Pretty Crooked (Pretty Crooked Series #1)

Pretty Crooked (Pretty Crooked Series #1)

by Elisa Ludwig

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Overview

Pretty Little Liars meets Heist Society in this exciting and flirtatious book about a high school girl whose innocent game of Robin Hood spirals way out of control.

At first, Willa’s plan to take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones seems easy. Her daredevil stunts are thrilling. And keeping secrets helps her play hard-to-get with Aidan Murphy, Prep’s most notorious bad boy. But when the cops start investigating and her friends begin to seek revenge, Willa realizes her walk on the wild side is just beginning.

Fans of Sarah Mlynowski, Ally Carter, and Sara Shepard will love the feisty heroine, clever heists, and playful romance in this series. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062066084
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Series: Pretty Crooked Series , #1
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,134,942
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Elisa Ludwig enjoys writing about teen outlaws, even though she herself has never been one. Pretty Wanted is the final novel in the Pretty Crooked trilogy. Elisa lives in Philadelphia.

What People are Saying About This

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.”

Sarah Mlynowski

“Packed with romance, humor, and adventure, PRETTY CROOKED will steal your heart.”

Melissa de la Cruz

“A pretty twisted, modern-day Robin Hood story full of fun, fashion, and mischief.”

Lauren Henderson

“Pretty clever, pretty funny, pretty adorable. I loved it!”

