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Which is a feat considering there is no drugs or obvious abuse. Montana and Arizona are two years apart in age, but have done 2.

Making Pretty

Montana and Arizona are two years apart in age, but have done everything together. He looks at every woman around him and sees flaws he can fix. Even on his own daughters. For their 13 birthdays, their dad gave them gift certificates for plastic surgery! Way to tell your child that they are not good enough or beautiful. The other horrible thing about their dad is that he can never be alone. Which has lead to dozens of girlfriends and 4 ex-wives. Montana is 17 and her father has already been divorced 4 times.

The selfishness of a parent who brings that many people for his impressionable daughters to lose is beyond my comprehension. I hated so many characters. The moment we meet the new girlfriend, someone that Montana knows intimately, the book spirals into an uncomfortable coming of age family drama that kept me on a roller coaster of anger and pity. Corey Ann Haydu is a talented author. Her style is smart and rhythmic and pulls you into every detail of the story. I was pulled in. I felt for these characters as if they were real.

As if Montana was my friend telling me the story. The author pulled emotions out of me like a puppet master. The problem is that I believe that I hate this book. Not in the way that I hate offensive or condescending books. The characters are developed and the story clear. There is the small problem that Montana does not sound Nothing about Montana tells me she has that kind of stress.

Montana was an immature 17 which worked for the dysfunction of the book. I hate this book because it pulled emotions out of me and then left me hanging. The ending is no ending at all. One of those pretentious books where the ending is all open ended and nothing is resolved and nothing is concluded. I have no idea if her and the boy she falls in love with, will stay together for awhile or if they will break up.

I should say that. I should voice my opinions for once in my life.

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Her parents have screwed her up and she never gets a chance to express herself! Why did I read a book where people make the same choices. I think it will break them and the author gave me no clues that their world will have any kind of satisfying or happy conclusion. In fact, their journey probably will make a better story than the one I got. Who has been left behind and abandoned more times than she can count. Understandably, she latches on to people like her boyfriend or Karissa the young woman she idolizes. But, she never learns what it means to be in a family besides the glimpses she sees of other families.

Beyond her sister, she never grabs on to a healthy relationship. In all honesty, I think Montana is going to get knocked up a few times, divorced a few times and still search for a place to belong, because the author gave me no concrete evidence that it will end any other way. A very weak ending. Disappointing, because I sincerely believe you should read her other book Life by Committee.

Jun 02, Kaitlin marked it as did-not-finish.

The fact that I'm DNFing this book irritates me, but it's also a huge relief. I read 20 percent of it and wasn't liking much of anything. Plus, I was irritated, so it's a good thing I'm moving on from this one. I prefer unlikable characters to likable ones in many cases, yet I was very annoyed by Montana's attitude. She seemed like a brat.

I wasn't very interested in the story itself or any of the other characters enough to make me want to put up with her, either. That just made it even tougher to connect to her character. Also, the situation with Karissa bugged me way more than I want to admit. It really bugs me, which I find odd because I'm tolerant of a lot of worse things in books hide spoiler ] It sealed my decision in walking away from this book.

Overall, I didn't like the 20 percent of Making Pretty that I read.

Corey Ann Haydu – Making Pretty

Even though it had elements that I usually love, this book proved that there's always an exception to reading tastes. Not everything works for you, even when you really, really want it to. Mar 31, Brianna Shrum rated it it was amazing. I loved the main character and found her extremely relatable.

It's sometimes an uncomfortable read, only because the characters feel SO so real, and the topics are a little tough if you've ever struggled with body image issues, but I mean that in a positive way. The author doesn't shy away from the tough stuff, and it's just refreshingly real.

Like I said, I adored this book and want to shove it into everyone's hands. Jul 22, Anna Reads rated it really liked it. Excellent writing and characters. A few things I'd like to have seen fleshed out a bit more at the end, but story really drove me nuts and sucked me in -- in an uncomfortable but good way! May 29, Abbie rated it did not like it Shelves: I don't know if it's because of my crappy mood or if it's because I just couldn't relate to the book; but I freaking hated this book. It was immature and bland.

