Mundie Moms

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Released on: March 13th, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
3 stars: It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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? -quoted from Goodreads

Pretty Crooked starts off as a fun, entertaining read with a modern day Robin Hood twist. It follows the story of a teenager named Willa who's moved around often with her single mom, a painter. With a new town, a new school and new friends to make, Willa finds herself in the middle of fitting in with the "right" crowd, falling in love and giving to those who can't afford the nicer things her new so called friends can. As this story progresses, I liked that author Elisa Ludwig includes some tough, but realistic issues like bullying, fitting in, loyalty, and staying true to yourself in her story.

Willa for me was a fun character to get to know, and I found that some of the things she does and struggles with were relatable to some degree. She's a character who struggles with wanting to fit in. When she moves to the Phoenix, AZ's prestigious Paradise Valley, she's suddenly immersed into a place of wealth and privilege, something she's not always had. It would take a strong character to not want to try to fit into a place like this at first. When Willa makes new friends she finds it hard not to want to go with them on expensive shopping trips to get the latest trends, join in on making fun of those who aren't wearing brand name clothes and stick with the elite group of who's who's at her new prep school. These new friends aren't just full of themselves, and money, they also delight in bullying, taunting those who are in their social structure and spreading vicious rumors about them.

I liked that once Willa realizes just how selfish and cruel some of the characters are to those who aren't as well off as them, she wants to do something about it. Though I got frustrated that she nor anyone else ever really took a big stand on bullying in this book like I had excepted, I did like that Willa listened to her conscience and ended up seeing the girls for what they really were. What the story lacked for me was Willa becoming like Robin Hood in the sense she does something good with what she steals. Don't get me wrong, her heart was in "the right" place so to speak, but I felt like Willa went about trying to handle or fix the situation the wrong way. I admire the fact Willa takes responsibility for what she does. For some reason they way she went about it all and the way it was handle didn't fit the flow for what I had excepted in a Robin Hood type story.

Setting wise, I felt it was perfect for the story. I've never traveled to Phoenix (except for the a stop at the airport which doesn't really count), so I don't know how accurate the descriptions of this area are, but for me I felt like Elisa Ludwig did an awesome job at bringing to life her setting. Everything in this area is flashy, shiny and top of the line. From the sports cars, to huge mansions, trendy clothes and the way some of the characters acted, were the perfect back drop for this modern day Robin Hood story. The other thing I enjoy was the romance!

The romance between Will and Adrian was fabulous, as it was one that was built up slowly through the out course of the entire book. It was nice not reading a story were the romance felt rushed and forced. The romance between Willa and Adrian was indecisive through out much of the story, and I liked that. Willa had to learn to trust him and figure out what his true intentions are. I loved Adrian. He's a character who comes across as not caring what others think, he knows what he wants, and yet at the same time there's this air of mystery about him. The abrupt ending sure left me wanting more from him and Willa.

Over all this was a good read for me. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Elisa's books and with the way the story ended I'm curious to find out what will happen between Adrian and Willa in the next story. I also want to know more about Willa's mother. They went from being close to becoming secretive with each other, and by the end of the story they had a very damaged relationship. It's clear there's something else going on with her mom, and I'm very intrigued with what it could be. I'm left with a few too many unanswered question that I will definitely be picking up this sequel when it's out next year. If you're looking for a fun, fast paced read I'd recommend checking out Pretty Crooked.


  1. Reading this now and as you mentioned it is a fun and fast paced read.