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Something Pretty, Something Beautiful

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In Tacoma, a circle of friends finds their leader in Will Wilson. Together, they drink, they get high, they take girls to the woods--but Will Wilson keeps pushing toward darker extremes.

As the descent gets steeper, there is a way out: another friend's fishing boat off the coast of Alaska. There is life after Tacoma. But the choice has to be made, and some friendships feel
Paperback, 262 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Outpost19 (first published May 31st 2013)
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Richard J. Alley
Jul 12, 2013 Richard J. Alley rated it really liked it
Two things struck me while reading Something Pretty, Something Beautiful by Eric Barnes (Outpost19, 2013). The first thing is the movement. Not necessarily the way the book flows, though it will keep you interested and curious from start to finish. What I’m talking about is that when Barnes writes movement – a car full of teenagers speeding down the highway, kids running and tumbling downhill into a gulch, fighting and fleeing – it is as though I was right there in the melee covered with mud and ...more
Tia Bach
Jul 23, 2013 Tia Bach rated it really liked it
The title suggests a light and fluffy read, but this book is anything but. It's a very gritty look at the dark side of temptation and how slow a decline can be.

Several childhood friends start down a path of destruction, at first just playing at pranks and teasing young girls. With each page, these boys take another step into a very dangerous game.

Told through the eyes of Brian Porter, the book moves in and out of these spiraling events. Brian's voice is equal parts questioning and succumbing.
Allison Hiltz
Jan 02, 2015 Allison Hiltz rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2013
From The Book Wheel:

Thanks to TLC Book Tours I have stumbled upon another book that I enjoyed but wouldn’t have picked up on my own. Perhaps “enjoyed” isn’t the right word, though. Something Pretty Something Beautiful by Eric Barnes is not a fun and happy story and, to be honest, I had a hard time getting into it. The structure of the book is such that it was difficult to know what “time period” I was in, but once I figured out the basic plot it was much easier to follow.

Spanning several years,
May 19, 2014 Karielle rated it did not like it
Shelves: blog
Will Wilson made our lives. He broke down limits Coe and Teddy and me didn't want. And by the time I left Tacoma, Will Wilson had given us all the kind of purpose and power that little kids fantasize about and most adults can never quite achieve.

I got up to page 52 of this book before I reached my "can't take this any longer" threshold, so I'm unable to reflect upon the storyline, but am more than happy to elaborate upon my DNF (did not finish) reasons below:

Something Pretty, Something Beautiful
Eric Barnes’ novel Something Pretty, Something Beautiful is a cleverly written story about a group of teenage boys and the misadventures they find themselves on. Really, it’s a lot more than that, but explaining the “more” might be a bit beyond my abilities. In any case, I enjoyed this book and am happy to have read it.

The novel is narrated by Brian Porter, one of four young men who formed a reckless, thrill-seeking group. Aside from this group, Brian also spends time with his best friend from c
Dec 22, 2013 drey rated it really liked it
This review originally posted on my blog, drey's library.

Eric Barnes’ latest effort is hard to read. Not because of the writing – which is spare and to the point, but because the story itself is one of a group of boys growing up to become young men, taking so many wrong turns along the way looking for the next adrenaline rush.

Every chapter has the same titles, if you will. “Now” is Brian’s current-day thoughts. “With Kyle” are his conversations with Kyle, one of his friends who wasn’t part of th
Aug 11, 2013 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book should have been titled, "Something Pretty, Something Dark". This book is definitely not a light read. While it was fairly quick to read, there is a lot of heavy content. I would probably compare this to the feeling one would get if you came upon a disturbing car accident. You may feel uncomfortable looking, but you can't seem to tear your eyes from the scene. I felt this way reading this book. While I felt icky in parts, I couldn't put it down. I knew where the overall story was ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Jeanie rated it liked it
I received this book from the Goodreads giveaway.

Something Pretty, Something Beautiful was definitely interesting and pulls the reader along. The writing style was unique and new, but at times confusing. When I figured something out about a particular character or event, I felt like I was putting together pieces of the puzzle that was Something Pretty, Something Beautiful's plot. However, at the end I was left with some questions. That could of course be the intention of the narrative style, wi
Galen Johnson
Sep 23, 2013 Galen Johnson rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a short but well-written novel about a blue-collar boy, Brian Porter, growing up in Tacoma, WA. Brian is largely left to fend for himself by his single father, and he spends most of his time with a small pack of boys led by the quiet and evil leader, Will Wilson. Will leads the boys in an ever escalating series of crimes that Porter seems to unquestioningly participate in, despite the counsel of his one other good friend, Kyle, who tries to help him escape the cycle of poverty. The pull ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
Just finished this book last night and here are my initial, random thoughts as I'm still trying to fully digest this book:
1.) WOW...for such a small book, it packed a powerful punch.
2.) It's truly terrifying how one individual can have such power over others. Will Wilson has the ability to make others do things they know are wrong and they never stop it.
3.) NO ONE STOPS IT!!!! These boys know these things are wrong and none of them have the courage to try to stop it.
4.) I truly dislike them. I d
Dec 29, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
It took me a long time to get into this book. And then I had to convince myself to keep reading it. It's not that the book isn't well-written or uninteresting. It's that the time jumps around. I had a hard time within each chapter and each part of the chapters figuring out what was happening and when it was happening. By the end, I understood the organization of the book better.