I was bored the entire time I read it. Sorry but I just didn't like it. View all 3 comments. The premise itself is intriguing: Montana is a teen girl living in NYC — however, she struggles to live life happily because of her father, a plastic surgeon who remarries and dates so often that there is no sense of consistency in her life. I was sure I was in for a story about self-discovery with strong family elements.

First off, Montana is an extremely difficult character to like. I thought it was just going to be temporary and that we would see some character growth by the end. Montana is also a very hypocritical character. She complains about one thing, but does exactly that.

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For example, she complains about her dad marrying someone he met just a few days ago, but then she finds a boy and falls instantly in love with him. An extremely drastic declaration of love even happens later in the story for Montana, and I completely rolled my eyes. I saw her as a very confused teenager who is desperately looking for the answers on How to Live Life. By the end of the story, I was still having a hard time connecting with Montana. Haydu knows her way around a character, particularly in portraying them as real and flawed.

Being in Montana's head, living her story I got sucked in right away, and had to see it through as quickly as possible. While I do wish a few things had been addressed more, the way this book is written makes it feel like we're just capturing a tiny portion of a long, long life that Montana is living, so I can sort of understand how it ends that way. May 21, Michelle Wrona rated it liked it Shelves: This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more! Corey Ann Haydu is one of those authors whose books I really want to enjoy.

They seem like the perfect kind of books that'll impress me: In this case, as well as her previous, Life by Committee, there was so much potential for me to enjoy them. Everything seemed perfect, at first. But as I look back onto these novels, they were dull and not as deep as I This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

But as I look back onto these novels, they were dull and not as deep as I wish them to be. I have 2 more of her novels to read and they're both on my TBR list, though I'm now hesitant, as the second time surely wasn't the charm. Making Pretty was a pretty book, but I feel more meh and bored with it than others have. I surely won't even dream of giving this a perfect star rating, but whatever.

It deals with all of the cutesy stuff—sisterhood, first love, rebellion of being a teenager, all of those things that are supposed to matter or happen in life. You'll find that the characters have had a horrible life with endless amounts of 'stepmothers' and weird stuff going on with their family, and they're—Arizona and Montana—are those characters whose side you'd like to stay on.

I figured his school was probably doing a unit on it too. Then it was the Stephen King novel I was chilling out with. Then Catcher in the Rye. Then The Hunger Games. Then Valley of the Dolls.

Book Review: Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

After Valley of the Dolls we started nodding at each other. Anyways, let's just get to the summary because you don't even have a clue what this book is about if this is the first time you've seen it or heard of it. Making Pretty features Montana and Arizona, two sisters who were named after the states that their mother left them for. They now live with their plastic surgeon father who gets married and divorces women lots of times. Now Montana has enough of her boring, strange life and she falls in love with a guy named Bernardo, who respects her pink hair and wickedness.

I guess that the title does make sense for what the book was actually about. I liked Montana's attitude towards her father's job and everything and how she doesn't want to get sucked into the obsession of redoing yourself. She had self-confidence, even when she was depressed and felt like the relationship with her college-based older sister was dissipating. Haydu doesn't create the best bunch of characters in the end.

So if you actually read the official synopsis found on the jacket cover of the novel, you'll probably predict that a lot of the book is focused on secrets, lies and the sisters' fading relationship. I found that the romance was the biggest part as well as Montana finding out who she is. Yes, it's one of those cheesy stories. I wasn't too fond of it in the end, either. The author's writing seems to drag a lot.

It's overly exaggerated at some points and I just want to bang my head against a desk to keep me awake. While reading, I found myself fading in and out of the fictional world of New York City, and while I adored the setting, something was missing from the depth of the story. Bernardo is a boy who doesn't depend on smiles. Bernardo is boy who swears and loves in Spanish.

It all depends on what you really enjoy in a romantic relationship. You'll most definitely find Montana and Bernardo's to be cute and everything, but it's not as realistic as I hoped. I guess it all features a girl turning pretty in her own way—an 'eh' way. Apr 25, Estelle rated it really liked it Shelves: Very few books make me feel speechless. This was a heartbreaking, almost suspenseful story and it really stands on its own in this book category. I literally can't think of one comparable book. I'll have a full review but some words I wrote down while reading: Another great piece of work from this author with so many crossover opportunities.

