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Making Pretty

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.

With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
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3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  597 ratings  ·  101 reviews


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Aditi
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

----Bob Marley


Corey Ann Haydu, an American author, pens her new novel, Making Pretty which is based on the fragile as well as promising lines of friendships, family values, sisterly bond and relationship, in short, it's more about finding the respect and love despite of the challenges in one's life.


Synopsis:

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left
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Sarah
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I don’t remember how I got here, but I remember enough of the night to know Dad has a new girlfriend and Arizona has a new boy and Roxanne has a new life and I only really have Karissa to keep me sane and happy.”



This story started out okay, but I lost interest.

Montana seemed to be a girl who felt quite lost. She’d been let down by her mother when she left them, l
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Dahlia
This might be my favorite Haydu book yet, which feels weird to say because I really, really loved the other two, and it's hard to compare. OCD Love Story was the book so intense and well crafted I had to repeatedly put it down, Life by Committee was the book so compelling I couldn't put it down, and Making Pretty was the book I didn't want to put down; it was just too engrossing watching Montana's growth, being in her head, seeing all the ways she reflected some of my own weirdest and most uncom ...more
Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

When Montana meets Karissa, she begins to feel comfortable in herself. She feels like her own person, especially as she grows apart from her sister Arizona. But as Karissa's secrets are revealed, Montana is not sure she knew her at all. In the midst of this, Montana meets Bernardo and she feels completely comfortable with him.

It took me a long time to finish this book and there were quiet a few occasions I wanted to DNF. Montana was not a
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Dark Faerie Tales
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Unforgettable and breathtaking, Making Pretty explored raw, complex emotions while creating a unprecedented set of characters that destroyed me completely.

Opening Sentence: June 2nd: A List of Things to Be Grateful For.

The Review:

Montana’s life isn’t going too great. Her father is a plastic surgeon, obsessed with creating the most flawless possible women, including his two daughters. Her mother left them: her, her sister, her father. They ha
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Naoms
2.5

Originally Posted at Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

The synopsis of this book doesn’t give a clear summary of what this book is about. Like, at all. MAKING PRETTY is about one of the most messed up families I have ever encountered. Which is a feat considering there is no drugs or obvious abuse. Montana wasn’t raped and isn’t hiding in closets from her father, but still calling this family dysfunctional is putting it lightly.

Montana and Arizona are two years apart in age, but have done
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Kat
Jun 02, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

The fact that I'm DNFing this book irritates me, but it's also a huge relief. I read 20 percent of it and wasn't liking much of anything. Plus, I was irritated, so it's a good thing I'm moving on from this one. However, I'm DNFing because things that I generally LOVE in books rubbed me the wrong way in Making Pretty. I prefer unlikable characters to likable ones in many cases, yet I was very annoyed by Montana's attitude. She seemed like a b
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Brianna Shrum
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that I kept trying to put down to GET THINGS DONE, and kept picking right back up again. I loved the main character and found her extremely relatable. It's sometimes an uncomfortable read, only because the characters feel SO so real, and the topics are a little tough if you've ever struggled with body image issues, but I mean that in a positive way.The author doesn't shy away from the tough stuff, and it's just refreshingly real. Like I said, I adored this book and want to sho ...more
Anna Reads
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Intense and crazy. Excellent writing and characters. A few things I'd like to have seen fleshed out a bit more at the end, but story really drove me nuts and sucked me in -- in an uncomfortable but good way!
Abbie
I don't know if it's because of my crappy mood or if it's because I just couldn't relate to the book; but I freaking hated this book. It was immature and bland. I was bored the entire time I read it. Sorry but I just didn't like it.
Jen
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars

Having heard many positive things about Corey Ann Haydu’s previous contemporary novels, I was quite excited to pick up her latest YA, Making Pretty. The premise itself is intriguing: Montana is a teen girl living in NYC – however, she struggles to live life happily because of her father, a plastic surgeon who remarries and dates so often that there is no sense of consistency in her life. Montana’s bond with her sister, Arizona, also starts falling apart. I was sure I was in for a story ab
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Alexa
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FIRST THOUGHTS: Haydu knows her way around a character, particularly in portraying them as real and flawed. Being in Montana's head, living her story... It was intense. I got sucked in right away, and had to see it through as quickly as possible. While I do wish a few things had been addressed more, the way this book is written makes it feel like we're just capturing a tiny portion of a long, long life that Montana is living, so I can sort of understand how it ends that way.
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

Corey Ann Haydu is one of those authors whose books I really want to enjoy. They seem like the perfect kind of books that'll impress me: contemporary romances that have some darker concept within them. In this case, as well as her previous, Life by Committee, there was so much potential for me to enjoy them. Everything seemed perfect, at first. But as I look back onto these novels, they were dull and not as deep as I
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Estelle
Very few books make me feel speechless. This was a heartbreaking, almost suspenseful story and it really stands on its own in this book category. I literally can't think of one comparable book. I'll have a full review but some words I wrote down while reading: discarded, impulsive, and validation.

Another great piece of work from this author with so many crossover opportunities. 4.5 stars.

-- adapted full review originally posted on

...in reading a book like Corey Ann Haydu’s Making Pretty I am a
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Kelly Gunderman
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, edelweiss
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


I'm not really sure what I expected when I started on this book. I guess I was looking forward to a young adult novel that made me cry at the right places, smile and root for Montana, and truly care about the characters in this book.

That really wasn't what I got.

