Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

All Saints High #1

Pretty Reckless

Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.


They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.


Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

360 pages, Paperback

First published April 21, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

L.J. Shen

61 books44.4k followers
L.J. Shen is USA Today, WSJ, Washington Post and #1 Amazon Kindle Store bestselling author of contemporary romance books.

She writes angsty books, unredeemable anti-heroes who are in Elon Musk's tax bracket, and sassy heroines who bring them to their knees (for more reasons than one).

HEAs and groveling are guaranteed.

She lives in Florida with her husband, three sons, and a disturbingly active imagination.

Keep up with L.J. on all platforms:
Newsletter Sign up ➜ https://bit.ly/3LhsIrb
Instagram➜ shorturl.at/cDJRZ
TikTok ➜ shorturl.at/frw59
Facebook➜ https://goo.gl/fKCSo4
Website ➜ www.authorljshen.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
27,134 (44%)
4 stars
19,632 (31%)
3 stars
9,808 (15%)
2 stars
3,055 (4%)
1 star
1,735 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,891 reviews
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,000 reviews11.8k followers
April 28, 2019

He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache."

Oh the angst! The angst of it all!!!

Welcome to your new addiction, angst addicts. Because this new series? It's about to reach into your very soul and tear out all of the feels!

Pretty Reckless took high school rivals, added a splash of enemies to lovers, wrapped around heart-wrenching angst, and delivered one finger-licking utterly addicting page-turner! If NA angst is your crack of choice, then Shen is about to become your favorite dealer.

I don't have enough praise for this book and everything that I experienced along with it. This is the stuff that my NA romance dreams are made of. Delicious angst, multilayered characters, plenty of plot twists, and an unputdownable story.

If you've read Shen's Sinners of Saint series, then you'll be familiar with the Followhill from Defy. Daria is the daughter of Melody and Jaime. And if you recall their forbidden union, then you already know that their daughter will have one big chip on her shoulder as she attends the same high school as her parents had their notorious relationship at.

Daria is easily one of my favorite heroines of LJ Shen to date. I love a female that can own the fact that she's a queen B. But she's also not the stereotypical do-gooder. This is a girl with a huge chip on her shoulder and she can be downright vicious to those that cross her path. She's completely unapologetic about it, though being in her head, you see the glimpses of the vulnerability that causes her to lash out the way she does. Poor little rich girl.

As for Penn. Sweet mother of ovaries! I turned cougar for this man and I have no regrets. The turbulent enemies to lovers relationship that happens between these two kept me absolutely riveted to the pages. Daria may give as good as she gets, but Penn doesn't pull any punches with her either. They are pure fire together.

I devoured and I mean straight up DEVOURED this book and was left desperate for more. Shen is a master of her craft and just keeps getting better and better with each new book. I'm already frothing at the mouth for more ASH!

beta read

Find me on:
Follow me on facebook Follow Me on Twitter blog
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,603 reviews1,239 followers
April 27, 2019

Wow....just wow! LJ Shen delivers with the second generation of sinners! Get ready.

- - -

5 Hideous Monster CROWNS

LEIGH SHEN certainly kicks of the second generation of the Sinners of Saints with a bang. The angst and twists and turns are many, the characters are mostly rotten and devious, and yet I was consumed by the whole world and each deviant tothole .

These characters aren’t your standard YA girls and boys. Would you expect them to when they are the product of the Sinners of Saint? They are entitled and privileged, and on some level ethically decaying, but none more so than Daria Followhill. What is interesting about Daria, though, is that Shen really digs into her character and is able to make her character sympathetic. My heart ached for her this spoiled princess, because I truly felt like understand her plights and her desire to be more but stuck where she was. I also found Daria’s character to be incredible authentic with her insecurities. Shen successfully takes this complex, three dimensional character and makes her someone we root for and hope for her to get her HEA.

Penn is another complex character with loyalties torn between family and love. Nothing is easy for him, and in a world of secrets, some being his own, he makes mistakes that can’t always be taken back. Again, what makes those moments understandable is the he is young and reacts emotionally, he has a sense of loyalty, which is admirable, and he is trying to deal with the new emotions hitting his heart. Once he finally comes to his senses, the doggedness with which he pursues Daria is exactly what she is worth, and I love that these two broken people find themselves individually and as a couple.

You think you know what Pretty Reckless is going to be about but you don’t. I never expected Daria and Penn to be so complex. I never expected the twists and turns that seem to come out of nowhere until you realize all the breadcrumbs she leaves for readers along the way. She also hits on highlights a severe issue plaguing high school students right now - the idea of perfection presented to the outside while dying internally. Pretty Reckless also exemplifies that everyone has secrets and parts of themselves they want to hide, but in this commonality, they can find solace and understanding. . More than anything, though, I love the topic of family that is addressed throughout the story. In fact, the story is not just one about Daria alone but of the Followhills. This family exemplifies that in the darkest of times families stick together, they forgive, and even if they don’t forget, they take the steps to mend what has been broken. Because familial love should be unconditional, even if you don’t like the way they behave.

The romance of Penn and Daria, the evolution of the heroine, and the issues tackled in Pretty Reckless makes Shen’s newest foray into the YA genre an absolute must read and the perfect way to start out 2019! One thing is for sure, I can’t wait for more totholes.

Beta read
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,732 reviews1,296 followers
May 2, 2019
L.J. Shen has once again delivered a powerful and emotional story that has left me obsessed and begging for more!! Her All Saints High series opens with a bang in Pretty Reckless where we see Queen B, Daria Followhill meet her match in Penn Scully, her opposite in every way.  But this Queen did not expect her gamechanger to ultimately become the landmine at her feet systematically blowing up her entire world.

Gah!! This story was just outstanding. Penn and Daria have a shared past and secret from years earlier. In an act of kindness, Penn irrevocably changes Daria showing her that there is still goodness in people. She repays him in an act of betrayal and selfishness that has lasting effects into the present. Now that misfit boy is back and has grown into a vengeful man who is out for the prissy princess' blood. 

OMG!!!! I loved this story so much. Shen gloriously paints a picture of Daria as the young woman who has the world at her shiny, polished fingertips but hides her broken, bleeding and dark parts under a facade. But Penn sees past her cutting barbs and superficial and perfect exterior to the wounded and defensive woman beneath. I loved how we are given a picture of two people who are so different but who see each other for what they really are inside, flaws and all.

