Amy always felt a bit awkward and out of place, her only friend being her neighbour Joe. That is until she caught the attention of two popular girls who pulled her under their wing. She wasn’t like Lila the pretty one, or Cassie the tough one; at times, Amy felt like she was the drab “leftover” one. When their prom dates are a no-show, they decide to try and make the best of their night and end up landing themselves in jail. The fall-out from their actions means Amy has been banned from seeing the other two by her parents, no cell phone contact and visits to a courtroom, a therapist and a lawyer – all while juggling a job at the local gas station. Faced with the dilemma of being asked to testify against her friends, Amy struggles to find herself among the rubble that her and her friends have created for themselves.
If ever there was a “coming of age” story, this would definitely fit the bill. The cover, with the gorgeous party dress, admittedly made me think it was a light fluff, fun story but Burstein has written a very gritty and real tale of a teenager struggling with who she was, who she is and who she thinks she wants to be. The story doesn’t glorify the reality of being arrested and the consequences of all actions that you make. While Amy is the main character, she’s by no means raised up on a pedestal because of that. She could be any teenager, rebellious & sullen, wanting to be a grown-up, but trying to make sense of her life and everyone she affects. Amy doesn’t know how to communicate with her mother without it turning into a shouting match, and her father tries but is at a loss. Don’t let the title fool you, there’s nothing “pretty” of what Amy is going through because of one misstep.
A fantastic contemporary read, Pretty Amy sets a realistic look at how friendships are tested and what can prevail.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)
Pretty Amy is currently available in stores.
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.