Pretty Amy [NOOK Book]

Overview


Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she?s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when the girls get stood up for prom and take matters into their own hands?earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx ? Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating ?rehabilitation techniques? now filling up her summer. Even worse, ...
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Pretty Amy

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Overview


Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when the girls get stood up for prom and take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx — Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Even worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing — like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Lacking self-confidence, Amy Fleishman feels like a misfit at her high school-until she meets beautiful Lila and badass Cassie. Amy is happy to become the openly admitted third wheel and to go along with whatever trouble they brew up. Then on prom night, the dates that Lila arranges for them stand the girls up, and Lila breaks into her date's house. She finds and takes a large bag of marijuana, and the girls are caught with it by police. When Amy is presented with an opportunity to testify against Lila and Cassie to avoid jail time, her reluctance to save herself forces her to evaluate the path that her life has taken. The rawness of the situation is realized as she finally admits that she is "more scared to be friendless than to be locked away." This candid story serves as a cautionary reminder against the power of peer pressure and the need to consider the potential consequences of one's actions without reading like an "I told you so" lecture from an adult. Teens will be drawn in and relate to Amy's innermost thoughts-particularly the feeling of not having control over her own life. At one point, she says, "the world would still be making plans for me, whether I was present or not." Burstein carries this theme of freedom throughout the novel through AJ, Amy's beloved pet bird. Though in different ways, both Amy and AJ gain freedom in the end, making this a satisfying read.Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT
From the Publisher
Praise for Pretty Amy

“Pretty Amy is a coming-of-age story without the comfort of padding. . . . Lisa Burstein’s debut novel traces the saga of Amy Fleishman, age seventeen. The book opens on what is one of the most significant days of Amy’s life: the senior prom. . . . When the girls get stood up for the prom, they make a woeful decision that leads to them getting arrested and facing real jail time. It’s a life-defining moment ultimately forcing Amy to explore and confront who she is—and who she wants to be. Lisa Burstein dares to write a young adult story with a female protagonist that minimizes the romance, focusing instead on the character’s psychological underpinnings and true motivation. . . . Pretty Amy makes a great selection for the school market [allowing] young people to debate the actions and motivations of the characters without getting bored in the process . . . “
—New York Journal of Books

"Lisa Burstein has one of the most refreshingly real YA voices I’ve read in years. If you’re looking for a helluva trip that begins with an imploding prom night, cruises through the murky waters of the wrong side of the law, bad boys, tough love, and toxic friendship, and ends up with all the right surprises, please 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. Girls who live in a constant storm fueled by self-doubt, disconnected parents, twisted friendships and normal rebellion all wrapped up in a craving need for love and acceptance. Burstein's writing is beautifully raw and hyper-real. PRETTY AMY will shock you, make you laugh, cry, yell, cheer, look in the mirror and examine your own friendships as you relate to one or more of the unforgettable characters in this story." - Anne Eliot, Author of Almost

VOYA - Mary Ann Harlan
Amy spent her first year of high school ignoring the fact that she was not special, trying to fit in. Then, she met Cassie and Lila, and found a place to belong. She was the bad girl, the rebel, laughing with her friends. But when a mistake on prom night leads to unexpected consequences, Amy has to redefine herself and her relationships. After being stood up by their dates, the girls steal Lila's boyfriend's marijuana, and when they are caught with it, they are charged with intent to sell. Banned from talking to Cassie and Lila, Amy has to decide whether to confess and testify against her two friends. Amy is not a sympathetic character, and it is never clear how a reader should feel about her. On the one hand, she makes a mistake. On the other, she does not grow much as a character for the first three-quarters of the book. Furthermore, the adults, who are featured prominently in the book, are under-defined. Her mother is particularly awful, and frankly, her actions are confusing. The lawyer, therapist, and coworker never emerge as three-dimensional characters, only foils for Amy to tell the reader how misunderstood she is. Overall, the book suffers from Amy's internal "poor me" dialogue, despite a promising premise. Ages 15 to 18.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620611203
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 720,706
  • Age range: 15 years
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When life throws you lemons you make lemonade, or so the sa

    When life throws you lemons you make lemonade, or so the saying goes, but what if life throws you the possibility of graduating high school from while in prison after you make a mistake? Amy Fleishman is not having the time of her life as a senior in high school, nor is her home life positively perfect. Amy falls into the likely aspect of high school life as being an odd kid out, coming into friendship under the bleachers with two snarky characters with a dark streak. Finding herself pushing her limits, Amy follows along with her two friends Cassie and Lila getting into trouble and picking up bad habits. Amy soon finds that the value of friendship is not always as it seems and sometimes consequences can be overpowering.