Customer Reviews

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Pretty Crooked 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
CleanTeenFiction More than 1 year ago
There were some things I liked and didn't like in Pretty Crooked. It was an interesting plot idea, a modern day Robin Hood. I don't think Willa came across as noble as Robin Hood though which maybe wasn't the intent or moral of the story anyway. Robin Hood was back in Medieval Times right? He was kind of like a police office in a corrupt monarchy. Willa, on the other hand, is a modern teenager trying to give retribution to girls that definitely deserve it, but breaking the law really isn't the best way to do it. Willa is interesting. I'm not sure if I like her that much. She makes some really dumb decisions. She's been through a lot so it's understandable that she's having a hard time. Willa and her single mom had a good relationship until they moved to the rich neighborhood, and her mom got secretive and busy. The biggest pull for me to read the next book in the series is to find out more about her mom's secrets, very intriguing. This book brings up the modern issue of cyber bullying. This definitely wasn't a problem in my day. (Which, by the way, I'm not ancient or anything. My 10 year reunion is coming up soon. Hmm maybe that does make me ancient.) I'm sure this happens in high schools all over, and it's truly appalling. Willa definitely had her heart in the right place when she tried to help these girls being bullied for being the scholarship kids at a rich private school. Content Ratings: Sexual Content: moderate Language: moderate Violence: none Other: cyber bullying, teen party drinking, teen drinking and driving
jacindahinten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked caught my eye as something a little bit different in the YA genre. I'll admit there is one series that comes to mind that might be somewhat similar and I think fans of that series will also enjoy this series of books by Elisa Ludwig.Willa does what she does, you know...steal, with good intentions. No matter what her intentions were, she still had to deal with consequences. She gets thrown into a world she has never been a part of and she struggles with how people are treated and viewed.Pretty Crooked had me thinking lots about stereotyping and and how we view people who might make less money than we do. It touches on how we view each other in society. We are introduced to a couple of mean girls that I hate and loath.Willa's mother has some secrets...I have NO idea what they are. Seriously, Elisa Ludqig did a great job of covering up and weaving mysteries into Pretty Crooked.Let's talk about my feelings once I finished the book. I was sitting there thinking, "This can't be it?! Ludwig hasn't told us about this or that yet?! Is my egalley missing something?!" Then, for some reason, I was thinking...is this book part of a series? So I scour Goodreads and I question Twitter and I have my answer...Yes, it's part of a series. In case you weren't aware, you might want to go into Pretty Crooked knowing this. Not sure how I missed it to be honest.I guess I will have to see how Pretty Sly to figure out if this series would have made a better standalone. I will admit, I do want to see more Willa and Adian and find out some of these secrets we're waiting for.
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Willa and her mother have never set down roots before, so with her mother's money from the sale of her paintings they finally get a piece of the good life. Willa isn't used to it nor is she used to friends. So she's not aware that the Glitterati she's in with is not as nice as they appear. They take her shopping, help her reputation, and finally she makes a friend for the first time in her school life. Maybe even a boyfriend.But the truth about the Glitterati, the ugly, sordid truth comes out and Willa is outraged. Nikki and Kellie are the Glitterati and only allow a certain few into their pack. So when they start blogging about the scholarship students saying not just mean things, but damaging things, Willa sees them for the bullies they are. Taking the passive aggressive route she decides to be a modern day Robin Hood, thinking that if she evens the playing field by giving the scholarship girls new clothes, that will take care of things.Willa, in the beginning, is extremely naive. I'll give her a pass on that since she's never spent more than a year in one school and it was always public school. The school she goes to is ultra rich. It has it's own woodfire pizza oven in the cafeteria. It has over 200 acres. That is one very rich school. And most of the students that attend it are extremely rich. All designer clothes and cars. But Willa, she rides her "tricked out" Schwin bike to school with a velvet seat, a night light, and chrome fenders. It reminds me of something close to what I rode in my childhood without the velvet seat. This is her pride and joy. She wears altered vintage clothing and isn't ashamed of it. She likes who she is and is comfortable with herself. But a few weeks with the Glitterati and she's a changed girl. Actually, the first day, she's participating in their games. I thought she was smarter than that from the beginning, but she immediately falls for their games. She does not stick to her principles and her ideals even when she sees the evidence in front of her. Then all of a sudden Willa gets almost vengeful, not that I minded. Nikki and Kellie were pampered princesses who deserved nothing, deserved more than what they got.Then there is Willa and her mom. They have an incredibly close relationship as her mother is young and sorta cool. She's an artist and a kind of go where the muse takes me kind of person. But as said before, she decides to settle down there in Arizona. But they are hardly moved in before her mother starts acting strange, losing weight, looking tired, crying, sleeping late, staying out all night and soon, Willa and her mother no longer trust