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Pretty Amy Paperback – May 8, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"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.
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 ›
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.Read more ›
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 8 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 20 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 Amazon Customer
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