Making Pretty

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
1232 0
Making Pretty
Genre(s)
Age Range
13+
Release Date
May 12, 2015
ISBN
9780062294081
Buy This Book
      

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life. With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust. In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Lost and found in someone else
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
Making Pretty is the first book I've read by Corey Ann Haydu, but it made me want to go out and buy her other books. This one is wholly unique; I don't think I've ever read such a complex portrayal of teenage life.

There are several issues the protagonist, Montana, faces in the story. First, there's her father, who remarries over and over again, a repeating pattern so familiar that Montana and her sister, Arizona, place bets and have rituals with each new wife. Not only does her father, a plastic surgeon, "fix" and change his wives' bodies, but he also wants to make changes to his daughters'. This situation is just one of the ways the writing proves so effective. There's this great juxtaposition between how Montana faces her father's disappointment in her body (betrayed, upset, but also in a way resigned) and how the reader feels about this dad placing such unfair standards on his daughters' bodies. I felt disbelief, heartbreak, and fury all at once. Haydu's writing is that good; it evokes so many emotions in the reader.

There's also the complicated relationship Montana has with her sister. She understandably feels left behind when her sister goes to college, but the changes her sister makes while away are the catalyst for her feeling like the two, who used to be inseparable, have grown apart. She doesn't recognize her sister, and coming to terms with this is a big part of her journey is this book.

Montana also discovers first love with her boyfriend, Bernardo. Never have I read a book where first love is portrayed so well, messiness and excitement and impulsiveness included. The reader can see how her father's failed relationships have influenced Montana.

What Left Me Wanting More:
My initial reaction for something more that I wanted from this novel was more resolution at the end, but then I gave it a second thought and realized how brilliant and realistic the ending was. Sometimes people don't learn from their mistakes. Sometimes people repeat their bad choices. Things can't always be tied together with a neat bow.

The Final Verdict:
Making Pretty is an unflinching look at complicated family life, first love, and beauty standards. This novel would make a great book club book; there are so many talking points.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Could you fall in love with a robot? ...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...

Latest Member Reviews

What Makes Us
 
5.0
"WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend..."
Serpent & Dove
 
5.0
"Lou is on the run from her family and she lives a thieving life with her friend Coco. Both of..."
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
"When Dad tells Nancy stories about when he and Mom used to go camping, Nancy knows it's something she has..."
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
"Scholastic Inc brings origami and Harry Potter together in this book with fifteen foldable crafts! Each one has a different..."
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
"BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a..."
On the Come Up
 
5.0
"ON THE COME UP is a fantastic new YA contemporary that handles big issues like racism and sexism. The characters..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
"FIREBORNE is a new YA fantasy that follows two teens, Lee and Anna (Antigone) in alternating points-of-view. Lee and Anna..."
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Winter's Captive
 
5.0
"YA fantasy has always been my favorite. However, the past few months, I'd been in a slump. I struggled getting..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
"I don’t know where to start! The Fractured Empire by Robin D. Mahle is the first in the World Apart..."
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
"A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."