    Pretty Amy is a breathtaking book in that is it real or at least is feels real to the readers and the characters face problems and situations common in schools somewhere across the states. Peer pressure overpowers rational thought, especially what little rational thought teen girls possess especially after being ditched before prom, and send these three girls into a downward spiral. After drinking and smoking cigarettes to consuming illegal substances, Amy has fallen from the little girl image that they have wanted to hold on to, and when faced with Amy’s latest transgression it pushes her parents past their limits. Amy find herself cast out onto a coworker who takes her into his home and family trying to help Amy make sense of herself and her life. The only thing that Amy finds is a healthy dose of sarcasm as she tries to distance herself from the upcoming trial and possible jail sentence as she is working off her court fees and community service hours. Pretty Amy was captivating in that is deals with common issues that may face teens in the real world, while also examining the feelings from a teen’s perspective as they go through something drastic in life.

    The characters in the story really made the book, as readers go through the world by Amy’s voice we get a feeling of the teen mind. Amy is facing such a feeling of loss and bewilderment in her current situation and as her conditions change and she has to face up to some of her fears, Amy is essentially working through a lot of emotions and speculations. Sometimes parents might forget how dramatic everything seems when we are young and the consequences of actions that we face are so world ending, but Pretty Amy does a great job is exploring the teen psyche and how they get through some problems. With compelling supporting characters in the bad news duo of Cassie and Lila, we see reliable Joe reminding Amy of what she was before she fell through the wrong crowd, and Aaron who is using her for his agenda. As Amy’s life is broken apart we find ourselves coming to grips with the aftermath of a whole bunch of actions and choices converging in on each other that a teen can or has made. This teen Amy has to come to terms with her faults and try to rise above her fears to be able to rise up from her mistakes. And this is essentially what is so powerful about the novel Pretty Amy is that the story revolves around the choices that we can make in any given situations, and the knowledge that there are ramifications for our mistakes no matter our age. Whether these choices affect our friends, schools, work, and especially how choices can affect families. Sometimes our choices in friends can totally impact our lives forever in good or destructive ways.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Bought this book on recommendation and wasn't disappointed!

    Bought this book on recommendation and wasn't disappointed!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    "Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleischman.

    "Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleischman."(pg1)


    Thus begins PRETTY AMY. Amy is lost. Amy is afraid to speak out. Amy is afraid of being lost in the crowd, so she does the only thing she knows to gain attention: She acts bad. She smokes, she drinks, she hangs out with fellow "bad girls" Cassie and Lila. What Amy doesn't realize, though, is that she's digging herself a hole. With each misdeed, with each burned bridge, she's going deeper and deeper. Until the night she, Cassie and Lila cross the line. Without the shadows of Lila and Cassie to hide behind, Amy is forced to face her bad decisions and decide whether the consequences are worth it.

    Oh, to be a teenager again. The saying "Youth is wasted on the young" is painfully accurate. Teenagers have such potential. The world is sitting there, just waiting on them to venture into the unknown. But, that's looking at it with hindsight, with all the painful bits removed. Things like self-esteem, self-worth, fitting in, friends, frenemies; they all can be torturous to navigate. So to be put back into that frame of mind, a lost girl, was draining.

    I'm fairly certain author Lisa Burstein has Jedi-Mind Skills. Never, in all my *cough* twenty-eight years of reading have I ever felt quite so exposed. There were moments when Amy was internally pleading with someone to see her, the scared girl behind the facade, that I had to gently set the book down, take forty-five deep breaths, wipe the tears away, then dive back in. It's not necessary to be just like Amy to get her. I wasn't, on the outside, I was an excellent masker of emotions. But deep down, I was so painfully lost that I could have easily spun out of control. The fact that Burstein was able to bring Amy and her feelings so firmly to life, and put me right back into her situation, is mind-boggling.

