18 May 2015

Review #216: Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

----Bob Marley

Corey Ann Haydu, an American author, pens her new novel, Making Pretty which is based on the fragile as well as promising lines of friendships, family values, sisterly bond and relationship, in short, it's more about finding the respect and love despite of the challenges in one's life.


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?

Montana and Arizona are two sisters who belong from a dysfunctional family background, well thanks to their plastic surgeon father who can't stop himself from getting married and divorcing after a few years. He has a series of girlfriends and have had four wives. Their father wants to fix every flaws of the women in this world, from his girls to his wives and girlfriends, but Montana never accepted the world of plastic surgery with her heart, her beliefs lied in the ugly truth behind plastic surgery.

Due to her father's habit of getting married and getting divorced, Montana finds herself being friends with a don't-care-attitude girl named, Karissa. Their bond of friendship lies in the imperfection of their worlds.

Her life becomes colorful and bright when she meets the next-door-neighbor-kind-of-boy named, Bernardo and Montana does everything that a normal teenager would do to make themselves look desirable in the eyes of an opposite sex.

The author's writing is incredible, I mean the plot develops at a snail pace, but it has so much to offer, so many flaws turning into one big problem and then saving the characters from that mess. I mean whole situation that the author put up through Montana's life was pretty messed, filled with never-ending flaws and sadness. There were so many issues-mature ones thrown at Montana's life only to make us see how she surfaces through them.

Montana cannot be compared to a typical teen, since she goes through a lot of drama that her life has to offer, father's problems, plastic surgery, his sister, her friend, Karissa with her emo secrets and drama, Bernardo, the man she is trying hard to impress. The last aspect I loved the most, I mean it's true we only let others see us in a way we want them to see, and we do that often when we are in love. Montana's life was constantly dictated by the negative and irrational choices that made her look cool in the eyes of her friends, whereas her narrative voiced just the opposite of what she did.

The characters are all kept closer to reality and their authenticity was very evident from their demeanor and especially the way they acted in a messed up situation- vulnerable and impulsive. The relationship between Bernardo and Montana was not very promising, I mean they fell very fast and moved very fast in the pace of their relationship. They acted more like lusty teenagers, who can't get enough of each other.

Overall, it's an enlightening book especially given the theme of the story and it is quite emotional too. If you have a nose for unusual plot and compelling storyline, then do read this book.

Verdict: If you're are a huge realistic YA fan lover, then definitely grab a copy f this book.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publicist for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. 

Author Info:
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, MAKING PRETTY and her upcoming middle grade debut, RULES FOR STEALING STARS. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009.
In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections.
Corey also teaches YA Novel Writing with Mediabistro and is adapting her debut novel, OCD LOVE STORY into a high school play, which will have its first run in Fall 2015.
Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her boyfriend, and a wide selection of cheese.
Visit her here

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