My obsession with this story knows no bounds!! It is EVERYTHING: the DELICIOUS cover, the FIERY sexual tension and the SPIRITED enemies to lovers banter - this is where Shen shines! Pretty Reckless is nothing short of phenomenal with the kind of fantastic writing this author is known for. It is an exciting rollercoaster ride from the beginning culminating in a deeply emotional and explosive ending. Every word is a shining example of Shen's profound writing ability. After every new creative masterpiece she delivers, it really feels like L.J. Shen was born to write. I am left more and more in awe of her God-given talent and fall deeply in love with her characters each time!! Bravo! 5 stars! ~Ratula 
Profile Image for TJ *Book Twins Reviews*.
1,043 reviews2,398 followers
May 28, 2019

A Top Read of 2019

These characters are the most complicated, entertaining, and unique characters I’ve ever read. Flat out AMAZING! Another EPIC read from one of my favorite authors!!

This book is pure fucking kindle crack. The angst! The drama!!
Prepare my lovelies! The second generation of Sinners will blow you away!

Daria Followhill is my favorite L.J. Shen heroine. I’ve never felt this way, EVER, about a heroine in a book. She’s so complex, layered, and ultimately...misunderstood. My heart broke for her. Don’t get it twisted though, she is the ultimate Queen B and I loved that part of her personality just as much. What really works here, is the fact that the characters are so real. I was completely engrossed in their lives and struggles.

Penn Scully is BAE! It takes a special guy to live the life he leads and come out on top. He’s resilient, resourceful, and street smart. I adore him immensely. His background and how he handles the situations he finds himself in were more than impressive. He is the quintessential YA hero. A brilliantly written character who jumps off the page.

Overall, this book is one of the best I’ve read in this genre. It has everything YA angst junkies are looking for. Prepare you hearts and minds because the Totholes are coming for both.

****BETA READ****
Profile Image for Vanessa (When Vane Reads).
571 reviews220 followers
August 6, 2019
This is without a doubt the best story of 2019 !!!

I'm hyperventilating. I'm laughing and crying. I just finished reading my most anticipated reading of all time. And the wait was totally worth it. Mrs. Shen slays again. She caught me with her flawless prose that left me with an EPIC BOOK HANGOVER. Two days in Zombieland because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN for a single second and immediately after finishing it, I wanted to read it again and again and again.

OMG !! I loved the story so much. It is intense, emotional and the anguish could be felt in spades, that sensation that shakes your body, that clouds your sight and suffocates you until you feel breathless.

The plot brings us to Daria and Penn. Daria finds her match in Penn, who is her opposite in everything and her rival. An act irrevocably changes the future of both, and after 4 years without seeing each other, fate brings them back together and leads them to live together, however Penn only wants revenge and ruin Daria. But as time goes by, he sees beyond the queen bee, miss popular and cheerleader she uses as a way to hide insecurities, fear, vulnerability and pain, Penn sistematically undermines the facade that Daria built and turns her world upside down.

How I loved Daria!!! She is without a doubt my favorite heroine of L.J. till the date. She behind all layers of designer clothes and makeup is a brave, loyal girl who fiercely defends her friends, who loves passionately and immensely.

Both characters are so complex, so unique, so real that I want to be friends with them, live in their world and laugh with them. THIS COUPLE IS EVERYTHING, I loved the way they love each other so intensely and despite their differences fit so perfectly. I really enjoyed their chemistry and banter. NO ONE WRITES BANTER AS L.J. SHEN.

But it's not just Penn and Daria, it's a story about friendship and family, about how family and friends always support and stand up for each other no matter what mistakes they make, it's about loyalty, love and forgiveness.

THIS STORY OBSESSED ME, CONSUMED AND POSSESSED, A MASTERPIECE THAT I CAN NOT GET ENOUGH OF, it's delicious, epic, addictive and mind-blowing. With her characteristic style of writing, the author proves again and again that she is the best at what she does and that her talent has no limits. This story is a rollercoaster of emotions that I want to experience again and again and again. I'm completely ruined again and I'm not sure I can recover this time.
Highly recommended!!!

¡¡Esta es sin lugar a dudas el mejor romance del 2019!!!
Estoy hiperventilando. Estoy riendo y llorando. Acabo de terminar de leer mi más anticipada lectura de todos los tiempos. Gahhh. Y la espera valió totalmente la pena. La señora Shen lo hizo de nuevo. Me atrapó con su narrativa perfecta que me dejó con una épica resaca literaria. Dos dias en Zombieland porque no pude ponerla abajo un solo segundo y inmediatamente después de terminarla, quería leerla de nuevo.
OMG!! Amé tanto la historia. Es intensa, emocional y la angustia se podía sentir a montones, esa sensación que te sacude el cuerpo, que te nubla la vista y te sofoca hasta dejarte sin respiración.
La trama nos trae a Daria y Penn. Daria encuentra su pareja en Penn, que es su opuesto en todo y rival. Un acto cambia irrevocablemente el futuro de ambos, y después de 4 años sin verse, el destino los vuelve a juntar y los lleva a vivir juntos, pero Penn sólo quiere venganza y arruinar a Daria. Pero conforme pasa el tiempo él ve más allá de la abeja reina, señorita popular y animadora que ella usa como fachada para ocultar inseguridades, miedo, vulnerabilidad y dolor, Penn sistemáticamente socava la fachada que Daria construyó y vuelve su mundo al revés.
Como amé a Daria. Nuestra heroína es sin duda alguna mi favorita de L.J. hasta la fecha. Ella detrás de todas las capas de ropa de diseñador y maquillaje es una chica valiente, leal que defiende fieramente a sus amigos, que ama apasionada e inmensamente.
Ambos personajes son tan complejos, tan únicos, tan reales que quiero ser amiga de ellos, vivir en su mundo y reír con ellos. Esta pareja es todo, amé la forma en que se aman tan intensamente y a pesar de sus diferencias encajan tan perfectamente. Disfruté muchísimo su química y juego de palabras. Nadie lo escribe como L.J. Shen.
Pero no solo se trata de Penn y Daria, es una historia acerca de amistad y familia, acerca de como la familia y los amigos siempre apoyan unos a otros, no importa los errores que cometan, es acerca de lealtad, amor y perdón.
Esta historia me dejó obsesionada, me consumió y poseyó, una obra maestra de la que no puedo conseguir suficiente, es deliciosa, épica, emocional, intensa. Con su estilo característico de escritura la autora prueba una y otra vez que es la mejor en lo que hace y que su talento no conoce límites. Esta historia es una montaña rusa de emociones que quiero experimentar una y otra y otra vez. Estoy completamente arruinada de nuevo y no estoy segura que me pueda recuperar esta vez.
Una altamente recomendada
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews13.9k followers
June 13, 2019

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2! Pretty Reckless (stand-alone). Spoiled heiress & her love-hate with the bad boy her family has taken in!

