Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.
Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.
The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her: evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.
But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?
Pretty Crooked has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year. A modern Robin Hood retelling with a female main character? Sign me up! While this didn't entirely live up to my expectations, I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the sequel.
Willa was a very likable main character. Her life has never been easy- she and her mom are always on the move and she has not been able to put down solid roots in years. When her mother sells some of her paintings and is able to get Willa a spot at the prestigious Valley Prep school, Willa's life will never be the same. She meets the "Glitterati"- Valley Prep's version of the Plastics- and is soon taken under their wings. As much as Willa enjoys being popular and spending time with the most popular girls in school, she soon learns there is much more to them than meets the eye when three new scholarship girls arrive at the school. These girls are not well off and Willa wants nothing more than to help them.
The Robin Hood aspect of the plot was very entertaining and I was always anxious to see how things would work out for Willa. She stole things from her rich peers and secretly gifted them to the scholarship girls. Willa meant well, but I never truly grasped her motivation for doing this. As anyone who is familiar with Robin Hood knows, Robin Hood steals from the rich to give to the poor, and that's what Willa does. I always like reading books involving rule-breaking and sneaking around (like Ally Carter's books) and Willa had to learn a lot about breaking and entering, lock-picking, etc to accomplish what she wanted to do.
Pretty Crooked's plot moved swiftly and I was never bored. Plot twists were in every chapter and there are still some things I have questions about- questions I am excited to see answered in the sequel!
Aidan, the romantic interest, was a great guy. I wasn't sure about him at first, but the more I read about him, the more I liked him. He wasn't the typical prep school guy and his rebellious streak made him that much more appealing. Other than Willa, he stood out the most, the rest of the secondary characters were not nearly as developed.
Pretty Crooked was a satisfying debut with an entertaining premise and a fantastic main character. I wish the ending wasn't so abrupt and although I didn't always connect with the plot, I enjoyed the read nonetheless. Elisa Ludwig will surely only grow as a writer and I'm eager to see what happens in Pretty Sly. I also have to add, there is just something about this cover that I adore. So cute! I recommend giving this a shot if you're a fan of contemporary YA and it left me eager to rewatch my Disney-version of Robin Hood DVD ;)
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
March 13, 2012/Katherine Tegen Books/358 Pages/Young Adult/Book One