Friday, February 17, 2012

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Willa and her mother have always moved around, but now that her mom's started to sell her paintings, they can live a more comfortable life.  For the first time, Willa is living in a fancy house and going to an exclusive private school.  It isn't long until Willa starts noticing how much some students have, and how little others do.  Willa decides to level the playing field.

This was ridiculous.  Like, totally ridiculous.  Willa falls in with the super popular crowd, who at first she thinks is all nice but in fact turns out to be terrible, terrible people who take great pleasure in online bullying.  In particular, they pick on a trio of Mexican scholarship students.  Willa decides there is only one thing to do: steal from the mean rich people and then use the money to buy the scholarship kids really fancy clothes, and then they will fit in and everyone will want to be friends with them.

What?  That is the stupidest idea ever.  It's not their lack of fancy clothes that makes them targets, although it is something to make fun of them about, it's the fact that they are not wealthy and not white.  And duh, of course when the crimes are discovered they're going to think it's those scholarship students that everyone still hates but have suddenly started coming to school in designer clothing.  Damn Willa. You may have a 3.8 but you are not very bright.  And did not think this through very well.

The most interesting part of the story was what was going on with Willa's mom.  Or at least it had the potential to be interesting.  Something is clearly going on with the mom, something sneaky she wants to keep hidden that is weighing very much upon her, and Willa is far too busy going shopping to think about it very much.  But it didn't freaking get revealed.  Because (and I did not know this when I started) apparently this is going to be a series and it just ended without wrapping anything up and telling me what was going on with the mother which was the only reason I kept reading.  And no, I don't care enough to read any more in the series.

There's also this side plot with Willa and a guy from her school, Aidan, who are first seems like a jerk but in fact has a heart of gold and gets himself kicked out of school because he hates it so much.  We also don't know why he got kicked out.  It's a secret.

The book was full of fairly flat, stereotypical stock characters: Aidan - the pretty boy, Tre - the Black kid from Detroit who teaches Willa how to steal stuff, Kellie - the evil blond, Cherise - the other Black kid who has apparently spent her life appeasing Kellie so she could be in her group, and so on.

So to this book I say "meh."  I didn't buy the plot or care much about the characters.  I just wanted to know what was up with the mom!  It's got a lot of fashion and name dropping, with the added dose of crime, so maybe Gossip Girl fans who are looking for something more?

Pretty Crooked comes out March 13, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing this, and I completely agree with you about everything. I thought the idea of stealing clothes for those students was quite insulting actually. Willa has a white man's syndrome going on.


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