“It was love at first sight
Hate at second
Lust at third”

Books in All Saints High series are stand-alones:
Book 1: Pretty Reckless - Daria’s story
Book 2: Broken Knight - Knight’s story
Book 3: Angry God - Vaughn’s story

Pretty Reckless (stand-alone) follows the unpredictable, volatile and doomed secret romance between high school student Daria Fallowhill and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, student and football player Penn Scully.

It’s not so much that her parents are unaware of the sexual tension brewing in the house after Penn comes to live with them. It’s more about Penn and Daria’s inability to recognize it and the journey they must both take to fully embrace it.

Told from dual POV it details their adolescent years from first kiss to high school and beyond and give glimpses of the cast of Sinners of Saint and their kids. Love, hate, lust, secrets, insecurities, rivalry, lies and ultimately self-reflection and truth signify their road to adulthood and surrender to love.

Hero: ★★★★
Heroine: ★★★★
Plot: ★★★★
Storytelling: ★★★★★
Sexual tension: ★★★★★
Sex scenes: ★★★★1/2
Story ending: ★★★★
OVERALL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Darkness: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Kink: | LOW FOCUS |
Romance: | HIGH FOCUS |
Sex frequency: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Suspense: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,041 reviews47.7k followers
April 30, 2019
oh fuck. this suck.

this one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. to say i was hyped for a spin off of Sinners of Saint would be a massive understatement. i love me a depraved bully romance.

but i think i should have known after reading LJ's last two standalones that maybe her shit just wouldn't be for me anymore. because this was formulaic as hell.

what you can expect usually is
- some sort of enemies to lovers situation
- girl falls first, gets betrayed by the dude
- and then the dude grovels and gets her back

but it seems like every book she's writing lately tries to do the extra mile into depravity. and like, i'm here for fucked up stories, truly. but you can't make me suspend my disbelief, hate the male character, have unconvincing side relationships AND shitty plot twists and still expect me to be having fun. cause i ain't having fun anymore.

compared to Vicious and most of the other books in the Sinners of Saint series this is a convoluted mess.

the main characters have history based on a really big fucked betrayal. a little unbelievable but whatever. but then we have

- horrid mother daughter relationship hinging on the female main character not getting paid attention to
- student teacher pseudo relationship
- black book of sins
- potential other woman/baby scenario
- bitchy mean girls

honestly i can't put into words have convoluted and stupid the plot was. and i didn't love either main character. i'll be trying to read the subsequent books in the series, especially Vaughn's but so far. not impressed. do not recommend.

god give me strength to keep thine panties upon my person because this cover is HOT

Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,670 followers
November 16, 2019
“No offense, sir, but one of your daughters is entirely too young for me, and the other is entirely too Daria for me.”


Is this happening? Can it be? Did Alex just rate an L.J Shen book more than 3 stars? Did Alex just actually enjoy the everloving shit out of this problematic as fuck book? *Owen Wilson voice* WooOOWwW


Explain yourself, Alex

So in the past, Ms. Shen and I have not gelled well together. I find her books very heavily controversial and are often filled with many tropes and triggers that I just can't get past. Her male heroes are often assholes known for how awful they can treat their girls, but somehow it works for people. It never really did for me, until this pretty little storm made its way into my hands.

"He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache."

Don't be mistaken, Pretty Reckless still has asshole leads, both of them (Daria and Penn) treat each other like shit for the most part of the book and the writing, although enjoyable still has plenty of triggers. Somehow, someway, I still really enjoyed this! I loved the banter between the group of friends and I flew through this very fast. I was so scared to pick it up but once I did, I was completely captivated. I love enemies-to-lovers but bully romances can be very hit or miss depending how the subject is treated, and in all honesty - I felt like Daria held up her own in this very well! Granted, it was because she too, was a bully but semantics, amiright??

“Mess with me, Followhill, and I will ruin you.”
“Not if I ruin you first.”

This was angsty and gritty all through and every chapter had me at the edge. The plot-twists weren't shockers but I really didn't mind because I fell in love with each broken character. The character development was so subtly and beautifully done, I didn't even know I was falling for them until I finished and realized that I had. L.J Shen took my breath away with this one, simply for the fact that she can write up the tragic tales of highschool seniors that hits all the feels. It was so very addicting... I haven't read the Sinners of Saint series so I don't know the backstory of the parents in the All Saints series, but this book really made me want to pick it up.

"You are the fucking equation, I want to yell in her face. The riddle and the answer and the numbers within it. You’re math. You make sense. “Don’t go,” I croak. "

This book reminded me of the show, Euphoria. So if you're into that and want something in between waiting for Season Two, here's your little golden nugget! Another thing that I really want to draw attention to is the fact that this book is advertised as YA (Young Adult), when it is seriously not! It is definitely NA (New Adult) with all the steamy and graphic scenes you could expect in one. Which brings me to the fact that this is an absolute panty-dropper, folks. If it's not entertaining you, making your heart ache or asking you to pull your hair out - it's being the book equivalent of a sauna. If you haven't already read this (which is highly unlikely, I just live under my safe rock) and you're a fan of "hate to love you, love to hate you scenes," then you're going to devour this book. I know I certainly did.

"Because I want to kill Daria. Daria made everything fade into the background the first time I saw her, and while I was busy admiring, everything around us burned."

Trigger Warnings: fat-shaming, slut-shaming, violence, "cheating"
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,135 reviews7,329 followers
April 24, 2019
"He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache."
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
MY REVIEW AND OTHERS: can also be found on my blog:
➽ KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS Image and video hosting by TinyPic 'PRETTY RECKLESS' is the first book in L.J. Shen's 'All Saints High' series. This is Daria Followhill's & Penn Scully's story.

🙌Get ready for a high octane read of Angst 🙌Unquestionably a unique, unputdownable utterly fantastic read!!

This book right here was one of my most highly anticipated, sought after, stalked its ass off, give it to me books. I would’ve given away a limb just to get my hands on it..Glad to inform, I am all intact.
I knew by just looking at that drool worthy cover that we’d be getting epic, and epic we did get. This book, god this book ticked all the boxes..

If like me angst filled books is your kryptonite then look no further than this, it comes at you full force.

We're just two teenagers who never stood a chance to be friends in this world, so we became what was expected of us..Enemies.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A jealous fit of hulk rage at the age of fourteen had a domino effect and was the catalyst of teenage revenge which brewed away in the background for four years. Until a little black book and it’s sins was revealed. Daria Farrowhill had it all, it wasn't until it was nearly all ripped out from under her feet when she realised how good she really had it.

