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

Such a Pretty Face

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,074 ratings  ·  527 reviews
In this warm, funny, thoroughly candid novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb introduces an unforgettable heroine who's half the woman she used to be, and about to find herself for the first time…

Two years and 170 pounds ago, Stevie Barrett was wheeled into an operating room for surgery that most likely saved her life. Since that day, a new Stevie has emerged, one who walks wi
Paperback, 467 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Such a Pretty Face, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Deborah Bee skimmed to the end.... I got sick of her, and the repetitive nature of her whining.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,074 ratings  ·  527 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

The phrase that comes to mind when I think about this book is "eh it was okay". I had very high hopes for this book. I really thought I would love it based on the description. I actually started reading it last year and didn't even realize I hadn't finished it. I picked it up again a few weeks ago and decided to give it another go.

I felt that most characters in the book seemed to be all or nothing types... I mean it seemed as though they were either really REALLY good or really REALLY
Terry Grant
Aug 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
I thought this book was dreadful. I was attracted to it by such high ratings and the fact that it is set in the city where I live and in a thinly disguised version of a small town where I once lived. This proved irrelevant because there is no sense of place or atmosphere in the writing or descriptions.

The story is a soap opera, filled with angst and melodrama. The writing is very simple, with quite a few grammatical problems. The author repeatedly writes "Me and Zena (or another character) did s
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This will be a, largely, negative review. I just couldn't enjoy the book (I will get into why I say "couldn't" instead of "didn't" a bit later). The good things first- I liked the story line and the ideas behind it. I liked the abstract of the book- Stevie, her coworkers and her family. Her struggle to accept her new body. The execution is what I had a problem with.
I liked the good characters. It is impossible not to. The author paints them as such good, wonderful, and kindhearted people that y
C.H. Armstrong
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing

I bought this book without knowing a single thing about it or the author. The title jumped out at me and I was intrigued, so I bought it knowing nothing about it save the description on the back.

Simply stated, I absolutely loved this book. Every single page. The first chapter (the Prologue) grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go. I simply had to read more.

Having struggled with my weight my entire life, I kept thinking to myself "Wow - how does she (the author) know that?" There wer
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
In this fourth offering from Cathy Lamb, Stevie Barrett had a heart attack at age 32 at the amazing weight of 320 pounds. Now, two years, a divorce and 170 pounds later, Stevie is struggling to find herself and emerge from the painful past that caused her to eat her pain and try to lose herself and her past in food. The book also follows the journey of some of Stevie's friends and relatives, who similarly struggle with their painful pasts and their fears about the future. The journey to a new St ...more
Theresa Alan
Aug 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a tough book. Almost everyone had unbelievably poor self-esteem.

Stevie’s mother battled schizophrenia. Though Stevie’s grandparents took care of Stevie and her sister Sunshine (and tried to care for their mother, who refused to take her meds and had been hideously abused when sent to a facility to care for people with mental illness) and praised and loved Stevie, the fact she couldn’t save her younger sister and her mother from the mother’s voices in her head telling her to drown hersel
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads
This was a very dramatic read with a BIG emphasis on "dramatic". There were parts of this book that made me want to cry and laugh at the same time. And while there were instances where I felt this way, I feel that most the characters were hugely unrealistic and extremely cliché. Everything was so over-exaggerated. I will say that Helen's struggle with schizophrenia and the relationship between Stevie's grandparents are what kept me interested enough to complete this novel. I could actually feel ...more
This book had a great plot, but I kept getting distracted by the bad writing... and I'll be the first to admit that I read a lot of mind candy/chick-lit garbage, so when I object to writing, I've really found some flaws.

That said- this book definitely had a great story. The characters were a little two-dimensional, and she told us who they were instead of letting us get to know them through their actions, but there was enough there to enjoy them when the writing didn't get in the way. Except her
Feb 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
The prologue hooked my interest--and even the first scene of the first chapter drew me in. But then the story moved to the law firm where the main character works and one of the silliest, most unrealistic scenes I've ever read. Worse, the author showed signs of having an axe to grind. Author with political agenda + ridiculous scene = DNF.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
In Such a Pretty Face, the protagonist is 30-something, Stevie Barrett. Stevie is a heart attack survivor. Just (2) years earlier, Stevie weighed over 300 lbs, but the new Stevie has lost 170 lbs. Weight loss surgery has given Stevie a new life -- well almost. You see Stevie, like most morbidly obese people had deep rooted, personal issues that caused her to eat, and eat and eat. Food was her friend and helped comfort her from the bad memories. Food, at least temporarily, eased her emotional pai ...more
Stephanie Motyka
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
After reading the train wreck in the first chapter, you'd think I would have heeded the warning and abandoned my efforts. But, no, I finished the book, which was clearly created in the mind of someone intending this to be made into a crappy teen movie.