This is a powerful book about how relationships affect young, impressionable people - in this case, a young teenage bo
Dec 18, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
This book is a coming of age novel that follows the the narrator Brain Porter, as he progresses through high school and into adulthood in Tacoma, Washington. Brian basically lives on his own and fills his time by hanging out with a circle of boys led by the dangerous Will Wilson. As Will Wilson continues to push the limits of the law, Brian finds himself conflicted between continuing to follow Will Wilson or following his childhood friend who presents a way out of Tacoma for Brian and a way ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Thanks so much to those that made it possible.

This book absolutely floored me. The writing style is totally fresh, not only with the way the chapters were divided but in the storytelling as well. The characters in this novel felt painfully real resonated with me in an unprecedented way. The closest comparison I can draw is to Harmony Korine's films like Julien Donkey-Boy and Gummo. Although not a perfect connnexion, those films and this book off
Angelia Herrin
Sep 24, 2013 Angelia Herrin rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a gritty coming of age book, that pulls no punches with the content. My main problem with this book is that it changes the point of view with each chapter. You travel back and forth in time constenley. I think the book would be better served if the story were told in order. It took me awhile to get into the story, but I am glad I finished the book. The second half does flow better and I did enjoy the ending.

In Tacoma, a circle of friends finds their leader in Will Wilson. Together, they
Dec 30, 2013 Jk rated it liked it
Shelves: signed, first-reads
I received a free copy of this book as a Goodreads first reads giveaway and would like to say thank you to the author for the signed copy!

There were many things I liked about this book. The writing style and chapter layout were both very unique and I enjoyed how they sort of created a fragmented pieces that you had to put together to come up with the linear story.

The problems that I had with the book were that I still had a few unanswered questions at the end - it felt like not a
Jessica Quadrel
Dec 27, 2013 Jessica Quadrel rated it really liked it
I won this in a good reads contest, which I entered because it sounded fascinating. This was a good, quick read ( I read it in one night). This is a coming of age story, in which Brian Porter does the usual crazy things young men/boys do with his friends. Eventually, the stunts he and his friends pull get progressively more dangerous. He must choose paths, which would seem easy to do, but as a young man is a difficult choice. I would highly recommend this book, especially to males who can ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Cait rated it did not like it
DNF at 10%

I truly do not know how anyone at all has gotten through this entire book. It is one of the most pretentious and convoluted attempts at being "poetic" I have ever seen. It's like talking to that guy at a party that everyone hates because they think they've been everywhere, done everything, and met everyone, and they are going to tell you every last thing about it all. In the most obnoxious way possible.

The writing style is as infuriating as the story is boring. Absolute waste of time a
Sharon Chance
Aug 08, 2013 Sharon Chance rated it liked it
I'll be honest - I had a difficult time getting through this book. Perhaps it is because I'm the mother of four sons and could vividly imagine my boys doing some of the not-so-bright stunts as mentioned in this coming-of-age story. I suppose that is a sign of powerful writing when a story disturbs you.

"Something Pretty, Something Beautiful" is well-written and intriguing, and those who enjoy this type of graphic, descriptive, and frankly, sad story of a generation that seems lost will find it a
Julie Markowitz
Aug 13, 2016 Julie Markowitz rated it liked it
I got Something Pretty, Something Beautiful through a First Reads giveaway. This is not a light, fun read. It's dark, gritty, and thought-provoking.

Four teenage boys, led by cruel and calculating Will Wilson, move from youthful pranks to violence and crime. One of the boys, Brian Porter, sees a way out in his friend Kyle, but leaving proves harder than he'd realized.

The novel is short, but well written and hard-hitting. Definitely worth a read.
Dec 27, 2013 steffy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-books
I couldn't put this book down. The storyline, the writing, and the characters were absolutely fascinating. Everything about it drew me in from the very beginning, and I was both horrified by and fascinated with the characters behavior and wanted to read more. So glad I won this book as a First Reads!
Susan Walker
Nov 05, 2013 Susan Walker rated it really liked it
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It was heavier than most of the books I read. However, it is so well written I definitely enjoyed it. Great characters!
Alina Ali na
Alina Ali na rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2013
Myonna rated it did not like it
Jun 02, 2014
Scot rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2014
Linda Welsh-arboleda
Linda Welsh-arboleda rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2013
Pam Small
Pam Small rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2016
Sam rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2016
Piko Aplo
Piko Aplo rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2013
Lindy rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2015
Daisy De
Daisy De rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2013
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Eric Barnes is writer of the novels Something Pretty, Something Beautiful (Outpost19) and Shimmer (Unbridled Books), an IndieNext Pick. He has published numerous short stories, and works as publisher of The Daily News and host of Behind the Headlines.

Reviews of Something Pretty, Something Beautiful:

"Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written... the most harrowing portrait of Am
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