Kaitlyn Gee's Reviews > Pretty Crooked

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
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May 29, 12

bookshelves: first-reads
Recommended for: Middle schoolers
Read from May 22 to 29, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Willa has just moved to a new, rich neighborhood and is taken in by her school's ultimate populars, the Glitteratti. However, as her awareness of the injustice prevalent in her school's social hierarchy grows, she becomes interested in the prospect of evening out the inequalities.

Let's see. I should start off by saying that this is not necessarily my favorite novel. But then again, throughout the novel, I got the feeling that I am not the target audience. (I am currently a high school sophomore.)

The characters
Willa is the protagonist. Fairly normal in pretty much every way possible. Nothing crazily spectacular or noteworthy, really. Although, I did get a bit annoyed at how she reacted around Aidan, her love interest. Still, she stood up for what she believed in and didn't seem crazily off in any way. Minor quirks - riding her bike everywhere, mostly - are present but hardly a major factor. Aidan, on the other hand, is my favorite character, no question. At the beginning, he seems to be your typical bad boy, but as the novel progresses, we begin to see a more complex side to him. Although he too seems one-dimensional at times, the descriptions of him are perfect. Kellie and Nicki, Willa's popular friends, seem to be shallow but ultimately normal. Nothing too crazy there. Willa's mom is very cool, kind of hip but rather human at times. Her actions are barely alluded to, and I had little to no clue what was going on with her. Tre, Willa's friend who becomes her, well, tutor of sorts, is right up there with Aidan. He seems sweet and caring, but also knows where to enforce his boundaries. And Cherise, perhaps Willa's true friend, is realistic and one of the most interesting characters because of her background with the Glitteratti. Although she is thought of as a member of the crew, she struggles with being accepted and keeping up appearances.

The setting
Valley Paradise. Sounds typical, no? That's because it is. Very. Rich people, rich houses, rich things and rich excess. At first, it's kind of interesting, but I didn't note any real complexities or points of interest that really stood out to me.

The plot line
The plot didn't go as I thought that it would. But it didn't blow me away, either. I knew that Willa would begin to steal things from the rich people just by reading the blurb, although I was surprised to see how long in the novel it took for her to actual begin her equalizing regime. Other than that, there were no plot twists and nothing major. The mystery surrounding Willa's mom is perhaps the most interesting factor in the novel, but even that is very vague.

The writing
The style is not something that I personally read in general. The tone of it, while serving to describe the characters and the plot and the setting, didn't draw me in as much as it could. I felt like every little thing that was mentioned did not have much of a purpose outside of the immediate scene, at least for the most of it, and consequently, I got bored. The writing is sometimes exaggerated as well, often using words like "For realz?" and "skillz" and even "seks" once. I'm not sure about the entire teenage population, but I surely do not speak like that. I would have appreciated a bit more realism in that department.

Overall, this is not a bad book. Everything that I said is my own opinion, yes, and I do believe every single word, but that is just my own preference. Had I been younger, this might have been one of my favorite books. I simply didn't connect with it.
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Reading Progress

05/22/2012 page 4
1.0% "Interesting. The Induction is fairly simple, just a girl biking, and the imagery itself isn't exactly breathtaking, but the voice is strong enough. The protagonist appears to be very easy to relate to, and the language is realistic. We'll see where this goes."
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