Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

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Pretty Crooked
Elisa Ludwig
Release date: March 13th, 2012
by Katherine Tegen Books

Goodreads / Purchase

Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*

Ever since enjoying Elisa’s self-published novel June of Rock, I’ve been looking forward Pretty Crooked; with its fun, quirky cover and synopsis, I had high hopes for it. I wasn’t expecting such a fluffy story, but I was glad to find it an enjoyable, quick read, nonetheless, that reminded me a tad of Mean Girls.

Willa only wants to even out the score by stealing from her rich friends, and giving to her poorer ones. Although a bit far fetch, the plot is pretty amusing. Coming from a small town where there are no private schools or “higher society”, I’m always captivated by their inner workings. Grand living situations, unlimited shopping, privileged attitude; it’s so much fun to read about! Even though I can’t say Willa is particularly smart in her proceedings, I really liked her and could easily understand where she was coming from by wanting to even the playing field. In between her mischief, Aidan is the main male character that Willa is crushing on. No doubt he’s charming, but I simply didn’t see it. He is the definition of a player, plus he’s so incredibly snobbish I couldn’t root for him at all. I much preferred Tre, and I don’t know why Willa doesn’t feel the same. A bit too naive maybe? Either way, the romance didn’t convince me, fortunately its presence in the book is scarce.

In addition to the teenage Robin Hood storyline, we’ve got suspicious parental behavior by Willa’s mother; late nights and strange meetings. I was deeply curious to find out what exactly was going on. It feels ominous, as well as more interesting than your cliché “affair” or “re-appearing father” scenario. Sadly, this is left greatly unresolved since, unbeknownst to me, Pretty Crooked is the start of a series. I guess I should have taken notice, regardless, I still feel like we should have gotten some kind of answers, at the very least an elaboration. Instead it’s merely floating in the background bugging like a constant itch that, ultimately, never gets scratched. It surely tugs on my love of mystery, though, leaving me craving for book 2!

If I had to pick I would recommend Elisa’s June of Rock over this one, but Pretty Crooked is, nevertheless, a fun little quirky tale that is perfect for a light read.

3 Hot Espressos
Want to know what I thought of Elisa Ludwig’s June of Rock?

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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30 Responses to “Review: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig”

  1. Amy

    It sounds like a fun book. I have heard very few reviews on it, but I always trust your opinion. There are so many books that I am really looking forward to reading that I don’t think I would make time for this one. Fab review!!

  2. Maja

    This is the second less-than-thrilled review of this book I’ve read today. Since contemporary YA is never my first choice, it really needs to be special for me to want to pick it up. I don’t really think this is for me.
    I am, however, very intersted in June of Rock. 🙂
    Fabulous review, Giselle. 🙂

  3. SweetMarie83

    This sounds like a really cute idea for a story. I’ve seen the book cover around, but this is the first review I’ve read. I’ll have to see if my library has it. Thanks for the great review, Giselle!

  4. Giselle

    Thanks ladies.

    @Maja: I think you’d like June of Rock. A girl at rock camp! It’s fun and original.

    @Amy: It’s true I have barely seen any review for this yet but I’m sure there will be now that it’s releasing.

    @Marie: Thanks Marie! It’s pretty cute – quirky more like. 🙂

  5. Carina

    I didn’t know this was part of a series either!
    While I’m still quite excited to read PRETTY CROOKED (the eARC has been waiting on my Kindle for way too long now), your review helps me to adjust my expectations a bit, so thanks a lot for sharing! Definitely interested to find out what I’ll be thinking about the love interest though!

    Fictional Distraction

  6. Shellie

    Glad to know what I’ll be getting into this weekend when I read this one LOL. The whole itch-not-being-scratched thing will probably get to me too =(

  7. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!