This book was loaded with extreme characterizations--not a bland one in the bunch, folks. All totally unbelievable! I could have bought it, maybe, if there weren't several unbelievable scenarios going on at the same time, with those extreme person
Kristi Fleming
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb caught my eye because of the title. You heard me right, the title. You see someone said that to me, "You've got such a pretty face, it's a shame the rest of you went to shit". That was when I only weighed 160 lbs. Like the main character, Stevie, I didn't dare stand up for myself, I swallowed hard and took it because I believed I deserved it. Hurtful words like this take us to a whole different place, especially as women. Overeating causes people to be fat, yes ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are so many things I like about this book. It was recommended to me and after the first 3 pages, I wondered why. The initial scene is absolutely horrific and takes your breath away, but it ends with the sentence, "I started inhaling food the next day. Mountains of it." And that is something I can relate to.

The main character had a heart attack at 32 due to obesity. She had some type of gastric bypass surgery after that and lost about 170 pounds. It's obvious from the beginning why she was
Alayne Bushey
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stevie Barrett once weighed over 300 pounds. She ate food to smother the grief she felt over the loss of her baby sister, schizophrenic mother, and loving grandparents all within a short time period. She ate to lose herself. She ate to hide. And then she had a heart attack, and eating was no longer the solution if she wanted to survive. Several surgeries and 170 pounds later, Stevie has lost the weight but hasn’t managed to find herself in the process. Such a Pretty Face is the beautiful story o ...more
Page (One Book At A Time)
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
I don't know how a book can be heartwarming, funny, and cringe worthy all at the same time. But, yet Such A Pretty Face managed it without losing any of the elements of the story. In fact, the description doesn't even paint an accurate picture of what this story truly entails.

I completely loved Stevie from the first pages of this novel. It's absolutely amazing that she's able to stand up on her own two feet after what she has endured at the hand's of her schizophrenic mother during childhood. An
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what to say about this book except that I loved it. Stevie Barrett knows the darkness of mental illness. After the tragic loss of her mother and sister, Stevie finds herself eating her way to comfort; so much so that at the age of 32, weighing 320 pounds, she has a heart attack. Weight loss surgery literally saves her life, but at the same time, it overwhelms her. She isn't sure who she is anymore and while she has visible scars from her surgery, she has deep, unseen scars from the ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I can't understand how anyone with a heart would give this book some of the poor reviews I have read. Simply put, as I was finishing this book yesterday, I learned that my "waterproof" mascara does not work. It's been a long time since a book has moved me like this one did. This author does tend to have eccentric characters, and use tough situations (in this case, schizophrenia and morbid obesity) as major parts of her stories; perhaps that is off-p ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow. No one does it like Cathy Lamb. So much drama and abuse and toxicity. So much hope and beauty and life with compassion and kindness. And I just love it when justice is meted out and some get a great come uppance.
Donna Hines
Though some things may change others remain the same.
You can lose weight but in the process you cannot lose your sense of self.
Stevie always wanted to be thin, to belong, to be accepted yet she took on drastic measures in going under the knife to accomplish her goals.
Now thinner and facing a whole new world with an entirely different and complex outlook on life.
The biggest obstacle may be herself.
The central focus should not be in losing but in gaining.
Love, Family, Acceptance, and Honor is par
Baylee Klingler
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first book by Cathy Lamb that I’ve read and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was funny, sad, and everything in between. I will definitely be reading her others!
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A difficult story about a daughter with a schizophrenic mother and tragedy that occurred in her family because of this horrible disease. A strange and quirky list of characters in this book. Still trying to decide how I felt about this book.
Nancy H
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. The characters are so real that they are exactly like people some of us know in real life, not always a good thing, in the case of some of them. Some parts are funny, some parts are touching, some parts are heartrending, and some are nearly impossible to read, if you know someone in real life who behaves the same way as Herbert or Eileen or Crystal. Fortunately, there are others like Stevie and Lance and Jake and Zena who balance the negativity of the others and who make ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
Sometimes it's the books that are chosen for you that blow you away. I read this for my book club, and I hemmed and hawed about buying it or even reading it. Not that it seemed uninteresting, but I'm picky about what I like to read, and honestly the cover said "chick lit" all over it. But I sucked it up and bought the ebook, and I couldn't stop reading it. Lamb's prose is not overly romantic or mushy, and the characters are so unique. Many of them are constantly enduring tragedy but there's a lo ...more
Found this on a book exchange shelf, and took it to possibly register for BookCrossing. After reading, I noticed the book had a Charleston County Public Library inventory sticker and no "discard" stamp, which was odd for something on a book give-away shelf. So, good citizen (and sometimes-library volunteer) that I am, I checked with circulation. Sure enough, the book has been marked "lost" since 2014, and the lose-ee has already paid to replace it. It's a little tattered and battered, with indic ...more
I'm giving this book 5 stars not just because I "liked" it, but because it seemed so real and the characters spoke to me in a special way. At times I felt that I was reading a memoir instead of a piece of fiction. Life is too often cruel, and in many respects Stevie's life was cruel. But life also has a way of giving us a relief, a way to overcome and get through the hardness many of us face. For Stevie that was her grandparents, and in some respects her two cousins Lance and Polly, along with a ...more
Jun 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: In the mood for an emotional read
Recommended to Rossy by: auto-buy author
My emotions are all over the place with this one, will have to think on it a bit more before i make a review. *sigh* It was fantastic though, truly gripping for me.

