Book Review: Making Pretty By Corey Ann Haydu

Making Pretty
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: May 12 2015
Review Source: Katherine Tegen Books

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 has lived life in the comfort of knowing what was hers. Her sister, her father, her brownstone, her normal boring life that isn't one of a college student. One summer everything changes; she meets a boy, her sister has changed since college, and she's seeing her dad for what he really is. Wondering if she can handle all this change, she tries her hardest to find her place-to belong.

Honestly, I'm not sure how to feel after reading this book. It was a good mix of truth and story. Truth in that it deals with things that most stories wouldn't think to deal with - plastic surgery, changing appearances, how to "make pretty". And it's part story because it still has that sense of this only happens in books or movies. I'm not sure how to feel after reading this because of the truth that it deals with. You feel gritty, and it makes you think of your core values. You feel depressed that this is the only life that Montana has known, and the fact that she thinks it's okay.

The more the story unfolds the more you think about what you would do in Montana's situation. I would've confronted my Plastic Surgeon father so many times. Understandable why she doesn't, seeing as she wants a relationship with him. But it could be seen that she sacrifices her relationship with him by not being honest about her feelings. It also makes you think of how you would feel about all the situations that Montana is going through - Karissa, Arizona, Bernardo, her Father, and her Mother.

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