each other. Willa's mother with good reason, but Willa isn't sure what is going on.As for romance, the boy Willa spends the most time with is not the one she is interested in. Aidan is the one that leaves her speechless or feeling dizzy, but we know nothing of him except for that hair in his eyes, frayed shirts and his apparent interest in Willa. We don't know why he's interested in her, it's as secret as her mother's life. And we don't know why Willa likes him, he's only spoken to her a handful of times. And she's rebuffed him each time he asked her out. We don't really know why.I was a little thrown off by this novel. The first part was like Mean Girls. But then the end threw me for a loop. It was like a completely different novel. It was very serious with Willa having to face her actions and then dangerous and bizarre. Of course, it ended on a very high note in my opinion, but the first three quarters and the last quarter just seemed like two different novels. I had no idea this was going to be a series and if it weren't for the Epilogue, I would have been left totally bewildered at the ending.It was an enjoyable read and I will read on as the last quarter of the book was more tantalizing than the first.
yearningtoread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (Pretty Crooked #1)Pages: 358Release Date: March 13th, 2012Date Read: 2012, February 5th-11thReceived: ARC from NetGalleyRating: 4/5 starsRecommended to: 13+SUMMARY -Willa Fox is no extraordinary girl, but her life has never been ordinary. She's moved all over the country with her single mom, an artist just waiting to make it big. But then she does make it big, and Willa's life is flipped dramatically.First, they get the fancy new house. Next, Willa is accepted into Valley Prep, the wealthiest school around. Not only that, but Willa is befriended by the Glitterati, and, believe it or not, the hottest guy at school who seems to have some special interest in her.The life of glam is wonderful, for a time. But what about Mary, Sierra and Alicia, nice girls who rely on scholarships to get this kind of an education? When the Glitterati start to cross the line, taking good humor to the level of obscene, Willa has an idea. With the help of Tre and even the Glitterati themselves, Willa keeps her eye on one goal - to bring balance and justice to the filthy rich halls of Valley Prep.MY THOUGHTS -Helloooo! Elisa Ludwig deserves a standing ovation!! Pretty Crooked is just one of those well-written, well-built, awe-inspiring books that leaves you totally satisfied but wanting more. I love this book and will be very proud to have it on my shelf. I'm already looking forward to reading this again and again and again!CHARACTER NOTES -Willa was fantastic. I love her to death. Her voice (mixed perfectly with Elisa Ludwig's writing style) caught me from the very beginning. I agreed with some of her decisions and disagreed with others, but that was something that really drew me in - is everything she's doing right, or only some, or none of it? (More on that in story notes...) In any case, I really respected her and felt I could relate to her. She rocked this book and I would totally read the next book just because of her.But, amazingly, there is quite a bit more draw than just Willa. Aiden? Ummm yes please! I didn't feel like he was a major role, but the end totally bumped him up and I'm sure there will be more of him in the next book! He was...so confusing, so wonderful, so just...Aiden. I'm in love with him. True story.I liked the other characters a lot as well! The mean girls were mean.... Like, MEAN. And even the mean girl who wasn't so mean was just...ugh. She cared more about social status than standing up for the right thing, which infuriated me almost more than the mean girls themselves. All the characters were really three dimensional and so impressive.STORY NOTES -This story is a puzzle, a moral question, a self-questioner. Literally the whole book I was asking myself, "Is this right? Is it necessarily wrong? Is it justice or revenge? Is this okay?! What would I do???" On top of that, there were a lot of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The two big ones that had me really guessing: Willa's mom (what the heck is she doing?!) and Aiden (mmmm). I really really want to know more!And can I just say - I felt way cool reading the scenes in which Willa... *ahem* does her thing. You know, steals. It sounds so bad. It really does. But what kind of an honest reviewer would I be if I didn't put that in here? It was like, I felt cool, and super awesome that Willa was trying to smooth things out in her school, and yet really really guilty at the same time. I mean, how did Elisa do that to me?! I have no idea. Ask her. ;)I don't want to say too much about the story line because I feel like I'll give it away but man! I just enjoyed it so much! It was fascinating, well-written, with brilliant characters, great plot twists, and lots and lots of good questions!!SUMMING IT UP -Foxy (pun intended...) and way too cool. I'm eagerly anticipating Pretty Sly, the next installment in Elisa's fantastic debut trilogy!! Can you tell - I'm excited!!!!! :DFor the Parents -A kiss, s
