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Pretty Amy - Lisa Burstein 3.5 stars “It’s easy to believethat someday I will just like A.J unlocked from his cage.That the bars I’ve put around me will fall away.That I will feel like that little girl again.Finally and beautifully free”When I first saw the cover to Pretty Amy I thought it would be a light fluffy easy going read, but once I picked up I realised it went much deeper than I originally thought. Amy has been looking forward to her prom for a while now, on the night she gets dropped off to her friend Lila’s house she’s jangling with nerves. It could be her biggest night of her life, an unforgettable night. And yes it does become that but for all the wrong reasons. Amy, Lila and Cassie don’t end up going to prom but caught with pot in their possession by the police, they’re taken to the station, where they’re eventually allowed to go home further pending their trial. Dealing with disappointed parents doesn’t compare to the rest of the stuff they have to deal with. They’re suspended from school, so will miss the final week, banned from their own graduation and the icing on the cake? Amy’s mum states that she will have to pay for her lawyer out of her own money, so she has to get a job! How could what was meant to be the night of her life? Quickly spiral out of control? But Amy is given a sort of reprieve, her lawyer Dick could probably prevent her from going to jail but she has to dob her only friends in instead.What I liked about this book;Amy was such a strong character, with all the crap she had to put up with, the constant pressure from her parents, her lawyer and her therapist to dob her friends in she battled on against everyone’s better judgement. She displayed a stubbornness and stood her ground, despite them constantly pushing her buttons and even using shock tactics. At times I usually felt hugely sorry for Amy, despite all the bravado she was a lonely girl who had no one; she wasn’t allowed to contact Cassie or Lila, her old friend Joe didn’t want to know her anymore, she didn’t feel comfortable opening up to her therapist and each time she talked to her mother they would get into a shouting match. Her only friend was her bird A.J. the only person that wouldn’t pass judgement on her. But then sometimes you wanted to clock Amy from her stubbornness. Yeah I understand that they were the only friends she had, but if her friends were put in the same situation would they do the same thing for her? But I definitely preferred Amy’s character to her mothers. Honestly I don’t really know what to make of her, I think she did care about Amy but she just had a funny way of showing it. She couldn’t understand Amy’s sarcastic temperament, she was at times way over the top; insisting to Amy’s principle that she had to attend Amy’s graduation even though Amy was not allowed to go? And slashing and burning her mattress because she thought it contained heroin? All Amy wanted was her mother to be there for her;“her only job tonight was to tell me I was beautifulthat I was her beautiful baby girl all grown up, but she couldn’t evendo that”I adored Amy’s dad, he was relatively calm and laid back but quite under the thumb of his wife. I also adored Joe, Amy’s former friend; it was heart breaking reading their scenes together because all he wanted was Amy how she was before, before she met Cassie and Lila, but had Amy changed so much and was it too late change back?Despite the “dark cloud” hanging over Amy; the mistake that had been made and the choice that still had to be made, the story was laced with humour which certainly did lighten things up. I loved Amy’s snarky humour and her sarcastic comments, I looked forward to her meetings with her lawyer, therapist and when she went to work to see what she would come up with next.Overall Pretty Amy is a bittersweet coming of age story which I surprisingly enjoyed. You’re probably wandering what does Amy finally do in the end? Does she make the right decision? My lips are sealed you’ll just have to find out for yourself.A big thank you to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.This review and more can also be found on my blog: The Readers Den