Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pretty” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.18  ·  Rating details ·  728 ratings  ·  99 reviews
An electrifying debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls. Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

It's been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway hous
Paperback, 275 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Plume Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Such Unfortunates by Andrew     MannTrainspotting by Irvine WelshRequiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.Junky by William S. BurroughsScar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
199 books — 460 voters
Such Unfortunates by Andrew     MannNaked Lunch by William S. BurroughsProzac Nation by Elizabeth WurtzelFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonJunky by William S. Burroughs
Drug Memoir A List
161 books — 298 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  728 ratings  ·  99 reviews

More filters
Sort order
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Audacia Ray
Disclaimers up front: Jillian is a pal of mine who has performed at my reading series, and she had her publisher send me a copy of her book.

I really enjoyed Pretty and look forward to reading more fiction from Jillian. The prose is careful and glittery, with the weight of bad decisions and challenging life stuff all over the place. I love that the shitty and wild things have already happened to the main character, Bebe. The book isn't about partying, it's about what happens next, after you wake
Dan Gibas
Sep 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: borrowed, dark, lit, ugh
The summary on the back of the book made it sound like it was going to be the second coming of Invisible Monsters, but it was so tedious to read that I gave up about 80 pages into it because I just didn't feel any sympathy for the main character and had no desire to find out how it was going to end
Quincy Small
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think to enjoy this book you have to be patient, appreciate quirkiness, and also relate to having been in a rut in your life where you look around and ask yourself, “is this it?!”

Favorite moment of the book that had me LOLing:

“You know I like you, Beth, but you have committed some very serious infractions here. Do you have an explanation for why you stayed out all night, violating your curfew and making your friends sick with worry? I’ve already called the police and reported you as a missin

"There's a blaze of light in every word

It doesn't matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah"

Leonard Cohen

Jillian Lauren begins her brilliant novel with this gorgeous, well-known refrain, then she takes that Hallelujah and sings it as her story like a bird whose heart thumps to break through its throat. This is a magnificent book. It will take you through every emotion you have and some you may not have known you had. Lauren is a wise woman with a truth to tell that will set you fr
Pretty is a novel that is hard to define. It doesn’t seem to really be able to place itself in any kind of genre, at least not one I read so I presume that that probably makes it literary fiction. It’s not a teenage read, it’s not really Chick Lit… so I think it’s trying to be a literary novel. It’s not a pretty novel, either. Here there are no pies in the sky, no happily ever after, just a girl struggling to get her life together after her boyfriend dies in a drug-fuelled car crash. Bebe is an ...more
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
When I was a little girl I used to tell people that I wanted to be an adventuress when I grew up. I'll admit that I was influenced by a Marlene Dietrich movie - Morocco (1930) - in which she plays a night club singer (Amy) who falls in love with Gary Cooper's character (Tom), a private in the French Foreign Legion. Although she is engaged to Adolphe Menjou's character (La Bessiere - a wealthy Frenchman), Amy realizes at the end of the film that she is truly in love with Tom. The film ends with h ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Snappy dialogue and clear individual and entertaining voices of her supporting characters. I suppose this is the "new" lost generation, a story of redemption among young-ish female addicts who are trying to find their way out of caged helplessness to meaning. She does a good job of painting a bleak yet ironically humorous observant picture of her transition from detached depression to hope. Fast read. Now I'm curious of her other novel, "Some Girls."
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok was OK. It was interesting. There is a lot of unnecessary repetitiveness that makes me think that either the author mistakenly thought that would be good to add to the experience of the book basically being the main character's train of thought or she just isn't that great of an author yet and should have had a bit more practice before getting published. It's the kind of book that's suppose to seem unpolished but it's clear the author didn't do that on purpose, she just didn't get the wr ...more
Lesley Peck
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I just received the book yesterday. UPS was having issues. :( But I did start reading it and am about half way through. All I can say is WOW. This book is riveting. It's just amazing. I find it hard to put into words just how I feel. It seems very real. You find yourself wanting Bebe to do better and overcome. Truly emotional.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Candy and Buck were the only good characters...

