Synopses & Reviews
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least shes somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when the girls get stood up for prom and take matters into their own handsearning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and SpanxAmy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Even worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothinglike she is nothing.
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if its worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
From the Book
I was glad it was my father who picked me up that night, his hair an assemblage of small brown cowlicks, so that it resembled frosting on a cupcake. He wore his long tan raincoat and unlike on TV or in the movies, it did not cover pajamas and there were not slippers on his feet. He had taken the time to get dressed.
“Who the hell are you?” Cassies mother asked.
“Jerry Fleishman, DDS,” he said, like he was reading the sign on the front of his office.
I looked down and covered my face with my hands.
“Who?” she asked again.
“Amys dad,” he said, trying to make his voice sound proud despite the circumstances.
“Congratulations,” she said, walking past him and up to the desk.
“That ones mine,” Lilas mom said, pointing at her like she was a dog in the pound. “Lila Van Drake,” she continued, maybe because she didnt want anyone to mistake Cassie for her daughter, maybe because she didnt want anyone to mistake me for her daughter.
“So thats the famous Lila,” my father said. “Amy talks about her all the time.” I pretended I hadnt heard him, and luckily that night I was too preoccupied to be embarrassed.
“I know,” Lilas mom said, and I realized I wasnt too preoccupied to be mortified.
Praise for Pretty Amy
Pretty Amy is a coming-of-age story without the comfort of padding. . . . Lisa Bursteins debut novel traces the saga of Amy Fleishman, age seventeen. The book opens on what is one of the most significant days of Amys life: the senior prom. . . . When the girls get stood up for the prom, they make a woeful decision that leads to them getting arrested and facing real jail time. Its a life-defining moment ultimately forcing Amy to explore and confront who she isand who she wants to be. Lisa Burstein dares to write a young adult story with a female protagonist that minimizes the romance, focusing instead on the characters psychological underpinnings and true motivation. . . . Pretty Amy makes a great selection for the school market [allowing] young people to debate the actions and motivations of the characters without getting bored in the process . . .
New York Journal of Books
"Lisa Burstein has one of the most refreshingly real YA voices Ive read in years. If youre looking for a helluva trip that begins with an imploding prom night, cruises through the murky waters of the wrong side of the law, bad boys, tough love, and toxic friendship, and ends up with all the right surprises, please get your hands on a copy of Pretty Amy STAT! " --E. Kristin Anderson, Co-editor of Dear Teen Me, Authors Write Letters to their Teen Selves
"In PRETTY AMY, Lisa Burstein has masterfully captured the private heart and soul of what it means--exactly how it hurts--and how vulnerable life is for teen girls. Girls who live in a constant storm fueled by self-doubt, disconnected parents, twisted friendships and normal rebellion all wrapped up in a craving need for love and acceptance. Burstein's writing is beautifully raw and hyper-real. PRETTY AMY will shock you, make you laugh, cry, yell, cheer, look in the mirror and examine your own friendships as you relate to one or more of the unforgettable characters in this story." - Anne Eliot, Author of Almost
You d think life couldn t get much worse than being arrested on prom night. But you d be wrong.
No friends. My two besties, Cassie and Lila, are now officially parentally banned.
No summer of freedom. Instead, I ll be working at a convenience store, earning money just so I can cover bail.
No future. Just a series of humiliating rehabilitation techniques designed to teach me a lesson.
The only silver lining is Aaron a mystery wrapped in a leather jacket and wielding car keys who just happens to show up right when I need him. Now I only feel alive when we re driving together, the wind in my hair.
Maybe finally getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
About the Author
is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy
is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom. Burstein lives in Portland, OR.