was She Pretty? deals with the insecurities all current boy/girlfriends feel about the ones who came before them. Even if the relationship is long gone, there's something about the fact that the person you're with has a past that was separate from you that's somehow intriguing, and most of us are more than a little curious about who came first.

The book is an illustrated story with short vignettes about couples, their exes, and the details that remain to plague the current flame. One woman has an emergency at her boyfriend's house and finds (to both her horror and delight) a half-empty box of tampons. There is the man who will never let his current girlfriend answer the phone in his apartment, and you can just tell she thinks it's because of the ex. These tales are all short, a few lines at the most, but tell a story in just a few sentences. They are further illustrated with the author's drawings to develop the point.

I recently read, and enjoyed, Audrey Niffenegger's illustrated novel The Adventuress. It's the closest thing I could liken to Was She Pretty?, though even that comparison is a stretch. Was She Pretty? is an interesting book and will take no time at all to read. If you've been that guy or girl, the distrustful or openly curious one who can't just let the past be the past (and I think we all have at some point or another), it's worth it to see someone put those feelings into words and then illustrate them so candidly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chain, chain, chain, chain of...?, September 23, 2007
By 
Jamie S. Rich (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
Picked this up at the library on a whim when I spotted it nestled in the comic book section. It's a series of largely single page illustrations accompanied by short pieces of texts, usually a sentence or two and occasionally a full paragraph. The text and images are the links in the chain that connect us all together, the invisible ties we form in our relationships. Person A's current significant other once dated Person B who in turn dated Person C, and the impressions of those people linger either in carefully chosen, defining facts or objects they may have left behind. Shapton chooses either to draw those people or the pertinent objects in question, sometimes even a string of those items, flowing one to another. The drawing is a bit crude and unfinished looking, but there is a blunt swiftness to it that goes with the spartan nature of her prose. If you remember that song "88 Lines About 44 Women," WAS SHE PRETTY? is a bit like the literary equivalent of that, but instead of one man's celebration of his conquests, this is the anxiety and doubt he left in his wake. Though you'll read it in a blink, the effect is of having lived through all those break-ups, make-ups, and shake-ups, and you'll feel like you have to catch your breath.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing back ex-stories thrust to the fore, September 16, 2011
By 
Scott Woods (Columbus, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
The simplistic art will no doubt throw most people off. The art is not the sell here. It is the collection of brief, mostly one-line descriptions given the author by real people about former relationships. Taken in context, the book is an engaging - albeit quick - read. You wonder about what the exes of someone you've met might be like. This book takes that wonder a step further and treats the reader to a buffet of possibilities.

Probably too short for many, but a nice jaunt through a prickly subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight!, January 29, 2015
By 
JamieJo (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
This book was recommended by a friend during one of those futile times at the end of a relationship. It was funny and insightful and I loved it from beginning to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take but a short read, May 4, 2013
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
Very interesting and would actually make a good gift to a friend in my opinion. This isn't for you if you are looking for a novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Charming little book, June 14, 2014
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
This is such a charming read. Perfect conversation starter to leave out on your coffee table, etc. Pretty little book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent pass around book., August 20, 2010
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
This is definitely a great book. I wish each of the relationship stories were a little longer though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was She Pretty by Leanne Shapton, September 2, 2011
This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
I ordered this book after seeing a clever slide show of drawings by Leanne Shapton in the New York Times. "Was She Pretty" did not satisfy my desire for more. It was repetitive, to say the least, and, quite frankly, a little boring. The drawings were not as good as the group that inspired my purchase. I do not recommend......wish I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 20, 2014
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This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
Great, subtle, with dark undertones.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars She is never pretty, December 21, 2007
By 
Jaye (Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Was She Pretty? (Hardcover)
I thought that book was cute but lacking in content; the abundance of illustrations and one paragraph entries was a little off-putting and I was expecting something a bit more substantial. But still a cute book for a light read.
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Was She Pretty?
Was She Pretty? by Leanne Shapton (Hardcover - October 31, 2006)
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