    I also read this book from the perspective of a mother. I've vowed to myself to learn the lessons I found in PRETTY AMY. Don't be like Amy's mom and dad. It's actually very simple, if you think about it.
    PARENTS: Don't rush into accusing, blaming, and punishing. ASK YOUR CHILD QUESTIONS. Ask them if there is something going on inside that makes them act out. Ask, ask, ask. Then hug. Let them know you are there, no matter what.

    Although PRETTY AMY was heavier than I originally thought, there were many laughs. Amy's internal dialogue had me smiling. Her observations: on her parents, her therapist, her coworker, her neighbor, her friends were wry and painfully accurate. Her friends, Cassie and Lila, were not in the story as much as I expected. And that was great as far as Lila goes, because that girl was so self-absorbed. I had a friend like Lila and just, ugh. Cassie on the other hand was a riot. I loved that girl and wish she had more book time. But...I hear Cassie's getting her own book! That's a total win. I can't wait to read an entire book from her point-of -view.

    I wish I had PRETTY AMY when I was seventeen years old. I would like to think that I would have read it, and learned something through Amy instead of, well, drinking and smoking and hanging out with bad boys. Maybe this book would have shown me I had worth, besides being the girl who was popular but could still party like a rock star. The best I can do now is pass the story on to my own daughter someday, and a girl I know, right now, who could use some PRETTY AMY.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    Pretty Amy was nothing like I expected - it was better. I expect

    Pretty Amy was nothing like I expected - it was better. I expected a novel about a prom gone wrong and petty high-school drama. What I got instead, was a a story so deep and destructive I had to catch my breath at the end.

    The story starts with Amy going to her senior prom. Her best friend Lila has set her up with one of her boyfriend's friends. Except things don't go according to plan when they get stood up. This event is the catalyst for the turbulent journey Amy finds herself on.

    I loved Amy from the start. A normal high-school girl who seems to have lost her way, or never really known her way. Through-out the story, she struggles to figure out who she really is, and if who she wants to be. Lila is one of those characters that I just can't stand, but the story wouldn't be the same without them. Cassie I loved, and wished there was more of her in the story. Amy's parents were whirlwind characters too.

    There were many points in this story, where I was questioning Amy. Why are you doing that? Why did you say that? Why won't you just open your eyes, see the truth and make your life easier?!?! But following Amy on her adventure, you felt like you were there, part of the story.

    I wish I could give this novel to every teenage child in the world and say "read this - look what happens make you make silly decisions". There is definitely a life lesson the be learned from Amy's tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    This book took me right back to high school and the uncertainty

    This book took me right back to high school and the uncertainty of it all.

    My initial impression of Amy is that she needs a backbone and a brain. She's the one in the group that doesn't speak up for herself and just goes along with everything, despite what common sense tells her. I was immediately frustrated with her character and shaking my head with each page turn, but the story is so well-written I became invested in her journey to (hopefully) self discovery. I had to see if she would grow from her experiences, find her voice and realize that she doesn't need the approval of others to validate her existence. She so afraid of being obscure and overlooked - it's almost paralyzing. There were certain aspects of her mentality that I remember sharing in high school. Her inner voice is very real and competently translates the rawness of her pain. You can easily feel her frustration, angst and desperation. Amy's inner voice is candid and entertaining.

    Raw, real and honest are definitely the words that come to mind when I think of Amy's pain and sorrow. She doesn't necessarily suffer any more than other teenagers who have parents who just don't 'get' who their children are and what they need from them. It's that Amy is us - me and you - she embodies every teenager in one way or another. Am I pretty? Am I smart? Am I worth attention? Will anyone ever truly know me, including myself? Who am I?

    What made me care about Amy was her potential for greatness. If she didn't have anything to look forward to in life, if she didn't have anything to offer, I wouldn't have cared what happened to her (I realize how callous that sounds). But, she is one of those teens that, if given some guidance, reassurance, affection and self-esteem, could really go places in life. I didn't want Amy to end up as wasted potential.