Skull Eyes & Tin Man (you’ll realise the significance when you jump into this) fast became my favourite character couples. Even though she was the plastic princess and he was the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, these two were perfect for each other. He was the light to her dark, she was the door to his heart.

Highly recommend this!! Easy five stars given!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Profile Image for Lisa (Two Bookish Brits).
755 reviews153 followers
April 22, 2019
Here we go, the time is here, kicking off with this first book in the All Saints High series from LJ Shen. The second generation of the Sinners of Saint and what a fucking beautiful first book it is. It’s packed with so much teen angst and filled with twists and turns that are so unexpected you’re left wondering what the hell happened. It’s takes over, completely consumes you until you’re left with no other thoughts except this book and the characters inside and you won’t regret a single damn second of letting it do so.

Daria and Penn are so...wow, so different and filled with so much hate, it’s crazy, insane and it WORKS.

Daria Followhill, she’s rich, entitled and has everything she could possibly want. But even the most rich and Privileged kids aren’t happy deep inside and LJ Shen really dives into that with her leading female. Daria is different, she’s not your typical rich kid, she suffering deep inside with insecurities that take over her. She’s real and fake mixed together and those struggles she endures and survives are one of the many things that’ll have you loving this beautiful girl.

Penn Scully, The complete opposite to the rich girl. He’s from the poorer part of town. Fighting his way through the tough life he’s been given. He’s a
closed off, angry boy with a broken heart. He doesn’t love many but the few that he does he loves fiercely and whole heartedly. He’s an asshole at times and takes what doesn’t belong to him, he acts out when angry and does things he can’t take back, things that have consequences. LJ Shen really does deliver with Penn, he’s not like most leading male characters he’s so different and you just can’t help but love him.

The relationship between Daria and Penn is something you wouldn’t expect. You don’t expect to see the things that happen, the impact they have or the repercussions.

I just want to put this in here, Seeing Jaime and Melody as parents was also unexpected. I never expected Melody to be the way she was and Jaime, I love that man so damn much. He’s an amazing father and I absolutely love the family aspect of this book what it covers and all the feelings involved.

Just when you think you know what’s going to happen in Pretty Reckless LJ Shen proves you wrong and shows you just how incredible of a writer she is. You expect one thing and the opposite happens and it just blows your mind at how amazing she truly is. Her talent has no limits, everything she writes blows you away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Pretty Reckless is angsty, consuming and mind blowing. It’s a rollercoaster filled with so many emotions and one that you won’t want to get off.

One of the most incredible reads of 2019 by far!
Profile Image for Amo Jones.
Author 54 books11.9k followers
April 23, 2019
Pretty Reckless.

This book rendered me speechless. I think I broke the highlight option on my kindle because Leigh had woven a web of perfect, beautiful words. I am still thinking about this book days after I finished it.

I’ve read all of Leigh’s books, and I don’t know how she does it, but every single one gets better and better. Which is ridiculous because she started out **** better to begin with. Her writing is insane, the pace to her perfectly executed plot was a work of art, and yup you guessed it…. She’s made me want to sit in the corner of my room and second guess my writing life.

Pretty Reckless wasn’t just everything I expected. It was so, so, much more. ONE CLICK when it goes live. You will not be disappointed. If you love high school romances and angst filled stories – one click! This is Leigh’s world and we’re all just existing in it.
Profile Image for Harloe Rae.
Author 36 books5,578 followers
April 18, 2019
I read romance novels for a variety of reasons. On the top of that list is to escape from reality for a bit, get swept away in another world and forget everything else. Pretty Reckless by LJ Shen is the most incredible vacation I’ve ever been on.

There are novels I read and love and cherish. But every so often I find a story that hits me so hard I’m irrevocably changed. Pretty Reckless is the latter. I’m certain, even months down the road when the typical grind returns, that I’ll still be obsessing over this book.

It took me days to process the kaleidoscope of emotions this book brought forth. I was laughing over the teenage snark, envious of the poetic prose I could never pull off in my wildest dreams, crying over the injustice while my heart was shattering, gasping through the angst I feel in my bones, and wrapping myself in the love that was so damn hard to earn.

My words are inadequate to describe how freaking epic Pretty Reckless is. I’m broken and destroyed for all else. The talent this author possess has once again soared to another level. LJ Shen takes us up to the stars with Pretty Reckless and I never want to come down.

Whether you read 500 books a year or only get through a few, make sure Pretty Reckless is one of them. This is an unforgettable ride you don’t want to miss!
Profile Image for Vi Keeland.
Author 107 books30.7k followers
May 8, 2019

I should start out by stating that I generally don't read high school romances. They're just not my thing. But I figured, hey...this was written by Leigh Shen, and I love her writing, and I have a 16 hour flight, so I'll give it a shot. I'm so glad I did!

I loved the characters, the world building, and most of all the writing. LJ Shen has an exquisite, original voice and deserves all of her success.

If high school romance isn't your thing either--read Pretty Reckless anyway. You might just find out that this author can make ANYTHING your thing!
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
755 reviews2,494 followers
June 25, 2020
Pretty Reckless by L. J. Shen is the first book in the Sinners of Saint spin-off series, All Saints High. It's our long awaited introduction into the angsty world of the spawn of the hotholes of Todos Santos, and it is fucking spectacular! I don't know if I have ever anticipated a series as much as I did this one in all my reading life! It was worth all of the build up, and it did not disappoint in the slightest!


It's no secret that I regard Vicious as the best asshole hero ever written and every other book from his creator pure magic. Leigh is my unicorn, and I knew she had it in her to make another series as phenomenal as the Sinner's of Saint. This first book showcases that fact perfectly. It's intriguing, emotional, heart warming, angsty, hot, nostalgic, and absolutely beautiful. Daria and Penn together made me feel all of the emotions! Their banter, their intensity, their understanding of one another on the deepest level, and the sexual chemistry between them is everything!


Daria is a heroine unlike any the author has written before. Her name is well-known around her school, but not for good reason. Petty, stuck up, mean girl, brat, spoiled, and entitled are all things that her peers would categorize her as. Not many people take the time to dig any deeper than her seemingly shallow surface. Penn does though, and that's why he deserves the treasure underneath the bullshit.


With every book I read, I always ask myself if the hero or heroine deserves their partner. Do they put their partner before themselves? Do they appreciate them? Do they love them for who they are no matter their imperfections? Do they make them better people? Does their love for them show through everything? The answer to those questions here is yes and not just for Penn.


