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Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked Series #2)

Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked Series #2)

3.5 2
by Elisa Ludwig

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Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble.

In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.

However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious note from her mother, telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Since her close friend Cherise has disowned her for stealing from


Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble.

In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.

However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious note from her mother, telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Since her close friend Cherise has disowned her for stealing from the Glitterati, and practically everyone else at school is against her, Willa figures she has nothing keeping her here. So with the help of her pal Tre, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of the only person who really cares about her.

Other than fellow outlaw Aidan Murphy, that is. He offered to be Willa's wingman on her latest adventure—a sure sign that their one kiss is anything but a fluke. But will Aidan stand by her when their journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt?

Pretty Sly is a wild ride with a thrilling mystery that will make you smile and leave you breathless.

Editorial Reviews

Tantalizing....[for] fans of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Gwen Amborski
Pretty Sly continues the story of Willa Fox and her want-to-be boyfriend, Aidan. Lots of adventure and plenty of excitement make the second book of the Pretty Crooked series a great read. Teens who enjoy a mystery and romance will look forward to the next book. This series will appeal more to female readers since the book is mostly about the Willa’s feelings, especially towards Aidan. Reviewer: Gwen Amborski, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Adrienne Amborski
A modern twist on the Bonnie and Clyde folklore, Pretty Sly continues the exploits of Willa Fox and her rich, bad-boy love interest, Aidan Murphy. Beginning with the first book in the series, Pretty Crooked (HarperCollins, 2012/Voya December 2011), Willa attempts to correct social and economic injustice as a new student at the elite and exclusive private school, Valley Prep. She learns the art of thievery to steal from the rich and shallow students of the “Glitterati” clique to provide name-dropping fashions to the disadvantaged scholarship students. Willa garners media attention and sparks a firestorm of controversy when she is caught and sentenced. In Pretty Sly, Willa who is now known by the media-driven moniker Sly Fox, returns to a life of crime to find her missing mother. Aiden agrees to escort fifteen-year-old Willa as they travel from Arizona to California, following clues to her missing mother’s whereabouts. Staying only one step ahead of the law, Willa and Aidan are also being chased by two murderers who are also searching for Willa’s mother. Full of red herrings and romance, Pretty Sly takes readers on a wild ride with questions to be answered in an anticipated third book. Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy the fast-paced style of the Pretty Crooked series. Readers who enjoyed Ally Carter’s Heist Society and love romantic tension will relish this second entry and look forward to the conclusion in the last book. With a strong female character, the series will have direct appeal to teen girls. Hopefully in the next installment, Willa’s laissez faire attitude toward stealing will dissipate and her moral compass will right itself. Reviewer: Adrienne Amborski; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Willa Fox likes to steal things. She just got out of juvie for pilfering items from the rich, mean girls at Valley Prep High School, where she earned the nickname Sly Fox. That story was told in Pretty Crooked (HarperCollins, 2012), and this novel refers back to those events. As the story opens, instead of getting ready for her first day back at school, Willa is standing in the middle of her ransacked house looking for some trace of her artist mom. A cryptic email and a stash of cash are all she has to get her started. Along with her hunky friend Aidan, who has his own shady past; Tre, who is trying hard to walk the straight and narrow; and Cherise, who has become her ex-best friend, Willa determines to find out what has happened to her mother. She tries to follow her trail, but along the way loses the money, fights with Aidan, and runs into the seriously bad guys who are chasing her mom. Willa is a strong but impulsive character, more than willing to jump into the middle of the action before thinking through the consequences. The story moves quickly, with barely a break for readers to catch their breath. Fans of Ally Carter's "Heist Society" series (Hyperion) will enjoy this book. Be prepared to purchase the final installment in the trilogy as well.—Diana Pierce, formerly at Leander High School, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Suspense rules in this sequel to Pretty Crooked (2012), as Willa goes on the lam to find her missing mother. This fast-moving chase picks up in the middle of the action as Willa, on probation and fresh from juvie after her thefts in the first book, discovers that her mother has gone missing and an intruder has ransacked her home. The safe stands empty of her mother's money, and Willa finds hidden away the paintings that her mom had said she sold. Despite her probation, she and almost-boyfriend Aidan steal a car and take off in search of her mother. Willa uses her housebreaking expertise to find accommodations. They promise to repay everything they take, but Willa finds that successfully pulling off crimes gives her a rush that has become an addiction. Soon, she and Aidan learn that they have become the lead story in the national news; young people are rooting for them, but the police are closing in. Ludwig tries to mitigate the fun of Willa's crime spree by having Willa frequently reflect on its wrongness, but the emphasis is on action, not morals. The rapid-fire sequence of near misses and clever capers easily sets up the next sequel. Crackling-good adventure. (Thriller. 12-16)
ALA Booklist
“Tantalizing. For fans of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books.”
Melissa de la Cruz
Praise for Pretty Crooked:“A pretty twisted, modern-day Robin Hood story.”
Sarah Mlynowski
“Packed with romance, humor, and adventure, Pretty Crooked will steal your heart.”
Tera Lynn Childs
“Filled with mystery, high-tension heists, and flirting with an enigmatic bad boy, Pretty Crooked kept me hooked right up to the action-packed ending.”
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Willa "Sly" Fox is repenting from her Robin Hood-esque crime spree, stealing from her rich friends to give to the poor kids in their highly divided high school. Fresh out of juvie, she comes home to find her house ransacked and her mother gone. A mysterious email from her mom leads Willa on a treasure hunt across state lines in a stolen car with Aiden, her not-so-trustworthy crush in tow. The two must evade the FBI and then the group of thugs who are also trying to find where Willa's mom is hiding. When the couple makes national news old friends Tre and Cherise show up to give their assistance and encourage Willa not to give up on her mom and finding the truth. She's led, instead, to a decades-old murder and more questions about her family and where she came from. The book closes with Willa and Aiden on their way to Wichita for the trilogy's conclusion. Entertaining, if a bit far-fetched, fans of Sara Shepard or Ally Carter will enjoy this theft-ridden romp. Parents, on the other hand, may have some qualms about the constant mentions of Willa's rush and enjoyment of stealing and the lack of any real consequences. Reviewer: Amy McMillan