    After her arrest she needs to do some growing up. Her parents make her find a job to pay for attorney fees, she's cut off from her supposed 'friends', and she's forced to decide if she's willing to throw her friends under the bus to save her own neck. And let's not forget the all-important lessons of how to identify the boys who are only interested in controlling, using and discarding you from the ones who uplift and empower you.

    Be warned there is a high use of profanity, instances of drug use and adult situations, so this book should be read by older teens and adults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

    I won an ebook of Pretty Amy from a blog contest held by Kissed

    I won an ebook of Pretty Amy from a blog contest held by Kissed By Ink. This is more than just a tale of a girl who is thrown in jail on the night of her senior prom. Pretty Amy tells the story of a girl struggling to find her own identity, as well as realize her own self-worth. Being a senior in high school about to go to her first prom, Pretty Amy touched my heart. It wasn’t even the prom aspect that made Pretty Amy impossible to put down, it was the fact that Amy is going through a struggle of self-discovery that makes her into such a likable main character.

    Amy, however, was not the only likeable character. Cue the trusty sidekick parrot named AJ. I absolutely loved this little parrot! Not only is he cute because he talks but he helps teach Amy about the choices she has made in her life. My other favorite character is Cassie, the rough and tough friend of Amy’s (who also ends up in jail). She is someone I wish I could be because she doesn’t take anyone’s crap or let anyone hurt her. Finally, there is also Joe, but you’ll have to read the book to learn more about him (I will say though that he will melt your heart).

    Lisa Burstein does not hold back in capturing the language and actual life of an everyday teenager. Her beautiful imagery describing Amy’s emotions truly shows of an author who masters in characterization and description.
    I won’t give any spoilers to how the story ends, all I will say is that this should be a book everyone should read because it acknowledges that we as human beings are more than just our friends.

    Definitely 5 out of 5 stars. Now I have to wait for the companion novel (told from Cassie’s point of view) to come out, oh the torture!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Flying through the pages of Pretty Amy was like a trip back to t

    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. This story brings you back to your own experiences, no matter how different they were from Amy's. We all had moments where our parents were the bad guys and we were too cool for school, where we struggled to find a place to fit in and once we did weren't sure that it was really the right place.

    Pretty Amy is a realistic portrayal of the world that your average teenager lives in. Sure, there were moments that required a bit of suspension of belief, but the overall tone and story rang true for me. Amy's story isn't clear-cut--her path is messy and filled with moments of uncertainty and betrayal. If you're looking for a fun contemporary YA read with a snarky protagonist, you can't go wrong with Pretty Amy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    To begin, I would like to thank Entangled Publishing for giving

    To begin, I would like to thank Entangled Publishing for giving me this opportunity to read and review PRETTY AMY and be part of their blog tour. 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. 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.

    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. I do admit, there were many characteristics in her that I saw in myself 10-15 years ago. But if I had to deal with ALL her insecurities, I would probably implode! While I don't blame her for having a hard time "helping herself" throughout the book, I still couldn't help but be a bit annoyed at times by her behavior. Then again, with a mom as horribly annoying, controlling and self-absorbed as hers is, I have to wonder, would I have behaved the same?

    Pacing: This is one area where Pretty Amy falters, but only just a bit. The story begins fairly quickly, as we learn about what type of people Amy and her friends are. But then Amy has to deal with the outcomes of her crime and that's where the pacing suffers. Not to say that things don't happen, because they do. And the events that take place are more often than not quite entertaining for the reader. But at the same time we have to get inside Amy's head... Her typical teenage brain is a place of "two steps forward, two steps back", if you know what I mean... Over and over she dances - forward and back, forward and back. Realistic? Yes. Testing on my patience? Most definitely. But then, perhaps this is just a sign of my age. I'll bet plenty of teenagers could read this book and simply nod their heads in agreement when she takes a mental step backward, whereas I find myself smacking my forehead, groaning, "Oh, Amy!"

    Style: One of the highlights of Pretty Amy is the snarky voice that the main character provides. Lisa is the Queen of One-liners, most of which are downright hilarious in a dark and cynical sort of way. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The situations that Lisa puts Amy into are examples of the very worst things a creative imagination could possibly conjure up for a teenager. Poor Unfortunate Amy, to be the victim of such creativity... But at least it gets the story across and makes it interesting at that!