Though I absolutely loved him, Daria blew my expectations of her out of the water. She was willing to give up everything and upend her whole life to do right by the boy she loves. If that isn't true love, I don't know what is. She's not just some stereotypical self-centered cheerleader with the depth of a kiddie pool. When she truly cares for someone, she is compassionate, caring, and shockingly selfless. Daria may not be easy to love, but she's 100 percent worth the trouble.


I couldn't conclude this review without talking about Vaughn and Knight! They may have been side characters in this installment, but when they were on the page, they damn near stole the show. In fact, Knight made me laugh out loud more than once. He is fucking hilarious, charming, a good friend to Daria and Vaughn, and super sweet when it comes to Luna. Vaughn intrigued the shit out of me from the first mention of his name. I can't wait to peel back all of his layers and find out who he really is. All I know for sure is he's hot af! A tortured, mysterious artist that loves to beat the shit out of people in the ring? Hell yes! I need his book now!!


Speaking of other characters grabbing the spotlight, reading this book made me feel so much Sinners of Saint nostalgia it was ridiculous. It made me want to break out my books and do a total series reread! I lived for all of the glimpses we got of the OG series' characters, and I'm happy that they played a role in this story. I hope that continues in the books to come.


Overall, this is a phenomenal first book in this highly anticipated series! It made me happy, sad, angry, and every emotion in between. Leigh's writing is fantastic! She makes me live her stories. Instead of watching the characters go through motions, I become them. It's just one of the reasons, she is one of my favorite authors. I could go on and on about her brilliance, but I'll spare you the love letter. Lol


If you're a fan of L. J. Shen, pick this one up now! There is no doubt in my mind that you'll love it! For a Sinners reader, this is not to be missed! Even if you haven't read her yet, (aside from OMG, what are you waiting for?!?! LOL) if angsty new adult romance is your thing, this one's for you!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
April 26, 2019
4 stars

 photo IMG_3645_zpsbj5ffwyb.png
This was so much more than first love. It was first hate, too.

LJ Shen is the master of writing enemies to lovers/bully romances. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I picked up Pretty Reckless. It was intense, angsty, and an all consuming read.

This book is the first in Shen’s newest series, All Saints High. I’ve been eagerly awaiting these books ever since I realized that these were the kids of the original HotHoles in her Sinners of Saint series, which I loved. This book is about Daria Followhill, the daughter of Jaime and Melody (the couple from Defy).

Daria meets a boy when she’s fourteen named Penn Scully. She and Penn have a moment, but something happens that changes everything. Now, fast forward several years later and they have a rivalry. Not only that, but Daria’s parents take Penn in, and they’re living together. It’s a hot mess but I loved it. 

Daria appears to be your typical rich mean girl, and in many ways that’s exactly what she is. But there is also more to her than that. Penn seems to be your typical kid from the wrong side of the tracks, but there is also more to him. These two have so much freaking chemistry. And you know what they say about the line between love and hate…

Things between them are so intense. Just as things start to heat up and get really good, someone else comes into the picture and everything changes. I was so stressed out while reading this book. SO stressed. The characters, sometimes I loved them and sometimes I hated them, but I felt for them. I ended up loving both Penn and Daria by the end. One of the only things I didn’t love about it was the Principal story line. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to the story and I didn’t like it. Other than that, I really enjoyed this one!

If you’re a lover of enemies to lovers, you need this book in your life! Pick it up for all the angst you could ever want!!
“Victories are sweeter when you celebrate them together”
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,157 reviews97.9k followers
January 10, 2020
“This was so much more than first love. It was first hate, too.”

The last two LJ Shen books I’ve read have been so disappointing (In the Unlikely Event & Ruckus), so I think I just need to throw in the towel and realize that Vicious was an exception for me and my tastes. This was just so over the top, questionable throughout, and just relied on miscommunication constantly. It’s really not the enemies to lovers it wishes it was.

Basically, the main character has unresolved issues with her mother, because her mom favors another girl at her dance studio, and as an act of revenge she thinks she ruined the other girl’s life. Only for that other girl’s twin brother to vow to ruin her life for revenge back. But, like, it’s not that deep and it’s all just miscommunication and them being annoying and not good people. Also, the mom in this was so infuriating and if she tried putting her kid first for once in her life then maybe none of this would have even happened, but I digress. Oh, and these kids and these parents? All from Vicious, but a new generation of equally questionable and privileged people doing stupid things with their money and time. Okay, I really digress this time.

Overall, I just never cared about this plot of these characters, and I surely didn’t care about their struggles because it truly never felt like anything was really at stake, other than people just miscommunicating with one another. If you’re looking for something unbelievable, ridiculous, and messy as hell then maybe give this one a try. Also, I feel like I kind of have the unpopular opinion with this one, so maybe read some other reviews as well! But sadly, I think I might be done with this author.

Youtube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch

Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of drug addiction, talk of overdose, loss of a loved one, an inappropriate relationship between a student and principle, abandonment, underage drinking, a lot of talk of food and body image that could very triggering, fat shaming, mention of rape in the past (a teenager and an adult, too), a lot of grey area cheating with miscommunication, a blood pact that requires them to cut their palms, a few tasteless jokes about mental health, assault, physical abuse, violence, sex work shaming, very brief mention of a dog dying, a racial slur that was in a negative light, and a lot of questionable (and gross) things about race and ethnicity that made me feel uncomfortable.

I read this for #smutathon, which is hosted by Lainey & Riley! ❤
Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
686 reviews13.5k followers
April 24, 2019
This book! I am reeling. This was the ultimate binge read. It’s dramatic, it's sexy, it's twisty and dark and so intoxicating you won’t be able to put it down! I'm obsessed. Obsessed with every detail of the story. I LIVE for books that make you feel big, deep, delicious feels, and I LOVE it when a novel has a twist you don't see coming. This was one of those books, and I ate up every word. I devoured it, and I can't get it enough. I seriously ADORE LJ Shen's writing and this world she has created. I want to be one of her characters and have one of these heroes as my own. THEY ARE EVERYTHING. THIS STORY IS EVERYTHING. And I'm crazy in LOVE.


God! It's magical. BEYOND! When you go into this you might not be expecting the deepest story but what you get leaves your jaw hanging open. I was stunned at the turn of events in this book. And I LOVED the whole enemies to lovers / bully storyline. Both Penn and Daria have so much heart, so much sass, so much SOUL. I adored these two! But I have to say that Daria STOLE MY HEART COMPLETELY. That girl... OMG. I fell head over heels for her. She's so much snark and bite and fire and ice, a tough girl that hides the softest, sweetest heart. She made me ache all over. And Penn... what a dreamy jerk. LOL. You'll be so enamored with him.