mimi-vee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can't even begin to explain how much! I thought it'd just be a cute novel that would keep me highly entertained ¿ and it was, but it was also so much more. Pretty Crooked was book that I could gush about for weeks and still have things to say! Robin Hood had always been one of my favourite stories, and Pretty Crooked only increased my love for it! This was more than just a modern re-telling of a classic. Elisa Ludwig created an extremely fun story that had lovable characters, a well-written voice, and the perfect REALNESS factor that made everything more believable and enjoyable. I adored Willa! Fifteen, bubbly, sweet, and witty, she was a character I connected with instantly and found myself rooting for with everything she did. And I expected Aiden to be just another cookie-cutter bad boy, but he was actually such a sweet, funny, and layered guy! ¿ Plus, I loved Willa's relationship with their mom and her friends too. A lot of books nowadays focus only on the main characters and their romance, so it was refreshing to read about a full cast of amazing characters. I loved every single one!Hilarious, heartwarming, and 100% entertaining, Pretty Crooked has earned its place high on my favourites list! I loved everything about it. If you haven't added this to your TBR pile yet, then I highly recommend that you do because Elisa Ludwig is an author worth waiting for! BUY or BORROW?: Oh my gosh, buy this book for sure!! I really want to buy two copies for myself when it comes out: one to look gorgeous on my shelf, and another to carry around in my purse so I can re-read it everywhere! x) It was that amazing!
ahandfulofconfetti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thank you to HarperCollins and Katherine Tegen Books (via NetGalley) for the e-galley of Pretty Crooked.Willa Fox is a new student at an elite prep school in Arizona, which she and her mother just moved to. Willa is immediately taken in by the Glitterati - the rich, popular, pretty girls of the school - and thinks she's finally made it. She starts spending all of her time with the Glitterati, attending scandalous weekend parties and spending every afternoon at the mall, shopping at expensive stores. But then Willa starts to see the distinct line drawn between the students at the school: those who have wealth, and those that don't. So Willa decides to pull a Robin Hood-type thing, and rob the rich to provide the poorer students with something to "even the status quo". And that's when this book really went down hill for me.First off, I was leery about reading this book because I'd seen two separate not-so-great reviews. The issues they brought up were significant enough to make me think twice, but I decided to go ahead and read it anyway. And, ooh, boy, this book. Aside from Willa's really stupid way of trying to even the status quo, I had a VERY serious issue with the topic of bullying that's brought up, and the way it's never actually addressed. Bullying via Facebook or other online blogs or message boards is a very real threat to teens these days, and it's precisely what's going on in this book. There are exactly two times that someone says anything against said bullying, and both times it's brushed aside or causes such a huge rift in the Glitterati friendships that the topic is let go and continued to be ignored. THIS IS NOT OKAY. [SPOILER] Willa stealing money and clothing, etc., from the rich to purchase new clothes for the "Busteds" (i.e. the girls who are "bussed in" from the city) does not even begin to address the true issue here. She's not fixing anything; she's choosing to ignore the real problem and trying to put a bandaid on it for an only temporary fix. [/SPOILER] I feel like the better way to go about this book would be to address what Cherise was trying to do, and the results it had on her social status (if you will) because THAT is the true problem here, not the fact that the [SPOILER] less fortunate girls didn't have pretty expensive clothes to wear. [/SPOILER]Also, I didn't like that Willa automatically assumed Tre's record involved theft of some sort. And I didn't like that she just took Kellie's word for it, either. There was a lot of stereotyping going on here, none of which is addressed in any kind of real, useful way.However, there was enough question marks going on, particularly involving Willa's mom, that compelled me to keep reading. And then of course none of them are answered, because this is apparently the first in a series. Do not like.I will say, however, that the ending was completely and utterly cute, which is why I went ahead and gave this that second star. Still, not a favorite. I think the story could have been really great, if it just would have addressed the true problems inherent in this type of plot.
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked falls between Heist Society and Populazzi ¿ it has a cute story concept with fluffy adorability, but I wanted a little more finished business at the end of the book and less of a traitorous cliffhanger. Granted, I am definitely on board for the sequel to find out what happens ¿ but I felt that Pretty Crooked could have gone a little differently. I think it was trying to set up enough background for a sequel as she introduced Willa, Aiden, Glitterati, and company in the current Robin Hood-styled story. As it turns out, I was MORE interested in the set-up for the sequel and read on to pursue that plotline before realizing that I would not get any answers until Book 2. By itself without all the trimmings for the sequel, Pretty Crooked has a likeable character with admirable intentions to equal out the have-lots and the have-nots. If Elisa Ludwig continues to write with such charm and wit in addition to providing more answers in Pretty Sly, I think we may another Ally Carter on our hands ¿ and quite frankly, I am more than excited!
eternalised More than 1 year ago
A modern female Robin Hood, Pretty Crooked is a light read. However, the writing was a little flat, and none of the characters stood out for me. I did enjoy reading the book, but it wasn’t very memorable. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate Robin Hood like people like Willa. It is nit her job to steal from other people and give away their parents hard earned money to other people. Their are other things she should have done to help them. What a stupid child.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
