Pretty: A Novel

( 10 )

Overview

An electrifying debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls.

Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

It's been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant ...

See more details below
Paperback
$12.48
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$15.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (60) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $1.99   
  • Used (43) from $1.99   
Pretty: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

An electrifying debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls.

Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

It's been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails of Los Angeles, Bebe looks for something to believe in before something—her past, the dangerously magnetic men in her life, her own bad choices—knocks her off course again.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beth "Bebe" Baker's continued attempts at sobriety reveal themes of rebirth and redemption in this solid fiction debut from Lauren (Some Girls), a performer who's worked with Richard Foreman and the Wooster Group. After a single kiss from Aaron, a horn player in a jazz band gigging in her town, this Ohio girl hops the bus and goes on tour with them. But the band gets stuck in L.A., Bebe finds work as a stripper, and her and Aaron's drug use results in a car crash that kills him and leaves her with significant physical and emotional scars. A year later, Bebe is still in a rehab/vocational facility in east L.A. Though she's trying to finish beauty school, her continued risky behavior and involvement with Jake, a dangerous schizophrenic, jeopardizes her recovery. Though Lauren's novel is well-crafted, quick, and absorbing, Bebe's obvious self-sabotage— dating Jake, breaking curfew, falling off the wagon—make her a hard character to sympathize with. You want her to care about herself, her life, her future, but when enlightenment comes, allowing her to clearly see the world, including herself and Aaron (who she's grieved as something of a saint), it's too little too late to earn the happy ending. (Sept.)
-Janelle Brown
"Jillian Lauren writes with stunning, furious authenticity about self- destruction and the bitter road toward redemption. Pretty will knock the breath right out of you."
-Jerry Stahl
"An utterly riveting, and compulsively readable saga Jillian Lauren renders the taste and feel of wretched excess - be it sex, drugs, food, or Los Angeles - with a savage veracity and style all her own."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452297340
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 785,463
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Author and performer Jillian Lauren grew up in suburban New Jersey and fled across the water to New York City. Her memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume on April 27 2010.

Her novel, Pretty, will be published by Plume in May 2011.

Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Flaunt Magazine, Pindeldyboz Magazine and Opium Magazine, among others.

She has read at spoken word events across the country and has recently worked with directors as diverse as Steve Balderson, Lynne Breedlove and Margaret Cho.

She is married to musician Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2011

    A Lovely Read

    Pretty is the story of Bebe. The cover describes her as:

    BeBe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

    What BeBe does very very well is tell her story. As she recovers from the death of her lover in a horrible car accident that left her hands and legs scarred, she struggles. She pulls herself through the days until she is finished with beauty school and through the nights as she tries to follow the rules at the half-way house where she lives. She uses her relationship with a schizophrenic resident of the men's half-way house as a distraction.

    Lauren's writing is incredible. I ended up marking passages in the book so I could share them! Here's my favorite:

    Mrs. Montano looks disturbingly like pictures I've seen of John Wayne Gacy when he dressed up like a clown. She appears to be wearing a giant beach ball costume, with only her dwarfed hands and feet sticking out. Her hair is a lacquered auburn helmet, the exact shade favored by beauty school teachers the world over. Her makeup looks like a mean puppet face, with white foundation, an angry gash of red lips, rainbow-colored arches of frosted eye shadow highlighting the crepey skin of her eyelids, and two perfect circles of blush that sit unblended on her cheeks.

    The entire book is filled with descriptions like this. You feel the story as much as read it. Lauren effortlessly weaves the story of the past with the story of now. Her characters are life-like and three dimensional.

    I hope you read this book. If you'd like to win a copy, please comment below! I'll draw the winner on Friday, September 23, at 5pm CST. So get your entries in before that! Good luck!