There's major chemistry between our hero (poor kid / football captain at a rival school) and heroine (rich girl / head cheerleader) and this story get super steamy. Daria and Penn have history before he moves into her house. The basic plot rundown is this:

Daria and Penn meet, thus creating a backstory.
It goes bad super FAST.
Penn ends up HATING Daria.
They come together later when Jaime and Mel do something crazy and take Penn in (there's a big story to why they do this).

There's tons of back and forth. Lots of biting, witty dialogue. A mountain of feels. More twists and turns. Drama, drama, drama, and more drama. And it's so addictive and so magic, you guys. To say I loved it would be an understatement. I'm crazy about this book! I went into it unsure what to expect but it turned out to be MORE than I ever thought it would. It's was so BEYOND good. And seeing the crew-- Dean, Jaime, Vic and Trent again, brought me PURE joy! What a read. I'm giddy over it. I can't wait for more. CANNOT FREAKING WAIT. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Ariadna Basulto.
920 reviews64 followers
April 27, 2019
Pretty Reckless. WOW. I legitimately swooned all the mf swoons and cried all the damn tears!

I was beyond excited to get to dive back into the All Saints world I know and love, but this wasn’t just the YA HotHoles 2.0 version, this was even better! These kids are meaner, more entitled, and the last time they gave any f*cks was probably 2015. Maybe. The drama is still there and more captivating than ever. And no one conjures up drama better than the Queen B herself, Daria Followhill.

Daria is a spoiled, entitled, poor little rich girl with plenty of sins hidden just beneath her perfectly polished surface. She’s straight up wicked and manipulative, but through L.J Shen’s expert storytelling she’s also vulnerable and even endearing. And oh my god don’t even get me started on Penn! He may not technically be a Tot-Hole, but he’s 100% sinner. Penn and Daria have all the magic of previous Shen couples with an added freshness that makes them irresistible and memorable.

Pretty Reckless lived up to my expectations and then promptly blasted them out of water. There was plenty of angst, sizzling passion, so much drama it made The CW jealous, and a flood of feels big enough to cancel out the California drought. Buckle up people, the new Sinners are here and they don’t play. All. The. Stars.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,315 followers
April 29, 2019
Too little time, too many books. DNF @ Hesawhernakedonhisfirstdayatthehousepage. 🙄.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,493 reviews3,627 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
October 22, 2020
DNF @ 17ish%

I messed up and forgot about some of my friends updates for this when I decided to jump in. I got to the ridiculous "I got his pencil and masturbated with it for revenge" scene and decided to call it quits.

I think, sadly, this was a failed attempt at duplicating Vicious. There were a few things that along with that cringeworthy scene ^^ really didn't work for me and made me put it on my did not finish shelf:

- The fact that we know why the H hates the h ruins the intrigue that we had in Vicious where it remained a mystery.

- The reason he hates her is just dumb IMO (but I think I remember having that issue with Vicious too 🤔).

- I didn't find either mc likable. The h was a fake and bratty girl, and the H was dumb in his grudge. I also found the fact that the h's parents were characters in the other series (that this is a spin-off from) surprising. I never read Defy because it was too short for my preference, but I definitely don't want to now! This just paints both of them in a horrible light and does not make me want to jump in and read about their story tbh.

I know many readers still loved this and I might not have given it enough of a chance, but I didn't feel like continuing on when I have SO many books in my (ever-expanding) tbr list 🤷🏻‍♀️
Profile Image for KAS.
317 reviews3,130 followers
May 14, 2019

We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss.

To say this was different and brimming with a WHOLE LOT OF ANGSTINESS, is putting it mildly.

This is my first read by this author and really enjoyed the originality of her writing.

Of course, I went in completely blind and suggest you do the same. I will tell you though, this is a YA read, as the characters are seniors in high school.

Revenge is the main theme in this storyline, and wow, is it is given out in spades. A right side of the railroad tracks vs. the wrong side.

As far as I can tell, this is a spin-off series featuring the children of the cast of characters in this author’s “Sinners of Saint,” but it didn’t matter that I had not read those books.

I am anxious for the next release in this series, for sure!

SHOUT OUT to romance lovers of angst filled pages ... Don’t hesitate to pick this one up!!

Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
959 reviews1,070 followers
April 22, 2019
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Pretty Reckless gave us everything that our hearts were so desperately craving from this author’s writing. Pulsing pain from betrayals that you never saw coming, a crack in our armor for the confidence that we thought we had and that we were going to come out of this story unscathed and not fall head over heels for these characters. If it’s one thing that I have learned over the years when it come to Leigh Shen, is to NEVER underestimate this woman. After all, there’s a new queen bee in town….

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Being rich and popular is nothing new for the most loved and envious girl at All Saints High. Daria Followhill plays by her own rules and if you don’t like it, kindly see yourself out of the game or be forced to limp out of her orbit with one less Prada shoe. It takes a lot to stay on top and when everyone wants your crown, being basic,is not going to cut it. They say the greatest downfall is the one you never see coming and Daria is in for one heck of a ride.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Four years ago Penn took a chance on someone whom he knew was too good for him. But did that stop him from whispering five words to a girl he barely knew? Luck has never been on his side but fate sure has so when an incident forces him to look at the source of a betrayal, he takes it with open arms. After all, Penn wants nothing more than to have the girl who started a chain reaction to the number one complication in his life, be at his own mercy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have to say that as much as I was anticipating this nothing could’ve still prepared me for Daria. This chick was a straight up BEOTCH but I loved her!! Yes I really and I mean really wanted to wrap my hands around her fictional throat a time or two, but you know what I loved about her? She showed heart and she came at you with everything she had. Her motives always had an endgame whether it was good or bad but you loved her for it. You embraced her wicked ways and you admired her strength because bad girl or not, she did things her own way.

With sizzling chemistry, witty banter that could’ve been categorized as foreplay, and characters that you love to hate, Pretty Reckless will have you wishing for more. More drama, more angst, more heartbreak, just MORE!!

July 11, 2022
Ahhhh. First love!

Sometimes it’s so nostalgic to read a high school love story. It reminds me of my crush on Jordan Catalano and the first time he kissed me in his car when he gave me a ride home from school. Oops, that wasn’t me, that was Angela Chase... But I was still crushing on Jordan right along with her.

This book gave me that kind of feeling. The main character Daria has a major crush on Penn ever since he kissed her outside of her dance class when she was 14. However, she had done something terrible and he hated her for it, so despite going to different schools, she was a cheerleader and he, a football star so she avoided him whenever they were near each other.