The book is about Montana and Arizona, two sisters who had their mother leave them when they were very young. While their mother still calls them and se
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Jennifer
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Imperfect, true-to-life, challenging characters in the very best way possible. New York, the setting, was so vibrant and detailed it was practically a character in itself. The discussions that you could have about this book are numerous, and I can definitely it see it being read in book clubs and high school classrooms. There is so much to unpack here.

In reading this book, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into the life of an actual, real life family. The dialogue and writi
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Ellice Y.

4.5 stars-- I rounded up!

I'm speechless. Corey Ann Haydu's writing is on a level all its own-- seriously, the next time someone criticizes YA lit, I will hand them this book, as it will rival the writing in ANY adult novel. Its BRILLIANT. Amazing. It's gorgeous and heartbreaking and even painful to read at times. Also original- I can't think of another book that is even remotely similar. Review to come but READ THIS ONE, y'all.
Lauren
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win an ARC of MAKING PRETTY.

I've read (and loved) both of Haydu's previous YAs, and this one didn't disappoint. I think my favorite thing about her books is that her characters make decisions that drive me INSANE. Most of the time because they're the sort of things *I* did as a teenager, and I just want to reach back in time and stop myself! This book was no different--it hit home, and I love it for doing so.

Must read.
April
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
After finishing Making Pretty, I had to ask myself how have I seriously not read everything ever written by Corey Ann Haydu? Read the rest of my review here
Shruthi
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shruthi by: Shelly
17 year old Montana is used to stepmoms leaving. Her, cosmetic surgeon father fell in love (and out of it) easily. However she's always had her older sister Arizona for support. But when Arizona leaves for college, Montana makes a friend in Karissa, a 23 year old eccentric women. When summer arrives, Montana's relationship with her sister is damaged and the revelation that Karissa is Montana's father's latest girlfriend puts more of a strain on her family life.

Also there was a cute romance invol
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Picking up a Corey Ann Haydu novel is always an exercise in masochism and self-improvement; it’s going to hurt, but you’re going to be a slightly better person once you make it through. Haydu gets to the heart of hard truths, dares to focus on heroines with a boatload of flaws, and flinches away from absolutely nothing. Making Pretty is approachable, engaging, hard-to-put down, and a tragically beautiful portrayal of girls trying to come of age and overcome their pasts.

Flawed protagonists aren’t
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Ben Babcock
I could see Making Pretty making it as your standard rom-com fare. (You might have to age-up the characters, but not by much). Corey Ann Haydu creates a good setup here. At first the book promises to be about two sisters drifting apart as one goes off to college and the other finishes high school. Once united in an us-against-the-world kind of bond forged by their mother’s departure and their dad’s subsequent string of wives, the sisters in their time apart find that they are making choices the ...more
Deyse
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted here.

At first I was totally gonna past this book, the tittle and the cover (yes, I judge books by their cover whatever who never) sounded like not my kind of contemporary, but them the early reviews started to pop up and it was so much positive buzz saying things about this that totally sounded like it could be a me book that I had to check it out. And this is probably one of my favorite things about reviewers or even people that just put a small opinion about the book -
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Rebecca (Unbound Pages)
This review and more can be found on my blog, The Library Canary.

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***

This book was a solid four star book right up until that ending. I hate open endings. I don’t want to imagine what happens to the characters. I want to be told. They’re not my characters. How should I know what happens to them? So when this b
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Nara
Corey Ann Haydu is one of those authors that I feel is severely underrated. She's got two books out at the moment which both have only about a couple thousand ratings on Goodreads- despite them both being very honest, very realistic and just plain good. I'm going to say that Making Pretty is probably my least favourite of the three, although I should emphasise that that doesn't mean it was bad: it was really only that, while the characters were amazingly well developed, the plot was a touch too ...more
ReadWriteLove28
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a girl who is insecure. This is the story of Montana, who doesn’t know the true meaning of family. How could she? Her mother left when she was young, and her father marries someone new every few years. He appears to like a woman, change her appearance (because he’s a plastic surgeon), and then files for a divorce. The only person who has been consistent throughout her life was her sister, Arizona. When Montana and Arizona were little, they made a pact that they would never h ...more
M
Definitely a strong contender in the realm of contemporary YA. Incorporating a strong narrator who is both strongly flawed and has a strong voice, MAKING PRETTY steps aside from the ideas that teenagers have to be nice, boring kids who sit inside all day or are awful human beings. Montana and Arizona are sisters who have the commonality of being raised by ex-hippies who should have never had children to begin with.

The mom is your standard freebird cliche, she needed to get out of there in order
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Zoe Golden
Honestly, I was unsatisfied with this entire story. Like heavens no. The ending just made it worse.

I gave it 2 stars because the author had a nice writing style which I enjoyed but that was where it ended for me. Montana's life is terrible. Like seriously. She had a horrible parental figure who thrives on bringing inconsistency into her life. He dates her new friend Karissa, who I find it weird that Montana still managed to like after all. The woman manipulated her for goodness sakes. Am I the o
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Melissa
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bravo to Haydu for proving a Manic Pixie Dream Girl character (not the lead in this case, but her friend/obsession) can still feel interesting and flawed and scary and fresh. Making Pretty captures exactly what it feels like to be a teenager falling in and out of love with yourself, your friends, your boyfriend, the world. The setting is addictive, the book a total head rush.
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What Do You Think Happens After The Novel? 1 4 Jul 24, 2015 03:29PM  
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  • The Memory Key
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  • Proof of Forever
  • The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek (Justin Goldblatt, #2)
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  • Better Than Perfect
  • How to Win at High School
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