    In the end, I found Pretty Amy to be a highly enjoyable contemporary read. It is one of the most realist books about being a teenage girl that I have read in some time. For this reason, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA lit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    I received an e-ARC of this stand alone novel tanks to Netgall



    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    First I want to give this some cover love!! I adore the cover. Y

    First I want to give this some cover love!! I adore the cover. Yes, it's a girl in a pretty dress...but she's in a jail cell. I love it!! Second, it's titled Pretty Amy which automatically makes it cool since that's my name. ;) Okay now onto the review. I really loved this book. I am slowly but surely becoming a contemporary lover. This book is absolutely raw and realistic. I think everyone can relate to Amy in some way. This was a fantastic book that follows Amy through a hard time and her struggle to find herself. It is laugh out loud funny at times, but very tense and hard at others.

    Amy is a very insecure person. She feels like she doesn't fit in. She finally feels some sense of normalcy with Lila and Cassie, but doesn't really realize that she still doesn't fit, she is just there. We watch her struggle through the story. She is too scared to really say what she wants or needs. She would much rather hide and be invisible. She was so frustrating to me at times, but I totally understood where she was coming from. Lila and Cassie were her only friends in her eyes. The only people she could talk to. Amy is not a strong person, she is falling apart and doesn't know what to do. The more people try to help, the more she wants to push them away. The characters are all great too. I could totally imagine them all. How they talked and how they interacted with each other.

    I was not like Amy when I was in school. I would always say how I felt, I was on the cheerleading squad, I was friends with everyone, I participated in all sorts of school stuff. I wasn't a "Lila" though. I didn't think I was better than everyone and I never ever put anyone down or bullied others like Cassie would. Just because I wasn't like Amy, doesn't mean I didn't have some of her inside of me. I was scared sometimes and didn't always feel like I fit in even though I seemed like I should. I was always a bit insecure. I was short, had frizzy hair, and no figure at all. My parents never really seemed to care what I had to say. I used to go out and party with friends and cause trouble. I was not arrested, but I had a situation where things were not great and I had to rediscover myself and figure out what I really wanted. That was the Amy in me.

    Lila and Cassie are her friends. Lila of course is the super pretty one, who knows it and uses it. Cassie is the tough chick who everyone knows not to mess with. Amy is the normal, average one. She feels excepted, different, cool even. They get into trouble and rebel and it makes her feel good that she isn't doing what everyone else wants her to. Her mother is too perfect, her dad is never there enough, and her childhood friend Joe thinks that Lila and Cassie are bad news. They are all she feels like she has. It's hard when all you want is to be accepted and noticed. I really felt bad for Amy. I wanted to hug her and tell her she was better than all of that.

    This book was fantastic. It was so real! I totally did a lot of those things when I was in school. Smoking under the bleachers, going out drinking, hanging out with some of the wrong people, and of course making some bad decisions. I just loved how I could totally connect with Amy even not having all that much in common with her. The writing was great at portraying how teenagers really act and talk. It captures how they behave and think. This story really reminded me of high school a lot, and even though I was not a lot like Amy, I know a lot of people who were. I think that every teenage girl should read this book. (Well, maybe 14+ age girls since there is profanity in it.) This book kept me turning pages, laughing, sympathizing, and getting frustrated and angry along with the characters. And it really does have a great message to it. (Besides don't get arrested lol) If you like realistic books that aren't sugar-coated, this is for you! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Pretty Amy was not what I expected - and that is such a good thi

    Pretty Amy was not what I expected - and that is such a good thing!
    I expected the story to be lighter and fun, and again, I am so happy that I was wrong.
    Amy's story is not dark, it may be slightly depressing and sad - but it has it's funny moments too.
    I am amazed on how Lisa Burstein's writing was able to draw me in and remind me what it was like to be a senior in high school again - every time I was forced to put the book down I had to remind myself that I am no longer that teen and that I am married with children, a billion years away from being an 'Amy' again, lol! But every time I started reading again, I felt for Amy and knew exactly what she was going through... well, sans the arrest...

    Amy is the quiet one of the group who goes along with whatever her 2 rebellious friends, Lila and Cassie, say and do. And in the process of being cool with them, she loses her longtime childhood friend.