Until his mother passes away on his birthday and his stepfather throws him out. Daria’s parents take him in and Penn swears revenge on Daria. Daria is sort of misunderstood, in that she is often a victim, but when cornered, instead of trying to explain herself or tell people what is going on with her, she lashes out viscously. She ends up hurting people and then feels tremendous guilt for her actions.

Daria has strange ways of dealing with the guilt and nobody really understands her, even her family. They don’t even try, except maybe her Dad. Until Penn begins to try. He then starts to see her in ways nobody else does, and he sees how other people treat her when nobody else seems to care.

I couldn’t put the book down and I really liked some of her friends, Vaughn, who is the son of Vicious will probably have a good story. He is quite the man-whore but also is a fighter and an artist who is very selective about his friends. Knight is another friend of Daria’s who looked out for her as much as possible, though she didn’t let him see the real her. He is the son of Dean and is a cool guy so I hope he gets a book as well.

April 16, 2022

“There is nothing more poetically inspiring Than loving the right person At the wrong place At the wrong time”

5 "Skull Eyes" stars!!!

Daria Flowhill, highschool perfect Barbie, cheer captain, rich bitch, little miss popular aspiring to be a ballerina. No one dares to mess up with her. All her life she was taught to be perfect. But was never enough. Not for her mother, not for her father, not for her siblings. She's been confessing all her sins and worries to the worst person ever. And now, like Tom Riddle and Ginny Weasley, she can't get rid of him. She's also in love with her enemy. Her tormentor. Why does she always make the wrong decision at the right time?

Penn Scully, the orphan with snake eyes, the devil straight from hell, the bad boy who drops millions of panties. He is not interested in quickies and whores who is looking forward to have his babies. No, he has set his eyes on the girl he hates so much, the girl who broke his heart, the only girl who would dare to talk back at him. And now he's determined to break her. Can a love so cruel survive?

“Loving you is like Listening to a song For the first time And somehow knowing all the lyrics”

LOVED IT! One nasty bitch and a hot psycho coming right up!
This two was vicious as fuck and man, didn't I enjoy every single moment of it. Love love Daria and her sassy, bitchy attitude and love her for not letting other break her. It was also sweet seeing her vulnerable side when it comes to pleasing her mother. Melody seems tougher in this story than she was in Defy. I love seeing how she tried to correct her flawed parenting in the end and reconciled with her daughter.

Penn was yummy. Like really yummy. You can give me a dozen of Penn's in a silver dish anytime and I'll devour it with no regrets. The whole toxic bullying relationship was absolutely amazing though I wont say the same when it comes to real life. But hey! A girl can dream right?

Amazing story, cool characters, mind blowing chemistry and heartwarming end!


-Cheerleader/Bad Boy
-Enemies To Lovers
Note: HEA guaranteed! Can be read as a standalone


Profile Image for Nicole Dykes.
Author 67 books1,904 followers
April 19, 2019
That's it, Pretty Reckless is my top read of 2019! Hell maybe of all time! It has everything I need in a book. Angst, pain, drama. A strong heroine (that some may hate to love, but I adore her). A hot, broken alpha male. Push and an undeniable pull! 

She presumably has everything, but appearances are deceitful. He comes from nothing and has to make his own way.

There are so many twists and turns. Nothing is predictable. Heart stopping, oh my 'Marx' moments! It was everything I wanted it to be. Everything I craved and everything I knew Leigh Shen would bring. 

I was dying to read this book. I'm so grateful for the experience of these characters! Getting to see the hotholes grown up was an awesome bonus, but the totholes can hold their own.

Gah, now I'll just be not so patiently waiting for the next books in the series! Vaughn, Knight and Luna! Yes please!

Trust me, this book is worth every penny, every second, every bit of sanity as you dive into their world and one of the things I LOVE about this author is you can truly get lost in her hauntingly beautiful words. The experience is magical. I couldn't put it down and had to force myself to slow down and savor it. And now I'm settling in from a book hangover from hell because it was just that good! 

Profile Image for Bookshelf Productions.
401 reviews145 followers
April 26, 2019
Just W.O.W.! This book spoke to my inner teen. So much angst, so little time. I don’t know how she does it, but each book this woman writes is better than the last!

Penn and Daria stole my heart. These two have some issues, but had each other’s backs throughout. Daria brings the mean girls mentality to a whole new level. But when you are left feeling invisible and let down time and time again by the same people that are meant to show up for you, protect your heart and not smash it, walls are built. You form that icy shell so your cracked heart won’t get broken.

“I’m Daria Followhill. Cheer captain. Rich Bitch. Little Miss Popular.”

Penn came from the wrong side of town and believed himself the “tin man”. But nothing was further from the truth if you were someone he cared about. One simple act at age fourteen changed him forever. It turned the girl he was falling for into his enemy. The only thing left for him to do is ruin her like she ruined him.

“You poured misery into me. Let it simmer for a while and now it is time for you to taste what you’ve created.”

Until he really saw her and became the one person who would always have her back.

“You are the fucking equation, I want to yell in her face. The riddle and the answer and the numbers within it. You’re math. You make sense.”

The way they loved each other was pure. Innocent yet ferocious at the same time. I caught feelings for them both. I loved them at their worst, cheered them on when they were most vulnerable, and swooned when the love was too much to be contained.   

“You were never a drizzle, Penn Scully. When I fell for you, you were hail.”

Their story was a throwback to a time when everything was life or death and when there was no drama or angst it wasn’t a normal day. Survival of the fittest so to speak. You later figure out that sometimes not everything is as it seems.   

I also LOVED getting to see into the lives of the other Totholes. Vaughn was ohhhhh so yummy (like father like son) and completely MINE! Hands off Tijuana! His book will be interesting. He has a tortured artist vibe going on. I’ll be anxious see who ends up bringing him to his knees.   

“Vaughn has the ability to hang out with perfectly sane girls and turn them into bunny-boilers.”

I fell a little in love with Luna in this book. OK A LOT! She is just Luna. So sweet she will rot your teeth and so real that you just can’t help but fall in love with her. And Knight…Lawd help me with this beautiful cocky boy. I need both of their books like I need air. Who will they end up with? I can't wait to find out.

“She’s trapped in her own little universe. She is the sun, and he is earth. Always circling around her, getting an inch closer every lifetime, even though the burn could ruin him.” Daria said of Luna and Knight.

So there it is. This book consumed me and left me wanting more. Never wanting it to end, wanting one more glimpse into these characters that have completely come to life in my head.