epicrat More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked falls between Heist Society and Populazzi – it has a cute story concept with fluffy adorability, but I wanted a little more finished business at the end of the book and less of a traitorous cliffhanger. Granted, I am definitely on board for the sequel to find out what happens – but I felt that Pretty Crooked could have gone a little differently. I think it was trying to set up enough background for a sequel as she introduced Willa, Aiden, Glitterati, and company in the current Robin Hood-styled story. As it turns out, I was MORE interested in the set-up for the sequel and read on to pursue that plotline before realizing that I would not get any answers until Book 2. By itself without all the trimmings for the sequel, Pretty Crooked has a likeable character with admirable intentions to equal out the have-lots and the have-nots. If Elisa Ludwig continues to write with such charm and wit in addition to providing more answers in Pretty Sly, I think we may another Ally Carter on our hands – and quite frankly, I am more than excited!
TiffanyReads More than 1 year ago
Willa, our protagonist was a character that I liked but I did get quite frustrated with her sometimes. I think she didn't always make the best decisions but the important thing was that she learned from her mistakes. Willa moves to Paradise Valley with her mother and what was a nice change was the fact that Willa wasn't the awkward new girl and actually became friends with the popular girls, known as the Glitterati. At first she thinks everything is great but eventually she sees the darker side of her new friends. She sees the way they look down on and make fun of some of the kids who don't have money like they do and don't fit in with the popular crowd. Willa attempts to make things right by going all Robin Hood and stealing from the popular kids and giving to the poorer kids. In a way I understood why Willa was doing it but on the other hand I felt it was kind of juvenile and risky and I don't think she was going about serving justice the right way at all. I did feel bad for Willa though because she was only trying to do what she thought was right but it ended up getting all messed up. Willa makes friends very quickly with the popular girls or the Glitterati which consists of Kellie, Nikki, and Cherise. Kellie is basically the ringleader, she's the one that throws the parties and is probably the meanest one out of the girls. Nikki, while not much better than Kellie is basically just a sheep. She just follows Kellie's lead and agrees with whatever Kellie says or wants. Cherise is the only one out of the Glitterati that showed promise. Cherise was uncomfortable with the way Nikki and Kellie treated some of the kids at their school and she while she herself didn't partake in their antics she still cared a bit too much about what they thought of her to break away from them. While I was a little disappointed in Cherise I can see that she's a good person and hope to see her change even more in the future. Aidan was a great love interest for Willa. He wasn't like the other people that go to their school, even though he has money he doesn't act the way they do and is very separate from them. I loved the banter between Aidan and Willa at the beginning of the book, somewhere around the middle though Aidan started to retreat from Willa a bit, though it was very obvious he still liked her it just seems that he lost some of his spark that he had in the beginning. We never find out why he starts acting this way so I'm definitely interested to see if we find out what Aidan's keeping from Willa in the next book. I think Willa being all Robin Hood like was a fun idea. It was definitely unique and different. Besides this plot though there was also this side plot having to do with Willa's mother that I would have liked to see more of. Willa's mother had her own secrets and we never found out what she was hiding either but again I hope we find out in the next book. This book ended in kind of a weird place, I felt like maybe there should have been a few more chapters. I felt that the ending was very abrupt and I was left with a lot of questions. My hope for the next book would be that hopefully my questions get answered. *An extended version of this review is also posted on my blog and my other social media profiles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marlena2 More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked is a fun-filled, quick read. The characters are well developed and the story is filled with humor and compassion. I love Elisa Ludwig's writing style, which keeps the story flowing and the readers engaged. This would make a great tv series or movie. I can't wait to read the next one.
ReadingCorner More than 1 year ago
Willa Fox has never had the privilege of being one of the popular kids at school and she's honestly not sure she's finding it all that great. She hates the way that they treat the less fortunate kids at school and decides that she's going to do something about it. In short, she's going to steal from the rich kids to give to the poorer ones. Every time she takes something she ups the stakes just a little bit until she's practically addicted to the adrenaline rush of stealing. I liked Willa pretty much from the get go. While I thought her plan was a little underdeveloped, her heart seemed to be in the right place and she was an amusing character to follow. I had fun reading about her training sessions with Tre and her various antics. Speaking of Tre--did anyone else want HIM to be the love interest? I understand (kind of) her physical attraction to Aidan, but I didn't really get why she was so fascinated with him. Honestly, the romance doesn't play a huge role, but since there was one at all, I think I would have liked it to go a different direction. Who knows--maybe Aidan will be able to change my mind in book two. The secondary storyline with her mom left me feeling really confused. We never get a good feel for what's going on with that aspect of the story and I felt really drawn to the mystery. I kept hoping that we'd get more information as the book went on, but there was nothing! The ending was left open (I suppose for a series), but it felt TOO open for me. You still don't have ANY idea what was happening and I would have liked something--some kind of elaboration. In the end, this book left me wanting a little bit more. The writing is good and the storyline and characters make for an amusing read, but ultimately, the connection wasn't lasting. If you're looking for a fun, quick read, this is one you might want to pick up, and there are plenty of reviews out there that would disagree with my take. While I'll more likely than not read book two to find out what's up with her mom, this story simply didn't quite live up to my expectations.