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Pretty Amy Paperback – May 8, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Pretty Amy Series

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Editorial Reviews


"If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t belong or didn’t know what you wanted to do with your life, then Pretty Amy is a must-read for you."— Girl's Life Magazine

"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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620611198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620611197
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,187,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came highly recommended so I decided to give it a try.

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.
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Format: Paperback
To begin, I would like to thank Entangled Publishing for giving me this opportunity to read and review PRETTY AMY. I knew that Pretty Amy would be the perfect read for me, since I have recently become obsessed with contemporary YA literature. I could tell from the description that Amy would be a girl that I'd relate to (minus the whole jail thing). This book could easily have been called Pretty Jenna, a comical (albeit exaggerated) retelling of my youth.

Plot: 10

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.

Characters: 8

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flying through the pages of Pretty Amy was like a trip back to the halls of my high school--the cliques, the heartbreaks, the searching, the uncertainty. Amy is searching--but she doesn't even really know what she's searching for (or perhaps even that she's searching). She's found a group of friends who make her someone, but is that someone who she really WANTS to be? Is it really who she is?

Amy will, I think, steal your heart from page one of this book because her slightly broken, pessimistic personality turns her into a real person--not just another character on the page. Many readers will find themselves identifying with Amy's struggles to find her place in the world amidst the many pressures and pitfalls of being a teenager (even though most of us PROBABLY weren't arrested on our prom night, if we went at all). Her snarky wit, which manifests itself in hilarious one-liners, will have you laughing out loud and taking notes so you can steal her humor later. Now, I'll admit that there were times I wanted to reach in and shake the poor girl because she's seriously a hot mess and she just needs to step it up a bit! BUT, I think sometimes these sorts of characters are the ones that really insert themselves into our memories and the ones that we can relate to because haven't we all made stubborn mistakes and decisions?

Ms. Burstein's writing truly brings together this story in a perfect portrayal of the turbulent adolescent years. I felt like she really captured the emotions of being a teenager--the ups and downs, disappointments and revelations. I'm young enough that I remember quite vividly my own moments of utter betrayal at the hands of "friends" and the moments of pure bliss that showed up at random, unexpected times.
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