Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review- Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig and ARC Giveaway US only

Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked #2) by Elisa Ludwig
Available Now
Hardback 336 pages
Received ARC from author for review
Purchase Links-
Amazon/ Kindle/ Barnes and Noble/ Book Depository/
Indiebound/ Kobo

Goodreads- Sequel to Pretty Crooked...

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 email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.

But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong.

Pretty Sly is Elisa Ludwig’s fast-paced sequel to Pretty Crooked, the second book in a trilogy that’s pitch-perfect for fans of Ally Carter. With a daring heroine who has one-of-a-kind spunk, a roller-coaster Bonnie and Clyde romance, a thrilling mystery, and a shocking twist ending, this book will have readers rooting for Willa as she makes the wrong choices to do the right thing. Fans will be eagerly awaiting the series conclusion.

Review

I received a copy of this novel for review from the author, so I really wanted to love this novel. And I really tried to love it. I did not love this novel. I did like it. But I wasn't dying to sit down and read it, keep me up late at night, that kind of read. And here is why (I think). The novel jumped all over the place trying to be two different types of novels and it never really married into one novel.  At times Willa was in love with Aiden. Cow eyed, stars in the sky, head over heels in love with Aiden. Yes, it's insta love. But I believe when you're being chased by cops and thieves and the FBI and breaking all kinds of laws that it adds to a heightened sense of feelings. There could be no feelings at all between them when the story is over. There is just this desperation right now that Willa feels and Aiden and her had something kindling before the trouble in this book started. And then, Willa does a 180 and decides she can't trust Aiden because he has these secrets and he won't tell her what they are and she reads his text messages which puts her in a tizzy. Really, if you aren't prepared for what might be in the text message, DON'T READ IT!

I know this isn't my format I usually use but it just doesn't work for this review.

The other novel, in this novel, was the straight up mystery. Now that was a good story. I couldn't imagine why Willa's super protective mother would leave her alone at the age of 15. She was supposed to live with Cherise's family. But Cherise wasn't speaking to Willa. And did she ask Cherise's parents? Who does that?
Apparently Willa's mom. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Ludwig does a great job of leading Willa and Aiden (sometimes others) on a scavenger hunt for clues as to where to find Willa's mom. All, of course, while evading the police, homeowners who they "borrow" from and a very persistent FBI agent.
Oh and the bad guys. This was the story I loved. The clues, the near misses, the friends that helped at their own peril, the pain and suffering. Yes, Ludwig really abused Willa and Aiden. I could see them in their final destination looking for Willa's mom Joanne. Ludwig does a fine job painting the scenery for us.

And then Willa turns into the girl that can't decide if she's in love with Aiden or not. She becomes this whiny, ungrateful baby. Honestly I thought she was eight instead of fifteen. She became very unlikable at that point, which was almost the end of the story. But as I reflect back, I don't think I ever liked Willa that much. She's like a dog on a bone her focus is so intense trying to find her mother and everyone else's world becomes nonexistent to her. The things she whined about and the reasons she gave for disliking Aiden after liking him for so long, very childish. I realize she's fifteen, but on this adventure she needed to grow up and she didn't. Granted she had some rather shocking blows, but her ungratefulness just really took the cake.

So despite suffering from multiple novel syndrome and unlikable main character, there is some great writing to be found in the novel. There is some light romance. Sometimes it's heavier, but it's always PG.
Some humor. A great mystery and the set up for the last book which will include the final mystery- just who is Willa Fox??

Oh oops, the giveaway! I thought I'd pass my ARC along to anyone that wanted it. Leave me a way to contact you in the comments if you're interested. Leave a meaningful comment and say you want this ARC. Remember leave me a way to find you.

18 comments:

  1. Too bad you didn't love this one as much as you were hoping. That's such a crummy feeling! And it sucks that Willa turned into a whiney baby! But glad it still earned a "liked" rating!

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    1. I might have misled in my review-- Willa was only whiny at one point towards the end. And I felt she had no right to be the brat that she was. And it made me realize how much I dislike Willa.
      It's hard to really enjoy a book when you dislike the main character, but the mystery/ hunt was so good, it made up for it.

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  2. Despite all the flaws, I'm glad that you managed to enjoy this one, Heather. I know I get sad when a book that I hoped I would love doesn't quite make it to that level. I don't think this one is for me.

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    1. It isn't for you Rummanah. I think you'd find a lot more flaws with it than me. I don't know if you read the first one. I had problems with that one, too. And I think it all stems from me not liking Willa. The story is good, I just don't like her.

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  3. I really, really liked Pretty, Crooked and I cannot wait to read the sequel!

    Although I am not a fan of when characters become overly whiny, so I will have to brace myself for that.

    Great review. Even though it fell a little short of your expectations it seems, I still think I will really enjoy this one :)

    chelle2006 AT aol DOT com

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Okay, she wasn't whiny the whole time. She just didn't have the appropriate response, I think. Maybe my life experiences cloud my judgement on this. If you loved Pretty Crooked, you will love this one. It's more of the same only the stakes are much higher!

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  4. I did not like the first book at all, so I have no desire to continue this series. It sounds like this one didn't get any better. I am sticking with my decision to not continue this series. It sounds like it is still a mess.

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    1. Yeah, that's probably a good idea if you didn't like the first one. I can tell you what happens if you really want to know.

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  5. Don't think this one is for me. To have all those problems I would have to at least like the characters but Willa sounds to immature for me. Does sound like I would try this author though but not this book.

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    1. Well, I guess I didn't remember that she is only 15. I certainly wouldn't undertake what she did at 15. Hmm, maybe she had a right to be whiny. I don't know, maybe she is really immature. She was very wishy washy in this one. But the writing is great and the story is great, minus the romance. It's a stronger story that way.

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  6. Aw, sorry to hear that you didn't fall in love with this one, I was sent but it didn't appeal to me unfortunately

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    1. It happens. You know that with as many books as you read!

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  7. This doesn't sound like a novel I'd really love because of the protagonist, but I can see it being a favourite of many. Lovely honest review, Heather!

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    1. You are right, I am sure many people will love it. That's why I want to send the ARC out to someone who loves the series already.

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  8. The book sounds great...and the cover is awesome. But I have to read book 1 first. I'm weird that way! Going over to Goodreads to find it!

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    1. Oh, you have to read the first book to understand what is going on . You won't understand why anything is happening without that! Get Pretty Crooked first.

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  9. I felt as if this was going to be a great pass-time read with plenty of enjoyment, though not sufficient depth for me. I'm glad you did enjoy it, Heather, and great review! :)

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