Pretty Amy

Pretty Amy - Lisa Burstein *4.5 out of 5 stars First I want to give this some cover love!! I adore the cover. Yes, it's a girl in a pretty dress...but she's in a jail cell. I love it!! Second, it's titled Pretty Amy which automatically makes it cool since that's my name. ;) Okay now onto the review. I really loved this book. I am slowly but surely becoming a contemporary lover. This book is absolutely raw and realistic. I think everyone can relate to Amy in some way. This was a fantastic book that follows Amy through a hard time and her struggle to find herself. It is laugh out loud funny at times, but very tense and hard at others. Amy is a very insecure person. She feels like she doesn't fit in. She finally feels some sense of normalcy with Lila and Cassie, but doesn't really realize that she still doesn't fit, she is just there. We watch her struggle through the story. She is too scared to really say what she wants or needs. She would much rather hide and be invisible. She was so frustrating to me at times, but I totally understood where she was coming from. Lila and Cassie were her only friends in her eyes. The only people she could talk to. Amy is not a strong person, she is falling apart and doesn't know what to do. The more people try to help, the more she wants to push them away. The characters are all great too. I could totally imagine them all. How they talked and how they interacted with each other. I was not like Amy when I was in school. I would always say how I felt, I was on the cheerleading squad, I was friends with everyone, I participated in all sorts of school stuff. I wasn't a "Lila" though. I didn't think I was better than everyone and I never ever put anyone down or bullied others like Cassie would. Just because I wasn't like Amy, doesn't mean I didn't have some of her inside of me. I was scared sometimes and didn't always feel like I fit in even though I seemed like I should. I was always a bit insecure. I was short, had frizzy hair, and no figure at all. My parents never really seemed to care what I had to say. I used to go out and party with friends and cause trouble. I was not arrested, but I had a situation where things were not great and I had to rediscover myself and figure out what I really wanted. That was the Amy in me. Lila and Cassie are her friends. Lila of course is the super pretty one, who knows it and uses it. Cassie is the tough chick who everyone knows not to mess with. Amy is the normal, average one. She feels excepted, different, cool even. They get into trouble and rebel and it makes her feel good that she isn't doing what everyone else wants her to. Her mother is too perfect, her dad is never there enough, and her childhood friend Joe thinks that Lila and Cassie are bad news. They are all she feels like she has. It's hard when all you want is to be accepted and noticed. I really felt bad for Amy. I wanted to hug her and tell her she was better than all of that. This book was fantastic. It was so real! I totally did a lot of those things when I was in school. Smoking under the bleachers, going out drinking, hanging out with some of the wrong people, and of course making some bad decisions. I just loved how I could totally connect with Amy even not having all that much in common with her. The writing was great at portraying how teenagers really act and talk. It captures how they behave and think. This story really reminded me of high school a lot, and even though I was not a lot like Amy, I know a lot of people who were. I think that every teenage girl should read this book. (Well, maybe 14+ age girls since there is profanity in it.) This book kept me turning pages, laughing, sympathizing, and getting frustrated and angry along with the characters. And it really does have a great message to it. (Besides don't get arrested lol) If you like realistic books that aren't sugar-coated, this is for you!