Basically we have Montana — about to embark on another summer in New York City. Her best friend Roxanne and her sister Arizona are back from college. But nothing is totally clicking except for the last thing. Karissa is not what she seemed — or even close. But Bernardo — he is someone she can have for herself. He is someone who is on her side. Alongside him, Montana goes on this journey to reinvent herself but also get down to the naked truth of what she means to people.

Her dad has married again and again; all the while, Montana has basically been discarded by these women. As much as this book is about beauty — how it is perceived and thrust upon us — Haydu unshockingly because she always asks the tough questions explores the complexity of sister relationships, the all-consuming impulsiveness that comes along with first love, and the desire to take control but feeling powerless to actually obtain it.

Like in Life By Committee, the author has spun another suspenseful contemporary — where will all of this messy behavior lead these characters? There was no way I could have predicted what would happen. What exactly do you do when the authority figure in your life makes poor choice after poor choice? What do you do when your older sister — one of your best friends — deviates from what she believed in? May 11, Kelly Gunderman rated it liked it Shelves: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I'm not really sure what I expected when I started on this book.

I guess I was looking forward to a young adult novel that made me cry at the right places, smile and root for Montana, and truly care about the characters in this book. That really wasn't what I got. The book is about Montana and Arizona, two sisters who had their mother leave them when they were very young. While their mother still calls them and se I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

While their mother still calls them and sends them the yearly birthday card, they live with their plastic surgeon father who remarries like he changes his underwear and has a different girlfriend every other week. Well, when their father announces that he is going to be marrying Karissa, Montana's 23 year old friend, Montana and Arizona feel completely lost and are angry, bitter, and upset by the decision.

Sure, I got the young adult novel. But the problem with this one was that it felt TOO young. I had to keep reminding myself that Montana half the time I found myself having trouble even remembering this girl's name, that's how little I felt attached to this book and the characters was not a twelve year old girl. Okay, maybe when you're I thought their entire relationship was weird. They were telling each other that they loved each other after being together for like two weeks even Montana's sister, Arizona, kept pointing out that they've "been together for five minutes".

Another huge issue I had with this book was the detachment with their father. I mean, Arizona came home drunk in the beginning of the novel, and her dad didn't even punish her for it. He acted like it was completely normal. This baffled me, and I should have realized that this book wasn't for me in the very beginning. Maybe the part of me who has two daughters kept kicking in during this book and wondering why the hell no one was paying attention to this girl in the way that she needed. It seemed like no one really seemed to care what was going on in her life, because everyone was wrapped up in their own.

It did not make for a very memorable novel, unfortunately. Oct 02, Jennifer rated it it was amazing. Imperfect, true-to-life, challenging characters in the very best way possible. New York, the setting, was so vibrant and detailed it was practically a character in itself. The discussions that you could have about this book are numerous, and I can definitely it see it being read in book clubs and high school classrooms.


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There is so much to unpack here. In reading this book, I felt like I was getting a glimpse into the life of an actual, real life family. The dialogue and writing were on point as is always the case with Haydu's books , and I felt that all of the different threads of the story wove together so well. I highly recommend this book.

Apr 25, Ellice rated it it was amazing Shelves: Corey Ann Haydu's writing is on a level all its own-- seriously, the next time someone criticizes YA lit, I will hand them this book, as it will rival the writing in ANY adult novel.


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  6. It's gorgeous and heartbreaking and even painful to read at times. Also original- I can't think of another book that is even remotely similar. Apr 25, Lauren rated it it was amazing. I've read and loved both of Haydu's previous YAs, and this one didn't disappoint. This book was no different--it hit home, and I love it for doing so. Aug 02, April rated it really liked it Shelves: Read the rest of my review here.

    Her, cosmetic surgeon father fell in love and out of it easily. However she's always had her older sister Arizona for support. But when Arizona leaves for college, Montana makes a friend in Karissa, a 23 year old eccentric women. When summer arrives, Montana's relationship with her sister is damaged and the revelation that Karissa is Montana's father's latest girlfriend puts more of a strain on her family life.