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Who here is a big fan of Robin Hood? I was super excited when I found out that a young adult novel is inspired by Robin Hood! A modern day Robin Hood but with style! I couldn't wait to start reading Pretty Crooked! But while this was cute, I really did not like the protagonist, Willa, at all! The first fifty pages showed me her spunk and how she was a total rebel at heart. Living the poor life, her mother finally gets a lucky break with her paintings and they move states to a luxuries neighborhood and gets enrolled in a top notch private school. Unfortunately as soon as she steps inside the school and gets accepted into the Glitterati (think the mean girls in the movie Mean Girls) her whole attitude changed. She seemed so desperate to me at times, just to gain their approval. She even witnessed straight on bullying and barely said anything to the girls, afraid to lose her status, to me, that is really cowardly and I just couldn't stand her anymore! When Willa finally takes her eyes off all those designer clothes she's been buying and finally thinks for a minute, she finally admits to herself that what the Glitteratis are doing needs to be stopped. She gets an idea, and it is to rob the rich and buy DESIGNER CLOTHES to the scholarship girls at the school to even out the score. CLOTHES? and DESIGNER at that? REALLY? what a genius idea *sarcastic tone*. I just found that idea absurd, and wanted to smack her to reality, because that is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard. So I laughed, I totally enjoyed reading how she learnt to steal and to try and "even out the playing field" and the writing is definitely superb which is why I stuck through it, even with the absurd plot. Add in a hot boy in the mix, Aidan, and i'm happy; though I hoped he had more page time (screen time but in book language), I still really loved his charm. I'm a sucker for guys with the witty charm. While I might have had some major problems with the protagonist and idea, i did enjoy the book, it was funny, cute, and a great contemporary. This is only the first book, so make sure to check out the second book because this one ended in a cliffhanger!
Buried-in-Books More than 1 year ago
Willa and her mother have finally set down roots and for the first time Willa is attending private school. A very elite private school where they serve sushi and bake wood fire baked pizzas in the brick pizza oven. The campus is on 200 acres, though the school is on only a small portion of that land. And the kids that attend are among the richest of the rich, CEO's children, trust fund babies, the works. But then there are the scholarship kids. The ones just trying to get a good education. Willa is lucky enough to get accepted by the Glitterati, the "it girls" of the school and she thinks they're nice. We all know the story and eventually she sees them for who they truly are. She decides if she evens the playing field, they won't have anything to be mean about. So she steal from the rich (Glitterati) and gives to the poor (scholarship). Only it doesn't quite work out the way she planned. As for the relationship she has with her mother, they've always been close. Her mother had her young and its always been just the two of them. But here, her mother has become secretive. She sleeps all day. She's gone all night. Locks herself in her room and cries. She won't tell Willa who the man is that keeps trying to approach them. And Willa certainly keeps her life secret. The romance isn't very much in this book and only takes off towards the end of the book which is where the book changes dramatically. Instead of modern day Robin Hood and a girl in high school, the book becomes very serious and dangerous. Their is peril and danger and strange things happening and Willa finds herself turning to the boy that she thought she'd least likely turn to for help. Be forewarned this is a series, or at least there is another book, something I wasn't expecting and it definitely threw me off at the end. I found this to be an enjoyable book, though a little confusing with the switch up at the end, but I'll definitely be getting the next book!
Bookishluv More than 1 year ago
1.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book even like it but not the case for me. This is described as a modern day Robin Hood, personally after reading this novel to even say it's anything close to what Robin Hood did is an insult. Willa was so misguided and shallow to think that she can solve the problems of the poor minority scholarship kids at her school by stealing from her wealthy popular friends and giving fancy clothes to the disadvantaged kids would make them accepted by the Glitterati. When in reality common sense will tell you that they would be the first people who would get the blame, especially when all of a sudden with all these thefts going on they come to school wearing three-four hundred dollar outfits. So instead of making things better she only made it worse for these kids who were getting bullied. Also it was pretty obvious these kids were not being picked on because of what they wore although that added to it. I would have thought Willa a more likable and stronger character if instead of secretly doing all this she had stood up to the Glitterati which she had become a part of and to actually become real friends with the "busteds" (the name the poor kids were given). But she didn't want to give up being popular. Also there were way to many stereotypes, and I'm going to leave it at that. What did keep me reading was my curiosity about Willa's mom and her secret. She is definitely hiding something and I was hoping it would be revealed but instead it was used as a setup for the second book in the series. And unfortunately as much as I would like to know what is the deal with her mom it's not enough for me to pick up the next book. There is a love interest but besides Willa and Aidan having a romantic interest in each other we don't know much about Aidan at all. One thing that bugged me again was the secrecy, he got kicked out of Valley Prep and we have no clue why. Overall this novel sounded very promising but fell short. In the end this was too superficial for my likes.