Saturday, March 7, 2015

Book Review: Pretty Girl by Amy Heugh

I've been putting off this review for such a long time and decided to tackle it tonight. My attitude about it isn't getting any better we go.

Blurb from Goodreads:
If there were one day that she could change it would be the day she was taken.

After her parents’ divorce, seventeen-year-old Izzy Scott and her mother move to the old town of St. Augustine to begin a new life, a life beyond the media attention and the memories of the traumatic experiences that left an everlasting affect on their family.

The former ballerina is trying to adjust to the outside world without suffering a panic attack and exposing who she is - all while getting through her senior year at a new school. That’s easy to say until she meets local boy Mason Winchester, a boy with a tragic past.

Mason has a reputation for violence, but a love for motorcycles. At the age of eleven he lost his mother to cancer and from then he has been running from something, but could never really get away.

Like any other angry teenager, he just wants to be left alone and to have nothing to do with anyone else because he believed that he had nothing to offer. That changes the moment he saw what was in the new girl eyes.

Tragedy wasn't new to either of their lives but among the secrets and the memories the one thing they both never excepted was to find hope.

Izzy is trying to work through a traumatic event in her recent past. She and her mother essentially run away to St. Augustine and try to start over. But it isn't so easy to brush off your own history and it tends to follow you around.  Izzy is a loner by nature and distances herself from the rest of her classmates but the problem with being the new kid is that everybody is curious.

Enter Mason. He's bribed into getting to know her better by one of the popular class jerks. He has a mess of his own baggage and Izzy and Mason connect on a level only known by the truly lonely. He sees this beautiful girl who has so much to offer the world but closes herself off. She sees a kind person surrounded by a brick wall that she feels that she can break through.


Really? Really? You accept a bribe to meet a girl?  This isn't 10 Things I Hate About You. You should know better. It felt like a bad teenage rom-com...probably because we've seen this trope a million times. I've read it before. I've seen the movie. He's a walking cliche. Bad boy on a motorcycle? Hangs out by said bike after school? A girl getting on a random dude's bike and driving off with him? It seems like people would have a lot of issues with this. Namely, her parents. What about his aunt? I see some insurance issues in this.

Next...Izzy. If you are so attached to your twin brother, then why have you not talked to him for the first half of the book? Why haven't you talked to your dad? It felt like a lot of stuff was left out of their relationships and it would have helped the plot a lot. She was also too accomplished. She could draw, she was smart, she was a ballerina. Was there anything she couldn't do, besides let go of her past? She needed more flaws. She needs idiosyncrasies that would crop up. Make her terrible at math. Make her a complete brat. Give her a horrible attitude that doesn't miraculously get cured when she meets the man of her dreams.

The drama at the end didn't feel like enough, either. There was a fair amount of build up to the conclusion and then it was kind of underwhelming. 

Yes, it was traumatic and horrible and all of the things that should be but it wasn't handled well in the book. Mason was appropriately heroic and she forgives him for all of the bad things he did and for his deal with the guy at the beginning of the book.

Why can't a girl say "No! This isn't ok. Thank you for saving my life but we have some other stuff to work through." in one of these books? It's not normal to immediately going back to trusting someone. 

What I wanted:

What I got:

I'm sick of reading the same story lines over and over in YA. Let's inject a spark into the genre somehow. Please? I'm begging you.


  1. Well I for one am glad you took the bullet and saved me from this. Good thing I sucked at my Hearts challenge lol

    1. This one was pretty bad. Be glad you avoided it. The characters talked like all "intellectual" tends wished they sounded like, if that makes sense

  2. I love your use of gifs in this post! Also stopping by to let you know I tagged you for the random questions tag! The questions are here if you want to participate: <3 Bee

    1. Thank you! I'll definitely participate! I'll let you know when I get my answers up.

      Thank you for commenting!