Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Pretty Crooked

Title: Pretty Crooked
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Series: Pretty Crooked #1
Published: 2012 by HarperCollins
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Bought

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 ultra-exclusive 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 pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.
The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.
But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

First Sentence:
To the locals, it was probably a weird sight: a short blond girl in a miniskirt and laced-up boots, riding through the desert on a bright orange 1970 Schwinn Suburban on an early September morning.”

This attempt at bringing a Robin Hood–esque plot into modern day succeeded in making me very ticked off at the main character, while still appreciating her kind heart.

Although this was an entertaining and funny book, the main character made a thousand idiotic mistakes in her attempts at “evening out the playing field.” I understand wanting to help those who are bullied. It’s a serious problem, and this book’s insight into the online bullying world was very depressing (I don’t understand people who want to hurt others…). However, I’m pretty sure that the way Willa went about it wasn’t very helpful at all. Instead of actually standing up to the BULLY, she just went about making the targets even bigger targets by giving them suspiciously expensive clothes. I mean, it was nice to think of them, and I’m sure the girls appreciated looking nice, but it didn’t accomplish much in the long run. Also, it took half the book before Willa decided to steal anything. The beginning was all her making friends with the rich kids and spending too much money while trying to keep up with their lifestyle. I kept getting mad at her through this portion because her mom had trusted her. Although I thought Willa was sweet to be so legitimately concerned with helping those who had less, she mostly got on my nerves for being so stupid in her plans. It was less “mischief” and more plain old “crime.”

I do not blame her one bit though for wondering about her mom. Seriously, what is up with that woman??? I need that to be resolved quickly in the next book.

Elisa Ludwig has a very firm grasp on the social world of high-schoolers. Willa’s one real friend, Cherise, is an example of girls who do things they don’t agree with just to stay friends with the popular kids. I kept wanting Cherise to REALLY stand up for what she believed in, instead of saying a few words to Kellie and Nikki, the bullies. Aidan Murphy was the love interest and I did like him. Although I never could see how he was drop-dead attractive based on the physical descriptions of him, his conversations with Willa made me like him. He was all flirtation (I never did see how he had that HUGE reputation though…) mixed with the insecurities and problems of all teenage guys. My absolute favorite character is Tre. I loved his friendship with Willa and the way he was there for her even though he didn’t agree with her (probably a lot like most of the readers actually).

The plotline just got more and more confusing and frustrating as Willa’s mom was very secretive and there was curiosity about Aidan that was never resolved. Actually, nothing was resolved in the end except Willa’s “fate” (which by the way worked out WAY too easily). It was all very ambiguous and annoying.

So bottom line: I enjoyed the perspective the author gave me and good heart of the main character, but I was rather put off by the unrealistic-ness and the stupid decisions of the main character. It was fun, and I will read the second book, Pretty Sly, which comes out May 2012, in hopes that Willa has changed a bit and the character mysteries are resolved.

Content Warnings: Language, bullying, kissing

3 Pigs

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