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Pretty Crooked Series , #2
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Elisa Ludwig studied writing at Vassar College and Temple University. She has been pickpocketed twice, and once caught someone mid-pocket. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and her cat, Beau. Elisa is the author of Pretty Crooked and Pretty Sly, the first two books in a trilogy about kindhearted teenage outlaw Willa Fox.

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Pretty Sly 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) This is book 2 in the 'Pretty Crooked' series, and kicks off where book 1 left off. **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 'Pretty Crooked'.** Willa has just come home to find her house trashed, and her mother gone, and she's not sure what to do. When she then receives an email from her mother saying that she's left and not to try and find her, Willa decides to do exactly that – not only violating her own terms of probation, but also dragging her remaining friends down with her. What has happened to Willa's mother? Why is she running? And what from? Can Willa find her? And will she like what her mother has to say when she finally finds her? This was an interesting sequel, and I did think it was slightly better than 'Pretty Crooked', although I still didn't agree with a lot of Willa's thoughts and ideas. Willa continued to have some pretty strange ideas in this book. In the first book I didn't like how she thought that stealing from someone rich and giving it to someone poor was the 'right' thing to do, and didn't think she was really thinking rationally, and in this book, she continued with this slightly deluded way of thinking. Just when she'd say something and I'd think that maybe she was starting to feel guilty over her actions, she would then say something to totally contradict that. It kinda floored me how she felt that she should be proud over her stealing, and then later followed this up with 'Stealing was wrong. So wrong. But it was so exciting.' - I think she maybe has a little adrenalin addiction forming there. The plot line in this one was quite different to the plot line in 'Pretty Crooked'. While in the first book Willa was doing a Robin Hood impression, in this one she was more focused on finding her mother, and so we got more of a Bonnie and Clyde kinda thing going on. While this storyline was a change of pace, it still bothered me that Willa thought that what she was doing was just as important as what she had been doing in the first book, and even claimed that she was 'just doing what she needed to do to survive'. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that for a second. She could have done what her mother suggested and just leave her be, she didn't need to violate her probation, she didn't need to start stealing cars etc. so I really don't see how she can call what she was doing 'surviving'. There was a bit of a twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but again Willa's actions confused me. While the news that she received was shocking, her resulting actions – to continue to evade the law, seemed a bit like flogging a dead horse. Quit this behaviour already! Try staying on the right side of the law for once! What do you really hope to accomplish now? Who are you saving? What are you going to call what you're doing now? Overall; a slight improvement on the first, but this girl has some seriously dodgy morals. 6 out of 10.