    Then on Prom night, the trio get ditched by their so-called dates and long story short, they end up being arrested for possession of pot. And of course, the teen drama begins and it's the end of the world as we know it! Amy is forbidden to see any of her friends, her cell phone is taken away, she has to get a job to pay for the attorney her parents hired, she has to see a shrink and she's pretty much on house arrest. She has also been expelled from school, which meant that she was not allowed to finish the last week of school - and even though she will graduate, because she was no longer permitted on school grounds, she was also not allowed to go to her graduation ceremony.

    Now, we meet Amy's parents.
    Her mom is overbearing, very picky and seems to care more about what people think than her only daughter. The Dad is very laid back and seems to be your typical kind of Dad that hasn't accepted the fact that his little girl is growing up and tries to downplay everything that is going on by making bad pancake breakfasts and letting his wife make the decisions.

    At first, I really had a hard time with Amy's parents, I felt like they weren't really there for Amy and that they were being too harsh and making things worse for her. But then I remembered what being a teen was like, the things that I went through, the things I saw my parents went through and now that I am a parent too - I get it!
    Amy's parents, just like a lot of parents, think that things for teens should be so easy.
    They forget and don't understand how hard life could be for a teen, especially a teen that has lost her way and doesn't know who she is or who she wants to be. How difficult it is to find your own voice and just speak up. Amy has never had anyone to rely on or to talk to. No one who ever showed a genuine interest and listened to her... or did she???

    The ending is really good. I won't say anymore due to spoilers!
    All girls should read Pretty Amy!
    No matter the age, just like Amy, you will find that you are never alone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty Amy

    Close your eyes, think back to when you went to Prom. You spending all day getting ready, or hanging out with your girlfriends waiting for the night to start... Well that is what should be happening to Amy, but it is not. She was stood up by her date. That sucks. That is the worst night ever to be stood up. So her friends and her decide to go and have a party of their own, and they get caught. So she now has to deal with her friends not talking to her, her mother treating her like she has the plague, and because she was arrested she won't be able to walk at graduation. I think that if I was Amy I would find a really big rock and hide under it... So during this time of waiting to see if Amy is going to jail, she finds a job just to get out of her parents house....oh and because her mom is making her pay the lawyer bill.

    I did the cover reveal for this book and ever since then I could not wait to get my hands on this book and read it. And boy was it amazing! It was everything that I thought it was going to be and more. This book in 5 words is AMAZING, WONDERFUL, FUNNY, EMOTIONAL, EVENTFUL!!!!!! This book had everything that I think a great book needs!

    Please do yourself a favor and on May 15th please go to the store and buy this book....better yet pre order it on Kindle or Barnes and Noble, and then you get it at midnight!!!! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Awful. I like teen lit, I like romance stories, I like just abou

    Awful. I like teen lit, I like romance stories, I like just about most books I read because I'm pretty choosy about my next read. Based on reviews I thought this would be at least alright. Wrong.  

    Boring to no end. Whiney. Endlessly Repetitive. The main character is completely unlikeable and has no redeeming qualities. The mother trying to help is just as bad. 

    I kept reading because I thought it had to get better. Nope. First time a book has ever made me curious about return policies.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    "Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleischman.

    "Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleischman."(pg1)

    “Pretty Amy” begins. Amy is a teenager that is afraid to speak up, she is afraid of being along, and she is very lost, she doesn’t know how to be her own person. Amy turns to acting bad to get the attention that she wants and it isn’t necessarily that she agrees with what she is doing, but she is following what her friends are doing. She smokes, she drinks, and she hangs out with her fellow "bad girls" and best friends, Cassie and Lila. Amy begins to dig herself deeper and deeper into a very dark hole that she doesn’t know how to get herself out of. She keeps pushing away the people that are trying to help her and be there for her. Then one night Amy, Cassie, and Lila cross a line and without Cassie and Lila to follow, Amy is forced to face her bad decisions and decide what life is really worth. Pretty Amy is about trying to find your identity in the unforgiving high school years.