“And before you know it, you become what you’re pretending to be.”
- Pretty

“But no one wants to fight with Buck. The republic dike from Alabama, who has a rebel flag tattooed at the center of her chest”
- Pretty

“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
- Pretty

“I’m a loser. I think, I lose things. … And I could lose this, so easily. This tiny thread of hope, this tiny foundation, of a new life.”
- Pretty

“Somewhere not so far is an ocean you can’t see y
Tonya Chiarodo
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. I skimmed this book like a pro. Writing about mental health and alcoholism was intriguing but I felt there wasn't enough, enough of what I'm not sure. The book was just lacking. I kept wondering what would happen to Bebe. I obviously cared enough to finish the book but wish that I stopped reading it when I first felt I should. Once I get more than a few pages in my book guilt sets in and I finish unless it's that bad. Since i forced myself to finish, I'll give it two stars.
Julia Lange
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I abandoned this book and I’m not sorry. As much hope as I had for it, the book didn’t seem to have much of a plot and it seemed like it has been done time and time again. The redeeming factor that kept me going as far as I did (about 60-70% through) is that the author has a way with words. This isn’t a book I’d recommend personally.
Mariah Suiter Allen
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Honestly, it took me forever to get through this book because I kept getting bored. Bebe is a compelling character, but the plot has no depth. I found myself skipping pages just to find out that I didn’t really miss anything.
Niniane Wang
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well-written, beautiful language. It is the story of a young woman who has gone up under difficult circumstances, and is trying to finish beauty school. She is trying not to relapse into alcohol and drug abuse.

It is an interesting window into her world, and the writing makes it feel epic.
Pam Smoot
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
IT was just ok.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Have you ever been so lost in this world that you'd turn to anything just to feel like you belong? Resorting to drug use, stripping, and partying all to fill the void; all to just feel something other than empty. Bebe Baker felt this way before she realized that there is more to life than getting high, and that real friends are important and should be with you until the end. Jillian Lauren's novel, Pretty spoke to me in words of extreme sadness and confusion.
I believe Lauren's motive in writi
"Stop believing in one thing and you make room for believing in something else."

I was anxious to read Pretty because I was over the moon for Jillian Lauren's first book, her memoir Some Girls. Pretty is a novel, in the same vein as Lauren's first book, written in a first-person narrative by a young woman named Bebe. Bebe grew up in Toledo, OH and was anxious to leave town after her alcoholic father passed away. Her escape came when Aaron arrived in the local bar she tended, there with his jazz b
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Pretty is the story of Bebe (Beth) Baker. Bebe, raised by an alcoholic mother, whose father, an alcoholic jazz musician, dies while she is very young, meets Aaron, a confident trumpet player in a jazz band and leaves her town of Toledo, OH behind to follow him to California. While living in LA, a speedbump on the way to San Francisco, Bebe takes a job as an exotic dancer and becomes an alcoholic/addict. After a fight with Aaron in a bar, the two of them, wasted, get in the car and end up in a mo ...more
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Pretty is an edgy novel about a teenage girl named Bebe who leaves home with a musician named Aaron and ends up becoming a stripper and an addict. Aaron and Bebe's partying habits are out of control, they both drink too much and use drugs. One night, after a big fight between the two, Aaron is killed while driving under the influence. Bebe survives the car accident, but finds herself in a rehab facility trying to get her life together.
After she finishes rehab, Bebe goes to live at a halfw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jade Eby
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements

This was such a heartbreaking novel but one that reminds everyone that there hope can lead to the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Good: The language of the writing was superb. From the very first line all the way to the end I was captivated by what Bebe had to say. There were some lines that were so visceral I had to reread the line again. Pg. 5 Bebe says, “My love for Aaron was so acid it scraped my veins raw.” Can you imagine loving so
Laura Young
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it

Pretty by Jillian Lauren. Fiction. I had hard time figuring out what I wanted to rate this. I debated between 3 and 4 stars, and finally chose 4 out of 5 stars. Nice cover and the eyes are not open! I greatly dislike books where the people on the cover stares at you... And still stares at you. Release date August 30, 2011.
This book cover many topics from drug use to drinking problems to eating disorders. I have to say that like Crank these kind of books ta
Susie Kline
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to read and review such wonderful books. It seems they keep getting better and better! I was given a copy of Pretty to review and I have a copy to give away. Check out directions for entering at the end of the post!

