Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell, Making Pretty is a raw, romantic coming-of-age about the complexities of family, the boundaries of love, and the realities of growing up in a culture that prizes beauty above nearly anything else.
Montana and her older sister Arizona have always been a team, sticking together through their plastic surgeon dad's string of divorces—and his not-so-subtle belief that "surgical assists" can be an asset to any woman. But when Arizona comes home from college with a boob job, the rift between the sisters feels insurmountable.
As summer in New York City heats up and Montana and Arizona grow apart, Montana befriends wild, bold, 23-year-old Karissa, who encourages her to live in Technicolor and chase new experiences—like a cute boy in the park. Bernardo becomes a beautiful distraction, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, she understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
About the Author
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of Rules for Stealing Stars and four acclaimed books for teens. She grew up in the Boston area, earned her MFA at the New School, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog Oscar. Find out more at www.coreyannhaydu.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fantastic story about a girl figuring out family, first love, and forgiveness--and exploring conflicting ideas about beauty--in the span of one tumultuous summer. The NYC setting is vivid, both dreamy and gritty. Montana is a complex, appealing narrator with an unforgettable voice, and the powerful realizations she comes to by the end of the novel about herself and her relationships are authentically bittersweet. A powerful read for anyone, but especially for teenage girls struggling with self-acceptance and self-love.
This might be my favorite Haydu book yet, which feels weird to say because I really, really loved the other two, and it's hard to compare. OCD Love Story was the book so intense and well crafted I had to repeatedly put it down, Life by Committee was the book so compelling I couldn't put it down, and Making Pretty was the book I didn't want to put down; it was just too engrossing watching Montana's growth, being in her head, seeing all the ways she reflected some of my own weirdest and most uncomfortable thoughts and also adjusting to a rapidly changing life and all these weird situations and falling in love and, just, everything. I love all the NYC-ness in this book, and that the father who could've so easily been a relatively stock villain was given these layers and sympathetic qualities, and that no one was revealed to be the same at the end of the book as they'd been at the beginning. If I were a more arrogant, self-centered person, I'd say Corey Haydu was probably put on Earth to write books for me.