    Lisa Burstein presented us with a relatable story that teenagers can get into and enjoy yet, there is a lesson that can be learned. There were plenty of moments that Amy was internally pleading for someone to reach out to her, for someone to just show that they scared. She was a very scared girl that was hiding behind her friends. We truly get to know Amy as she starts learning that she is on her own, that she can’t hide anymore. This was an emotional book, there were times that I could relate to Amy, you didn’t need to be just like her or even know her perfectly, you could just understand specific situation that she got herself into and you could relate. Burstein brought Amy and her feelings to life that I felt like Amy and I were friends. Her pain was my pain.

    “Pretty Amy” was more mature that I thought it was going to be. I was thankful for the few laughable moments that Burstein added to the story. Amy’s internal dialogue had me feeling like I was reading about myself, and I would laugh several times. I was thankful for the parts because it made the tears fall less. I was expecting to read more about Cassie and Lila based off of the little bit I knew about the book; however I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed this book. Lila is very full of herself and I am glad that she wasn’t in the book as much as I thought, however it sounds like Lila will be getting her own book, so I will get to see her perspective on life and maybe she will prove me wrong. Cassie was a hoot. She’s funny and sarcastic and I can’t wait to read her story.

    Pretty Amy is definitely a book that will make a lot of readers uncomfortable, however I think it is worth the chance. I think people should give this book a chance because you can learn a lot and I really hope that any teenagers that read “Pretty Amy,” that they learn something. “Pretty Amy, may not have the prettiest story but she has a story worth reading.

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Should be required reading for all incoming High School freshman girls

    Thank you to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read this prior to publication. Pretty Amy should be required reading for all incoming High School freshman girls! Amy is raw and real; a roller coaster of emotions from snarky and bold to heartbreaking and sad to laugh out loud funny. Amy is part of a BFF trio with Lila - the pretty one and Cassie - the tough one. She knows she's the back up friend, the wing girl, the leftover and she's okay with that. It's better than being a complete nobody, right? When the girls are stood up for their Senior Prom and end up crowned Jailhouse Queens instead of Prom Queens, Amy faces a summer of work and community service that gives her plenty of time to consider the choices she's made. Things at home have been strained and her arrest certainly doesn't help. Amy's relationship with her mother is contemptuous at best but they do share some hilarious moments. As her case moves forward and the threat of real jail time hangs in the balance, Amy struggles to find out who she is apart from her friends and the expectations of her mother. In the end, she'll find out who her real friends are, meet some new ones along the way and that romance she's always dreamed of, just might show up after all.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It was hard to get behind the main character. Did I enjoy this

    It was hard to get behind the main character.

    Did I enjoy this book: It was alright. I read it...but it took some "convincing" to pick up the book and keep reading it. I didn't want to read it every free chance I had.

    Amy was a character that I really didn't like. She had just about everything. What she did not have was a mom that cared about her as much as Amy wanted her mom to or as much as her mom should have cared. Amy had a mom who cared more about herself and her own image rather than her daughter. I would have hated to have a mom like Amy's but I don't think that would have made me act like Amy or have Amy's attitude, which was lousy. Amy couldn't see or appreciate what she did have...she only lamented about what she didn't have. The friends she chose as her "best friends" were nothing more than users. Lila only liked her because Amy wasn't as pretty or as popular as Lila. Cassie was the bad girl that balanced out quiet Amy and outgoing Lila. They were poor friends for Amy.

    The first question I had while reading this story was why were the girls picking up their prom dates??? Shouldn't that be the other way around? I couldn't imagine doing that when I was in high school. I couldn't imagine my parents allowing me to do that either. I guess I'll chalk that up to the different generation. The second question is why didn't ANY of the girls tell the truth??? I just don't get it. I know they are already in trouble but it may not have been quite as bad if they had told what actually happened. I will never understand that.

    Joe was by far my favorite character. He could see Amy's "friends" for what they were and tried to get Amy to see that. And when all hope was lost and Amy's "friends" abandoned her, he was there waiting to help pick up the pieces. Connor was another great character. He embodied Christian love and compassion. Anyone should desire to have friends like these two guys! I wish Amy could have seen that.

    Would I recommend it: No, I wouldn't, especially not to any teenagers that I know. I would not want them to end up acting like Amy.

    Will I read it again: No.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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