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Pretty Crooked is full of heart, and a Chick-Lit novel that also deals with a serious subject and hard consequences. Even if the intentions were for good. Elisa Ludwig has written a beautiful heart-felt story about those who are less fortunate and the cruelty of others who seem to have more than their fair share. Elisa Ludwig also adds humor and romance that gives this serious storyline a lot of laughs. Willa and her mom have had a hard life with her mom being a single mom, but their luck has just changed after her mom, who is an artist, sells her painting for big money. Now they move to Arizona, a beautiful house with a pool, and Willa goes to Valley Prep High School. Yeah, Willa and her mom are living the good life, and for first time Willa is hanging with the Glitterati—the "mean rich girls". Willa’s conscience starts to bug her when she realizes she can't be like the Glitterati who bully the girls who don't wear the expenses clothes, and who got into Valley Prep by scholarship. Willa wants to make those who have less become equals with the rich Glitterati girls, So Willa becomes the Valley Prep Robin Hood. Willa soon learns good intentions are not good enough and they will lead her down a road with no U-turn. Aiden is the utterly hot rich guy, and Willa can't help falling him, but she is tough on Aiden. I felt really sorry for him. But Aiden is proof you shouldn't judge a person by what you see on the outside, he has his own good intentions for being a bad boy. Pretty Crooked ends on cliffhanger that had me screaming, NO! don't end now. But Aiden sure did give this novel an awesome ending, and so did Elisa Ludwig. She definitely will have me do a repeat offence for the next book. I recommend Pretty Crooked as a must read.
Natasa-WMYB More than 1 year ago
This review also appears on my blog, What Makes YA Beautiful. Minor spoilers ahead. Despite the fact that it suffers from DPS (disappearing parent syndrome) that&rsquo;s rampant in YA lit today and a terribly misguided &ldquo;Robin Hood&rdquo; theme, <i>Pretty Crooked</i> is, as its cover implies, a quick and humorous read that may or may not have a troubling subtext, depending on how you see it. I love the way Willa is written! These days, most YA books use first person POV as a way to make it easier to connect with the reader, but it&rsquo;s rare to one that makes you feel as if you&rsquo;re seeing inside the character&rsquo;s head. Kudos are in order for Elisa Ludwig for the great writing chops. Despite this, I don&rsquo;t detect any character development. This book is, at best, a high-school drama rollercoaster that should have spat out a Willa who is nothing like what she is before, and yet I find nothing to show that she develops as a character. Perhaps the fact that there&rsquo;s no <i>real</i> retribution for her crimes plays a part here. Another thing is that there&rsquo;s no originality in her, or any of the other characters in this book. Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, the snarky dialogue and great comebacks surprised a laugh out of me more than once but other than that I can&rsquo;t find anything in Willa or anyone else that makes them stand out from the multitude of YA protagonists. The love interest is meh. Having had my fill of contemporary YA romances, Aidan is nothing new. In fact, it&rsquo;s actually quite funny how Willa&rsquo;s reaction is to spaz out whenever he&rsquo;s close to her. The first time is kinda-maybe-sorta believable but after the fifth time it deserves a healthy dose of eye-rolling. I felt there was no need for it, especially the parts that describe her as being unable to talk because she definitely has no problem articulating her thoughts when he&rsquo;s around. Before I rewrote this review I actually went on a rant about how sickening the Robin Hood angle is. I&rsquo;ll summarize it by saying it&rsquo;s a misguided idea that&rsquo;s terribly insulting and damaging not only to the foreign students that Willa is &ldquo;helping&rdquo; but to society&rsquo;s young generation as well. Admittedly I might be taking this too seriously because <i>Pretty Crooked</i> is supposed to be a light and easy read, but there&rsquo;s no denying the white man&rsquo;s syndrome thing that&rsquo;s going on. In politically correct terms, &ldquo;white man&rsquo;s syndrome&rdquo; is defined as privileged Westerners helping disenfranchised and destitute foreigners without considering that these foreigners may be insulted by the fact that these Westerners believe they actually <i>need</i> help. Being a Chinese Cypriot who has experienced and seen this too many times to count (the latest one being the farce that is Kony), I&rsquo;m bothered to no end by this because it&rsquo;s almost as bad as racism. Obviously <i>Pretty Crooked</i> is nowhere near that level but it deals with the same idea. I wouldn&rsquo;t recommend you <i>not</i> to read this book if you&rsquo;ve heard of it before, but suffice to say that it wouldn&rsquo;t be at the top of my recommendations list. I&rsquo;ll be reading its sequel because it&rsquo;s undoubtedly well-written (<i>only</i> by way of its prose) and it seems the stint of Robin Hoodness has passed. And thank goodness for that.