    @Carina & Shellie: I’m looking forward to reading your reviews. I haven’t read barely any so wondering how we’ll match up 🙂

  8. Mimi Valentine

    Ohhhh, it DOES kind of remind me of Mean Girls too! 🙂 I’m really glad you liked this book even though it didn’t quite meet you expectations. It was just so darn sweet! And I was really intrigued about the mystery part of it too — that was one aspect I didn’t expect, and I loved it! All we have to do is wait not-so-patiently for the next installment to figure out what happens next! 😉

    Awesome honest review, Giselle! 🙂 And I really loved Tre too! <3

  9. Jac

    How frustrating that (what sounds like to me) the most intriguing part of the book is left unresolved! Although I love the idea of a modern/teenage Robin Hood! I’m not sure if I’d pick it up, but I am definitely intrigued now…

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  10. Sophia

    I agree that the romance was very unconvincing and lacking in this book! But nonetheless, this book was very light and fun. 🙂 I also really liked the subplot with Willa’s mother and her strange behavior. Love the review, Giselle! Sorry it didn’t completely wow you. Hopefully, you’ll like the next book more! <3

  11. K R Weinert

    Fab review. It sounds like it would be fine for a stand-alone, but I can’t imagine myself reading this as a trilogy…somehow contemporary YA just feels better as standalone (for me anyway).

  12. Giselle

    Thanks so much lovelies!

    @K R Weinert: I know I’m the same which is why I never thought to check if it was a series or not. I just figured it wasn’t

  13. Lexie

    Lovely review! All the reviews I’ve seen seem to agree that this is a light, fun, fluffy story. While it’s not the kind of book that will stick with you, sometimes we need a break from the dark and heavy stuff. I may have to pick this one up.

  14. Candace

    I’ve read quite a few reviews of this one and they range from the okay to the not very good and I don’t think I’ve seen any that were WOW. I’m not sure I’d take the time to read it for that reason, but I’m happy it was more on the positive side for you!

  15. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I liked this one (3 cups is about right) but really wish, instead of doing the Robin Hood thing, she would just have stood up to the Glitterati and been vocal about her issues with their treatment of the girls.

  16. A. Knight

    OH. I didn’t know that she’d written another book. Self-published or otherwise. I’ve heard a lot of similar feelings on this one, but I think I’ll still give it a whirl. It looks absolutely delightfully enjoyable 🙂


  17. Karen @ Book Light Graveyard

    Good to know that this is part of a series–I didn’t realize that before. This sounds like a cute book, though–even if Aidan isn’t so great. I’ll have to track it down when I’m in the mood for a fluffy read.

  18. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    Hi sweet ^.^

    It has happened to me too that I find a very light read as something I wasnt expecting lol. However when the ride is still enjoyable Im glad of it XD SO Im glad you enjoyed it to the point of wanting to read book 2! ALthough most reviews have told me this is a good and enjoyable read, I dont think I can fit it in my schedule very soon. I guess I will push it until I have enough time to pick this one up ^^

    thnx for the honest review my sweet ^.^

  19. Danny

    Seriously, I find it extremely funny that everyone felt just like me – I also had no idea this was the start in a series. When I reached that last few pages I became a little nervous since there would have been no way to put together all loose ends. Gladly, now is room for the sequel! I really like it and loved the funny and light tone of the book.

    I had no idea she self-published before, I really have to check this out!

  20. Jen

    Haha I love the Robin Hood-esque element to this. But ahhhh, another beginning to a series? I don’t know that I’d love the lack of resolution! Great review!

  21. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Great review! I agree on so many things (as you already know from my review. 😉 The mystery surrounding her mother was definitely the interesting part, but it was very much left open. I’m hoping that’s where the series will put its new focus. Also: you’ve made me quite curious about June of Rock… Hahah!

  22. Rebecca

    I don’t think I’ll be reading this one. I’d be thinking that the have-nots would end up getting blamed for the robberies and that would SUCK. And also the last think I need to purchase another series. I am, however, about to check out your review for “June of Rock.”