Hey book whores, if you want to follow me, you can find me here

PicsArt_09-12-08.03.15 PicsArt_09-12-08.03.44 PicsArt_09-12-08.04.13

ARC Graphic for GR.png
Profile Image for Yamina -Women Who Stare at Books.
717 reviews63 followers
April 22, 2019

For the first time, I found myself staring at my computer screen in silence, struggling to write a review. Yes, I was super excited to read Pretty Reckless , Yes I freaking love the covers, Yes I am a big fan of LJ Shen’s words BUT this time it was different. Don’t get me wrong it was not different bad… it was a different that left me speechless and in awe.
Love is so contaminated. It tarnishes all that is beautiful and corrupts the soul. Love is so much uglier than hate because when you hate, you’re not confused. When you’re in love, you’re dumb.

This is the reason why my words will fail me for this review, because there are no words that could really describe what this book meant to me. I have been thoroughly touched on so many emotional levels by the story of Pretty Reckless.

If you believe that LJ Shen writing YA means that her words and her story are going to be an easy and sexy read about two young characters, you could not be more wrong.
The author knocked me off my feet and made me fall madly in love with this angst, emotional and heart wrenching story….. and as I kept reading I was stunned by the depth of this epic tale.

Pretty Reckless drew me in like a drug. LJ Shen is a seriously addictive writer. I don't know what it is she has, but it's the kind of magic that compels you to read on after every chapter.
The author throws you into two different worlds that are so unique : On one side you have All Saints High on the other side you have Las Juntas. On one side you have the Totholes and on the other side you have the parents...

Daria Followhill is Miss Popular
Daris Followhill is the girl that every girl wants to be
Daria Followhill is the girl that every guy wants to be seen with
Daria Followhill …. Everyone always talks behind her back about how much they hate her, even though everyone secretly wishes they were her friend.
Daria Followhill has the power until she met Penn Scully.

There’s some relief in this pain I’m feeling. It reminds me that despite my bitchy ways, I’m still capable of hurting for someone else.

That moment, their encounter was simultaneously gut wrenching and beautiful.

Penn Scully is perfectly imperfect, he is extremely handsome but he has walls, barriers…
His love for his twin sister Via is unconditional, his loyalty for his friends/teammates inspirational but everything changes the moment he met SKULL EYES….

They meet again four years later and they couldn’t be more different on the outside,
Penn’s eyes remind me of a snake. Mesmerizing but inhuman altogether. They weren’t like that before.

but when you really take a good look at them- they’re more alike than you would think. They bring out the best in each other and the worse. It was more than just desire and lust between them. It went deeper than that. They had an exceptional connection.

They understood each other
They respected each other

“You’re Saturn,” she whispers. “Made of iron-nickel and surrounded by protective rings of ice and rock.”

But do they deserve an HEA? Can they get it without any sacrifices or collateral damages?

Mental and emotional connections are always so much more powerful and this is why when you read Pretty Reckless .........
You shut off the world and embraced theirs. Penn and Daria are in a class of their own. The words just grabbed me and pulled me in so deep that even the thought of ever resurfacing never entered my mind. There was just so much emotion in the pages of this book that it was so hard not to feel them.
I rooted for them from page one but I knew that it was going to be a hell of a ride. Being in the world of the Hotholes again, was sinfully good. Vaughn, Knight, Luna and Daria love each other hard and this transpires in Pretty Reckless.
Some books will leave a mark on you not only because they made you cried or made you laugh until it hurts, but because you felt something as you were reading it and that feeling would never leave you forever.
Pretty Reckless left that kind of mark in me.

It made me cry and made my heart ache. As a teacher , I come across Darias and Penns on a daily basis but most importantly, I come across parents that struggle to get it right for their child despite their best efforts. I come across parents that do not know their child when we talk about them and very often say to me “ We do not talk, she comes homes and goes to her room, we know nothing” It will be the easy option to blame them for their parental skills and the author has portrayed this PERFECTLY- essentially through MEL. LJ Shen is one of the most eloquent authors I've ever had the pleasure to read.

Pretty Reckless is so much more than a love story. It’s packed with important life lessons. It’s real, raw and moving … because it reminds us all that even when the world seems to be throwing one bad thing after another at us, there’s always someone out there going through a rough patch too and looking for the light.

Daria Followhill is magic and is hail, she is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite heroine.
*Arc provided for an honest review
Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
975 reviews665 followers
April 24, 2019

Pretty Reckless is the first in a series that follows the children of this series -> Vicious

Here's what I loved about this book - the heroine is flawed, she's a bitch, and she is 100% real. I am now in my forties, but this story really took me back to my teens. Girls are often brought up to be "kind always" and all that jazz. But, the fact of the matter is that girls have emotions, huge angsty teenage feelings that are not always pleasant and nor should girls have to be kind to people that do not take their thoughts and feelings into consideration.

Daria is the daughter of Jaime and Melody from Defy. She is a spoilt brat, of course, and she has a very complicated and tumultuous relationship with her mother. She gets jealous a lot and hits back using her defence mechanism of being a complete an utter mean girl.

However, I adored her and I mostly loved how Penn Scully is the one who 'sees her' and the girl who just wants to be loved.

Penn was an interesting character too, and although he didn't realise it yet, he also yearned for love because he'd been let down in the past by the only two females in his life who were important to him. When Jaime & Melody take him in after becoming homeless, he has a chance to break down Daria's walls, the girl he was always intrigued by, and who hates him as much as he hates her. Enemies to lovers at it's finest.

Pretty Reckless for me, was an unputdownable story of raw emotions. I absolutely loved it!
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,084 reviews772 followers
December 8, 2021
Audiobook - 4 stars

Story 3 WTF? Stars

Umm! So this is L.J. Shen.


After Bingeing on E L I T Ǝ TV show, I have been looking for YA/NA books with similar vibes, let's just say this book takes it to another level. LJ decided she is going to take all the teen drama tropes and put them into this book. It's a mess....It is Cruel Intention/Mean Girls/Gossip Girl/The OC/ Pretty Little liars. We have a burn book!!



All the characters were unlikable. That's a first.


Daria is one mean girl and for some reasons, I was on board with her in the beginning, she gave me Blair vibes then it went all haywire and OTT. Penn?? Umm Penn is just the typical poor brooding YA/NA hero. Together they were so toxic and I was here for all that.


The side characters? Lawd!! Awful! Awful people.

The parents?? WTF? The Principal?? What the double FUCK???

The writing was kinda engaging and the banter had me loling hard. I believe this is one of those books not to be taken seriously. Just go with the flow.


Anyhoo....... It was entertaining. I think I will listen to the rest of the series and maybe the series before this.


I want to read Jamie's book.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,891 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.