Review: Pretty Crooked

Pretty Crooked (Pretty Crooked #1) by Elisa Ludwig
Release Date ~ March 13, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books ~ HarperCollins
ISBN13:  9780062066060
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley for review
Goodreads Synopsis:
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?

I thought the idea behind Pretty Crooked was great; a modern day retelling of Robin Hood? Plus, it was pretty cool that it took place in Arizona when I had just visited some of the same areas a couple weeks earlier so I was really able to picture the descriptions talked about in the book.
Maybe my expectations were just too high, but I didn't fall in love with this one the way I wanted to; I found the story somewhat unbelievable and I really didn't appreciate Willa as a character at all.
  1. Some mysterious characters:
    I found Tre and Aidan to be the two people who really stole the show away from Willa in this book; they were far more interesting than anything else really going on. Except for Willa's mom who was a complete and utter mystery to me. I couldn't help but wonder what was going on with her throughout the whole book!
  2. The basic idea of the book:
    Willa's goal of stealing from the rich kids to give to the poor works really well in her story; it's a neat idea, and I wanted to see how she would deal with it. There was so much potential for this, and I liked Willa's attitude and willingness to correct the problem she sees with bullying and prejudice is admirable.
But at the same time, there was so much wrong with what she did and she just couldn't seem to do it. For example, I really liked Tre but I didn't think he was as fully developed as he should have been; instead he turned out to be nothing more than the stereotypical black guy that she befriends, who assists Willa with her efforts. And she just seemed to lack any foresight or common sense. She jumps into stealing without any real idea of what it entails or what she's risking; and she ends up so focused on this one thing in her life, that she ignores everything else. I found that to be rather silly and hard to relate to.
And I wasn't impressed with the cliffhanger ending at all. The story just ended- but without tying anything up. Instead, it was all left open to be further explored in the next book. But it was completely unnecessary since so little actually happens in Pretty Crooked.
I'm curious enough about Willa's mom's secrets to read the next book, but past that I have no investment in the story whatsoever. And that's the real problem.

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elena said...

I was so excited for this book (modern day Robin Hood? yes!) but like you, I was disappointed. I geared myself up for it since reading mixed reviews but I barely go through the first third before not finishing it. It was so frustrating! I really appreciated your great, honest review!

danya said...

I'm sorry to hear this one didn't live up to your expectations! Sounds like it falls prey to too many stereotypes and I think the main character might irritate me as well. I'll have to keep this in mind if and when I ever read this one, thanks for your honest thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

I've read this book, and I think I agree. Willa didn't really make the brightest decisions, and that ending was just horrible! But I most likely will read the next book, just to see how it goes. Great review, I really feel like you covered everything that I felt about the book too! =)

-Aneeqah @ The Brain Lair

Janiera said...

I've seen way too many negative reviews to consider reading this book. A lot of people say it has a good idea but the execution is bad. I hate stereotypical characters so I will skip this one. Thanks for the honest review!

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