Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Count: 236
Synopsis: High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.
Review: How often do I wish that I could steal from the rich and give to the poor? Pretty darn often. Willa gets to do it in real life, which I thought was an awesome concept. Real life Robin Hood, right? Not only was the concept cool, but this book was pretty awesome, too. It wasn't exactly mind-blowing or particularly amazing, but it was an enjoyable read.
I still don't know what I feel about Willa. Sometimes, I felt like she was jumping and prancing on my nerves, especially in one scene when she blows up at her mother, just because her mother told Willa that she shouldn't be wasting so much money on clothes. But then again, Willa was a really great person at heart. She was trying to do the right thing and I could really connect with her on that level. The supporting characters, on the other hand, weren't that great. They didn't leap off the page and fell sort of flat.
It took me a little while to get in to the book, as it usually does with contemporaries, but I was easily sucked into Willa's life. I found myself rooting for Willa, thinking things like, "Yes! Go steal that girl's money! Buy Mary another dress!" which, if you couldn't tell, is not conventional. But as I was reading, I really couldn't help but understand Willa's intentions.
The biggest thing that bothered me was the ending. I just... I can't... Uh... What? I'm sorry, did you just forget to attach the last twenty pages? Seriously! The plot picks up and Elisa Ludwig makes you think that you're going to get a huge answer... and then she changes directions and ends the book. Excuse me while I shoot myself in the foot. I hate these kinds of endings. I mean, yes I understand that there's a second book, but can't an author at least write something of a conclusion?
Pretty Crooked is a refreshing and entertaining novel with dashes of humor and pop culture. I'm honestly wondering where Elisa Ludwig could possibly take the story in the sequel. Is there even more to write?