Review coming soon!
Morgan Dax
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book seemed rushed to publication in my opinion. There were only a few glaring spelling/typo-type errors, but it was poorly edited for overall story, character development, and dialogue.

The villain - and I feel that's a very apt word to describe him, is an abusive adoptive uncle. He's a very flat character. He reminds me of a Disney villain. It's hinted that he's done truly awful things, but (for the most part) his villainous ways are pretty non-threatening and his impact on the other char
Gwen A.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can relate to many of the issues presented in this book. I love how the book is structured and I love the sense of humor and compassion and empathy that this author shows throughout this book.

What a terrific read; I would highly recommend it to anyone who has struggles in their lives and fights back with grace and dignity, with a splash of sassiness!
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
So many great reasons to love a book! Loved how her relationships changed throughout the story! I'll definitely read more by Cathy Lamb!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 22, 2015 12:27PM  
Sisterhood of the...: October 2013: Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb 20 17 Nov 04, 2013 12:53PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Piece of Heaven
  • She's Gone Country
  • Thank You for All Things
  • Starting from Scratch
  • When You Least Expect It
  • Land of a Hundred Wonders
  • Georgia's Kitchen
  • The Secret of Everything
  • Sleeping Over
  • Bitsy's Bait & BBQ
  • Already Home
  • Calling Home
  • Born Under a Lucky Moon
  • Solomon's Oak
  • Miss You Most of All
  • Home Repair
  • Twisted Creek
  • Mothers and Other Liars
See similar books…
Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she e
“Stevie: "If you think he's a lecher and all men are disgusting, why do you want me to date?"
Zena: "Because, Stevie. Now and then, when the moon is full and bluish, when the galaxy is all calm and peaceful and serenity rules and even the falling stars are falling gracefully, and the wind creates a beautiful song, that's when you find one outstanding man. Kind. Loyal. Funny and smart, great in bed but not kinky. A lover in his head and in his body. A man who doesn't think as a dick-obsessed monkey with a brain the size of a testicle, but one who is thoughtful and can hold his emotions in one hand and hug you close with the other. A man who is a hunky, manly man but who can talk to you like your best girlfriend, because that's what he wants to be for you. Your best friend."
(Page 44)”
“A child’s bond to her mother cannot be understated, and my bond with Helen was a ragged, baffling, disheartening, chaotic mess. I felt crazy, often, around my own mother. I grew up questioning what was normal, asking what reality was and wasn’t, and not trusting the outcome of different situations. She scared me and I couldn’t predict her behavior, so I was often off-kilter and worried.” 6 likes
More quotes…