Pretty is the story of Bebe. The cover describes her as:

BeBe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

What BeBe does very very well is tell her story. As she recovers from the death of her lover in a
Bebe Baker is in recovery, living in a halfway house in Los Angeles. She moved to California with a talented musician, Aaron, in hopes of starting a new life away from her dysfunctional family in Ohio. But when they reached LA, things didn't go according to plan. Bebe had always relied on her pretty looks to get by, but when they get wrapped up in drugs, and Aaron coerces her to start stripping, Bebe finds herself in a downward spiral. Things only get worse when a horrible car accident leaves Aa ...more
Bebe is an ex-everything: an ex-Christian, ex-stripper, ex-addict, ex-pretty girl.

Bebe ends up at a halfway house after becoming physically and emotionally scarred from the car accident her boyfriend, Aaron, died from. She has been sober for almost a year although she has her moments of almost-impossible-to-control urges. She suffers through day after day of cosmetology school to give herself a goal. She makes it through with the help of goth girl Violet who also resides at the halfway house and
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
PRETTY follows Bebe Baker, a young woman coming to terms with her boyfriend’s death and her rocky journey to sobriety. Bebe is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl. It’s been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compul ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly sad, yet powerful story about a person who struggles with guilt, ADD, chemical dependency, and so much more. She aims to stay clean with the end goal of graduating from Cosmetology school. The title of this book is compelling because her struggles are as much internal as they are external. She is scarred physically and emotionally from a tragic accident and finds support in a halfway house so she can try and work through her addiction as well the emotional scarring from unh ...more
Karen Fowler
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It is rare that I find myself reading an honest-to-gods paper copy of a novel these days, but I received the ARC of Pretty so I once again found myself with the cramping hand that comes from holding open a book for extended periods of time. In this case, with this book, I did not mind in the least.

While not the sort of literature I’d normally gravitate towards, I’m glad that I ended up reading Pretty, if for no other reason than to discover the brilliant author. Jillian Lauren writes with a crys
Jennifer Waite
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
From review posted on my website:

Bebe Baker recounts events leading up to her current circumstances, in a halfway house and trying to finish cosmetology school, where she's trying to really put her life together for the first time. I wouldn't say she's reinventing herself since she's essentially been fumbling around up until this point.

I give it 3 stars. Good book, easy to dance to.

I'm more interested in the author. Jillian Lauren really is a former stri
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Manicurist
  • The Color of Snow
  • The River of Forgetting: A Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse
  • Miss World
  • Veronica's Nap
  • Shame the Devil
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront Volume 1
  • Darkness Falling (Forever Twilight #1)
  • Z: Zombie Stories
  • Fat, Broke  Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
  • Wolf Mark
  • The Offering
  • Beyond Molasses Creek
  • The Story of Junk
  • Peaceweaver
  • Gone to the Crazies
  • The Reconstructionist
  • Swallow
See similar books…
Jillian is the author of the new memoir, EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED, the New York Times bestselling memoir, SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel, PRETTY, all from Plume/Penguin.

SOME GIRLS, which chronicles her time spent in the harem of the Prince of Brunei, has been translated into eighteen languages.

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED is the story of Jillian's most radical act - learning the st
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Fall and I'll catch you. And that was all I'd ever wanted- someone to catch me.” 14 likes
“I look for a sign. Where to go next. you never know when you'll get one. Even the most faithless among us are waiting to be proven wrong.” 6 likes
More quotes…