Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Pretty Crooked
by Elisa Ludwig
Katherine Tegen Books
March 13th, 2012

Willa's secret plan seems all too simple.
Take from the rich kids at valley prep and give to the poor ones.
Yet Willa's turn as Robin Hood at her new high school is anything but. Bilking her "friends"—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to break into lockers and Beemers is as hard as she'd thought it would be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are bullied just for being different, is more fun than she'd expected.
The complication Willa didn't expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, VP's most notorious ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her—evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There's no time for flirting, especially with conceited trust-funders like Aidan. But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?(B and N)

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.


  1. I really enjoyed and liked this book a lot! Too bad you were a bit confused but I see what you mean with the story being so different in the first and second part. I really liked this, I found the story was never boring.

    Just like you I was surprised to see that there is going to be a sequel and I'm excited to read the next one and hopefully get a bit more romance!

  2. The romance angle of the book would drive me nuts! I'm already frustrated just by reading your review. I get the whole "he's hot" idea but I need more to like the guy. Hope he develops more in the upcoming books!

  3. I was totally thinking Mean Girls when I read the beginning of your post. I didn't think this would be a serious read in any way and this wasn't really what I thought the book was about from the synopsis.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  4. I definitely had a mixed reaction to this one too Heather, it was a bit difficult to kind of sort through. I liked bits and pieces of it and found it entertaining, but I was confused with the storyline involving her mom and the rather abrupt ending where everything came to a head and then just stopped. Still, I'll be picking up the next one just to see what happens. Fabulous review!

  5. Now see this is a book I would have totally passed on because I was thinking mean girls. It still sounds a bit too much like that to me, but might have a better story as it goes along. I may wait until more of the story is produced before I dive in. Especially since the ending is so different than the beginning. Thanks!

  6. I have it but haven't read it yet. Every time I start to read it, I find something Paranormal that sucks me in!

    I vowed to myself that this year I would read more YA literature but so far I haven't exactly kept that vow :o] but hey, it's only March, right?

    I did love your reviews opposing opinions, that did capture my attention! I'll give it a shot...someday!


  7. This sounds fun but very odd that the book switches focus. If she likes the guy why does she rebuff him? Hmmm, definitely a lot of questions. Thanks for the great review!

  8. Danny- Oh, I never found the story boring. It definitely kept me on my toes. I just didn't get the two parts. They did not mesh at all to me. But it kept things interesting.
    I'll definitely be reading the next one.

    Rummanah- I'd say there was hardly a romance. Just the rebuffing. And at the end it kind of started. It drove me crazy, too, but not enough to make me not want to read the next book. Maybe my review came across as too harsh.

    Book Sake- It wasn't totally Mean Girls. There were Mean Girls and that was who she stole from-the Glitterati. But that wasn't the whole story. Weird things with her mom, secrets, boys, lots of other things. How she learned to steal.
    It was totally unexpected. And like I said, I wasn't expecting a series.

    Jenny- Glad you understand my review! I don't seem to have really gotten my point across. It was an enjoyable book. But confusing. And I'll be reading the next one too!

    Melissa- It is not only Mean Girls. It's more. Please read it. It's definitely worth the read!

    Kristi- The Faery needs to read some contemporary! This is a good one to read!

    Alyssa- I'd love to read your review of this one!


  9. I'd love a tricked out bike! The school is on 200 acres? Holy smokes! Sounds like fun. Can't wait to read it Great review :)

  10. That's one book I have to check out and put on my wishlist! Thanks for your review:)


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