Andrea's Reviews > Pretty Amy

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 27, 2012

it was amazing

"Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleischman."(pg1)

Thus begins PRETTY AMY. Amy is lost. Amy is afraid to speak out. Amy is afraid of being lost in the crowd, so she does the only thing she knows to gain attention: She acts bad. She smokes, she drinks, she hangs out with fellow "bad girls" Cassie and Lila. What Amy doesn't realize, though, is that she's digging herself a hole. With each misdeed, with each burned bridge, she's going deeper and deeper. Until the night she, Cassie and Lila cross the line. Without the shadows of Lila and Cassie to hide behind, Amy is forced to face her bad decisions and decide whether the consequences are worth it.

Oh, to be a teenager again. The saying "Youth is wasted on the young" is painfully accurate. Teenagers have such potential. The world is sitting there, just waiting on them to venture into the unknown. But, that's looking at it with hindsight, with all the painful bits removed. Things like self-esteem, self-worth, fitting in, friends, frenemies; they all can be torturous to navigate. So to be put back into that frame of mind, a lost girl, was draining.

I'm fairly certain author Lisa Burstein has Jedi-Mind Skills. Never, in all my *cough* twenty-eight years of reading have I ever felt quite so exposed. There were moments when Amy was internally pleading with someone to see her, the scared girl behind the facade, that I had to gently set the book down, take forty-five deep breaths, wipe the tears away, then dive back in. It's not necessary to be just like Amy to get her. I wasn't, on the outside, I was an excellent masker of emotions. But deep down, I was so painfully lost that I could have easily spun out of control. The fact that Burstein was able to bring Amy and her feelings so firmly to life, and put me right back into her situation, is mind-boggling.

I also read this book from the perspective of a mother. I've vowed to myself to learn the lessons I found in PRETTY AMY. Don't be like Amy's mom and dad. It's actually very simple, if you think about it.
PARENTS: Don't rush into accusing, blaming, and punishing. ASK YOUR CHILD QUESTIONS. Ask them if there is something going on inside that makes them act out. Ask, ask, ask. Then hug. Let them know you are there, no matter what.

Although PRETTY AMY was heavier than I originally thought, there were many laughs. Amy's internal dialogue had me smiling. Her observations: on her parents, her therapist, her coworker, her neighbor, her friends were wry and painfully accurate. Her friends, Cassie and Lila, were not in the story as much as I expected. And that was great as far as Lila goes, because that girl was so self-absorbed. I had a friend like Lila and just, ugh. Cassie on the other hand was a riot. I loved that girl and wish she had more book time. But...I hear Cassie's getting her own book! That's a total win. I can't wait to read an entire book from her point-of -view.

I wish I had PRETTY AMY when I was seventeen years old. I would like to think that I would have read it, and learned something through Amy instead of, well, drinking and smoking and hanging out with bad boys. Maybe this book would have shown me I had worth, besides being the girl who was popular but could still party like a rock star. The best I can do now is pass the story on to my own daughter someday, and a girl I know, right now, who could use some PRETTY AMY.

Favorite Quote:

"I probably should have been scared to smoke that much, but I needed to be annihilated. I had to forget tomorrow, when I would wake in one of three hotel rooms we'd rented, alone in that big bed, my dress crumpled up on the floor like a discarded attempt at a love letter." (pg. 16)

"They would fill me up with their secrets. They would make me feel like my silence was a choice. Like being left over was a choice." (pg. 228)

1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Pretty Amy.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

January 27, 2012 – Shelved
May 6, 2012 – Started Reading
May 6, 2012 –
page 5
May 6, 2012 –
page 125
41.12% "Poor, sweet Amy."
May 7, 2012 –
page 175
57.57% "This is bringing up a lot of memories for me."
May 7, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-5)

dateUp arrow    newest »

Lauren I've been wanting to read Pretty Amy. I look forward to your review :)

Andrea It will be up on Thursday. I really enjoyed it!

message 3: by Karina (new)

Karina Halle Lovely review. Though, I must say, you should never regret your wild teenage years! Better then than now, eh? :)

message 2: by Karina (new)

Karina Halle (also I must read this book)

Andrea Karina wrote: "Lovely review. Though, I must say, you should never regret your wild teenage years! Better then than now, eh? :)"

Thanks, Karina. And yes, I'm really glad I lived it up when I was younger. I can truly say I had the "full teenage experience". Good times! Though, I probably could have taken it a bit easier on my parents. I'm looking at it from the standpoint of a mom and that truly scares the shizz out of me!

back to top