    Also there was a cute romance invol 17 year old Montana is used to stepmoms leaving. Also there was a cute romance involving Bernardo. I wasn't really a big fan of him he was so damn earnest , but he wasn't bad or anything. Plus he had pink hair so that's a plus. This book mainly focuses of Montana's family, her stepmoms and her personal growth. Haydu gets to the heart of hard truths, dares to focus on heroines with a boatload of flaws, and flinches away from absolutely nothing.

    Making Pretty is approachable, engaging, hard-to-put down, and a tragically beautiful portrayal of girls trying to come of age and overcome their pasts. Montana is desperate, impulsive, a liar, thoughtless, needy, and a lot more things. Her flaw to perfection ratio leans heavily to the side of flaw, but she is not a bad person. My heart went out to her. More than anything, her goal is to be loved. Her desperation manifests in a deep desire to be liked, to be thought cool.

    I want there to be one part of our lives that stays the same, that we can depend on. I thought that was you. Their dad is a plastic surgeon, who has had an endless string of girlfriends and wives. He meets them, perfects them, and then moves on. He draws on any picture that comes near him, suggesting plastic surgery for the people in magazines and whoever sent them a Christmas card.

    The constant parade of mother figures only increased their issues with the idea of love and romance. Montana and Arizona love their father, despite being very aware of his flaws, and they do have some good times together. Left alone, the two no longer know who they are. I actually saw the plot developments regarding Karissa coming: What I want to know is where things went after the events of the novel and what happened to her in the past. She remains a question mark very intentionally, but I would have liked to know a bit more. Haydu takes on instalove in this incredibly brilliant way in Making Pretty.

    Making Z Pretty Again!

    Montana and this boy Bernardo have been flirting from a distance in the park for a while. After she dyes her hair pink, in search of something, he approaches her and then lets the girls dye his hair pink. The two connect immediately. The evolution of their relationship makes perfect sense for their emotional states. Also, I love where Haydu has the relationship at the end of the book. Every Haydu novel is painful, real, raw, and intense, and Making Pretty may just be my favorite so far.

    I could see Making Pretty making it as your standard rom-com fare. You might have to age-up the characters, but not by much. Corey Ann Haydu creates a good setup here. At first the book promises to be about two sisters drifting apart as one goes off to college and the other finishes high school. This is a theme, with many parallels, explored by Rainbow Rowell in Fangirl. This book begins with promise, but its two-dimensional characters and shallow plotting undermine it. Montana and Arizona begin as complex creations.

    They carry a great deal of baggage about body image given to them by a plastic-surgeon father and the stepmothers whom he transformed with his craft—so much so that on their thirteenth birthdays, he and Stepmom 2 gave the sisters gift certificates for a free cosmetic procedure of their choice. This fairly interesting theme is one of the reasons the book manages to hold together, and managed to hold my interest, despite the lacklustre characterization. Corey Ann Haydu captures so much of these girls in pitch perfect ways I was moved to compassion for myself and every girl like me that has to weather the storm that is being a girl in contemporary society.

    Cultural messaging can be a harmful beast. The institutionalized and internalized image issues that get handed down to us in subtle and often unconscious ways can really mess with your head. We are constantly being told if we buy this and do that then it might make us more worthy, more loveable. The stories I could tell you. That I want to. The girls I have seen hurting. And before anyone leaves me a comment saying but what about the men, I will readily admit that men can and do struggle with body image issues, we have even written about that here at TLT.

    Entire industries are built on making women hate themselves. There are so many perfectly written and emotive sentences that I am going to go back and write in my quote journal. There are so many girls and parents I want to hand this to and say here, read this. To the girls I want to say you are enough. This book is a great tool to help do that. Everyone — every man, woman, and teen — should read this book. I highly recommend it. Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable.

    In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. 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? I now cannot find the Making Pretty genre. Still working in the library. Imma give to the head librarians. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting. I love this book. Thank you for writing it. Coming May 12th, from Katherine Tegen Books.

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