Wednesday, February 29, 2012

READING: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Publication date: March 13th, 2012
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 2/5
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.

Honestly, I don't get the meaning of this book. It is supposed to teach us what, how to be absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible? I guess, because that was 100% Willa, the female protagonist in Pretty Crooked.

Willa is described as a modern Robin Hood. What she does basically is steal money from her rich, obnoxious friends, and with it, buy designer clothes which she does not keep for herself because that would be selfish. No. She anonymously gives them away to poor kids in the prep school she herself attends because she thinks that if they wore designer clothes, they would feel more confident and forget that they are poor and also, as a bonus, rich kids would stop bullying them.
That is a modern Robing Hood? In what planet?

Robin Hood is set in a time in England when King Richard was away and the kingdom was ruled by cruel and unjust men in his absence, who imposed outrageous taxes on citizens, starving them to death. Robin Hood stole from the rich bastards and essentially gave people back their money so they could buy food in order to survive. He didn't buy them gold carriages or a villa near a picturesque English lake! Huuuge difference! And most importantly, Robin Hood didn't hang out with the sheriff of Nottingham after stealing from him. They didn't share tea or engaged in small talk about the weather, as Willa was more than willing to do with her "enemies".

For me Willa is a complete fraud. She does't have the balls to speak up and tell her friends what she really feels about them because deep down she enjoys being in the spotlight aka the Glitterati(the rich girls' gang), and she doesn't want to be an outcast like Mary and Sherry, the girls she is allegedly trying to "save". Also thinking that designer clothes will make all the bullying and the hurt go away, shows how immature and ignorant she is. Oh, add to that condescending, patronizing and oh so very shallow. Willa needs to fix her moral compass, stat!
Then again, Marrie and Sierra's problems seemed to go away after receiving a $400 shirt and got invited to a party so I guess this book's problem is even bigger than I first thought...

No other character was likeable. Willa's mother was totally absent from her daughter's life, Aidan and Willa had no chemistry whatsoever and he was kinda silly if you ask me, and Tre was the black kid with the obvious criminal record. 

I would also like to comment on the language Ludwig used. Yes, I get that Pretty Crooked targets at a teenage audience and that Willa is 15. However, when I read a published work of an author, I don't want to see words like "realz" and "shiz" and adorbs" in it. What happened to the English language? Is that too much too ask, that a book has whole and complete words? I swear, if I saw an "I haz…" or an "I getz…" in there, I wouldn't have finished it.

Don't think I'm gonna read the next one. Not sure why this is even a series, to be honest.

And last but certainly not least, Ronaldinho is Brazilian, not Spanish. Just one google search away from an accurate reference.

This book has been given to me by NetGalley free of charge 

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