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Pretty Face Hardcover – March 25, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Every girl who’s been overweight will identify with 16-year-old Haley. She is a stereotype writ large: cute face, smart, funny, a friend to the boy she has a crush on. Oh, yes, and she is unhappy. Very unhappy. Then her mother hits on the idea of sending Haley off to Italy for the summer to stay with her college roommate and her family. Italy is all that Haley wanted and more—the more being a young Italian, Enzo, who loves Haley for the (albeit somewhat slimmer) person she is. If the first part of the book is based on familiarity, the last is pure romance. Hogan does both dialogue and description equally well, opening the way for readers to laugh at Haley’s wry observations and be enchanted by the Italian countryside and the town of Assisi, which becomes almost a character in the book. Haley and Enzo lose their virginity to each other in a scene that’s not so much sexy as it is fumblingly romantic. A hopeful book, this puts power back in the hands of a girl who hated the sunshine of her native Santa Monica but basks in the Italian glow. Grades 10-12. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

Mary Hogan grew up near the beaches of Southern California (Bikinis! Aargh!), but currently lives in New York City with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Axel. She is the author of Perfect Girl, The Serious Kiss, Susanna Sees Stars, and Susanna Hits Hollywood.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 213 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060841117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060841119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,721,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hayley's self esteem plummets even further when the guy she's been crushing on asks her if she thinks her best friend would date him. She leaves the beach, a place that she hates due to all the skinny girls in bikinis, and eats an entire large pepperoni pizza without tasting it.

When she arrives back home, her mother can sense there's something wrong, but she's more concerned about her daughter's weight than her emotional health. Then her mother delivers the news: she's sending Hayley to Italy for the summer to live with her old college roommate. She hopes that this trip will help her daughter lose weight.

At first, Hayley is hesitant and yet excited about traveling. Part of her wants to lose weight and make her mother happy, but she simply loves food.

Once in Italy, Hayley begins to relax and adapt to the Italian way of life. She finds beauty in nature, the old buildings, the delicious food, and, finally, herself. She discovers the freedom to become comfortable in her own skin.

While Hayley's weight issues drive her actions, the primary focus of PRETTY FACE deals with finding and appreciating yourself.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hayley- A girl with a pretty face.
That is what she has always been.
She is witty, funny and she has a great sense of humor but someway the boys just don't see her as a potential girlfriend canditate.
They just see her as a friend.
And Hayley is more than sick of that.

Hayley is not like "ordinary" girls in Santa Monica, California. She does not fit to the scene with the all blond, super skinny California girls. She is a little fat, not much, but just the way that putting a bikini on and going to the beach sounds like the worst nightmare ever.

At the end of the school year everything starts to go wrong. Drew, a guy Hayley has liked for a long time, sees Hayley just as a friend and tells her that he is interested about Hayley's BFF. Hayley's mother is weight obsessed and keeps feeding tofu and other healthy stuff to her family. She pushes Hayley about her weight constantly and Hayley feels bad all the time. When she hears that her parents are going to send her to Italy for the whole summer she first thinks that is is just a bad joke.

At Italy Hayley opens her eyes to a totally different world. There being curvy is seen beautiful. There people enjoy eating and pasta and pizza are not seen as creations of the evil. Hayley starts to see herself in a whole new light. When she feels confident about herself she understands that maybe not is the time for the true love. She even has a hot Italian guy in her mind... someone who sees a lot more than just a pretty face.

I really was able to identify with Hayley. When I was 16 I left my home for 10 MONTHS and started to see myself in a whole new light. I fell in love with a guy who is so amazing and I still miss him more than anything. Those 10 months away from home educated me so much.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
It's no Fitzgerald novel, but it takes a jab at today's society and basically it's just a feel good book. Italy and cute guys, plus a narrator who admits to liking food? And even wanting it?
Good for any young adult who has low confidence, or is stubborn even.
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Format: Hardcover
There was so much potential in this book. A girl is beautiful even is she's in Santa Monica and isn't blond and lovely in a bikini. Self-acceptance is a major theme and beauty is inside and others find different things beautiful. I loved the premise. However, how many times to I need to read a.. to get the idea of a big butt and why would I want my daughter to read about losing her virginity to a boy she may never see again and that's not only okay but a good thing? I was sadly disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Hayley dreads hearing the "such a pretty face" compliment. She feels it really isn't a compliment at all, but rather a reminder that she doesn't have a perfectly thin body. Not that she needs another reminder. Living in Santa Monica, California, mere blocks from the beach, Hayley sees bikini-clad beauties everywhere. And then there's her mom, who is obsessed with thinness enough for the both of them and nags her every available moment to exercise and watch her caloric intake. It's enough to make anyone self-conscious, to pinpoint all worries on weight issues. And it's enough for a person to seek comfort, even in the foods that promote these issues, hence a vicious circle.

But Hayley tries not to let poundage totally rule her life. Her best friend, Jackie, is always available for fun and IMs. And then there's the cute guy in her class, Drew. Hayley chats with him, makes him laugh with her quick and off-the-wall sense of humor, and finally gets up the nerve to ask him to hang out on an upcoming Saturday.

Their rendezvous starts out rough and ends up a disaster. Hayley is heartbroken and instantly turns to a large pizza for comfort. But soon after, her parents make an announcement that will change her life. Deciding they are pressuring her too much, they suggest a trip to Italy for a change of scenery. Her mom's old college roommate now lives there with her family and offers to host Hayley for the summer. Except for missing Jackie, Hayley is psyched to start an adventure, plus a new diet.

Right away, Hayley feels immersed in beauty, culture, history and even food. Her hosts welcome her with open arms, offering family, security, acceptance, her own guest cottage and even the freedom to explore and unearth hidden treasures.
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