    This review originally appeared on my blog, Motherhoot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2011

    A Reflective View on Life

    PRETTY follows Bebe Baker, a young woman coming to terms with her boyfriend's death and her rocky journey to sobriety. Bebe is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl. It's been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails of Los Angeles, Bebe looks for something to believe in before something - her past, the dangerously magnetic men in her life, her own bad choices - knocks her off course again. -------- Pretty is a book I won't soon forget. Bebe is not someone to pity, but rather someone to watch. All her life she has been searching for who she is. She has been born again and again and is ever hopeful that one day it will stick. Except for the ex-everything et al., I completely relate to Bebe. Who hasn't thought about how their life should have been, could have been, should be, could be. Bebe is all about hope. She never loses hope even when she thinks it is all hopeless. This is not a book about the privileged or the semi-privileged nor is it about the under-privileged. Pretty is about finding one's way in life, regardless of the path we choose. One wrong turn does not mean game over. There is always another road just waiting to be taken. Disclosure: As a member of Global Influence, I was sent a free copy to review. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth checking out

    What is right about this book - it's very hard to make someone like Bebe sympathetic to the reader while still portraying her as a flawed individual who didn't always do the right thing and continues to make mistakes. The author accomplishes that quite naturally. You don't go into this book expecting to be a feel-good story, and it isn't. Bebe is not living an easy life and sometimes the book doesn't let up in regards to her misery. Addiction and recovery are major things that shouldn't be glossed over and this book doesn't do that. She's a genuinely talented writer. I'm now eager to check out her first book, Some Girls, which is a memoir subtitled "My Life in a Harem". Uh huh. That's right.

    Should you read this book? Maybe. If you're looking for something light and fluffy, no. If you want to make a commitment to a topic that isn't pleasant much of the time, but has some really great bits of prose that I wish I had written myself, dive right in. It's not going to be for everyone, but I think if you're into something a little darker than most popular fiction, give Pretty a try. Some reviewers on Amazon suggest that teens could read this book but I think it's more appropriate for the 19+ crowd.

    As a Global Influence Blogger, I was provided a free copy of this book to review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Very emotional

    I just received the book yesterday. UPS was having issues. :( But I did start reading it and am about half way through. All I can say is WOW. This book is riveting. It's just amazing. I find it hard to put into words just how I feel. It seems very real. You find yourself wanting Bebe to do better and overcome. Truly emotional.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Grim and Sobering

    This is an incredibly sad, yet powerful story about a person who struggles with guilt, ADD, chemical dependency, and so much more. She aims to stay clean with the end goal of graduating from Cosmetology school. The title of this book is compelling because her struggles are as much internal as they are external. She is scarred physically and emotionally from a tragic accident and finds support in a halfway house so she can try and work through her addiction as well the emotional scarring from unhealthy relationships (one that was on a downhill spiral before the accident claimed her beau and her current run with the schizophrenic).

    It's a difficult read. Grim and sobering. Having personally volunteered in a halfway house, Bebe's story isn't uncommon. People need a lot of support to see themselves as worthy of the good things they seek. Though it would be a great novel to introduce a teen to the harsh realities of an imperfect world, parental guidance is definitely advised. A reader who has gone/is going through Cosmetology school may also have some appreciation to its references to certain techniques, as I certainly did not. If anything, one should come away with a deeper appreciation or understanding of the conflicts experienced by the deeply troubled.

    Disclosure: As a Global Influence Blogger, I was provided a free copy of this book to review and giveaway.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an intriguing character study

    Beth "Bebe" Baker worked at Rudy's in Toledo when Aaron the horn player on tour with jazz star Billy Coyote enters the dive. He had three things going for him and one negative. The positives are the horn like Bebe's pop, his being very tall like she is, and his kiss. However, he also seems tentative as if he cannot play the final note. Bebe hops on the tour bus as it leaves Toledo.

    In Los Angeles the band becomes marooned. Bebe becomes a stripper while Aaron's drug use increasingly gets out of control until he dies in a car crash that leaves her physically scarred and emotionally damaged. Over the next year Bebe goes to rehab vocational facility while attending beauty school. As she tries to reinvent herself by staying clean and grieve her hero, Bebe also sees schizophrenic Jake.

    This is an intriguing character study of a woman who makes bad choices on her life as she seems to repeat her errors. Bebe is a fascinating protagonist who though she goes to school and sees another man, has not moved passed her loss of Aaron. Besides some sympathy over his death, readers will not empathize with Bebe as every time she takes a big leap forward, she follows up with gigantic leaps backward. Readers will appreciate Jillian Lauren's look at a complicated individual who believes graduation will prove her savior.

    Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)