PRETTY IS by Elizabeth Holmes

PRETTY IS

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dreading her life as she makes the transition from elementary school to middle school, Erin fears her upcoming summer—maybe her whole life will stretch into dismal boredom, because Kayla, her “best friend,” is palling around with someone else, rejecting her with ambiguously sarcastic yet damning comments. Lonely and stuck with her unpopular sister who knits and plays basketball, her black mood navigates the plot and intensifies her experiences. There is no comfort zone, only fear, depression and stress, silently moving the anguished conversational prose to expected disaster. Expertly, Holmes manipulates the text and mood, as a new friend holds Erin’s hand to the scissors, and in a daze, Erin cuts off the luminous curls of her once best friend. This urgent dark tone has a compelling immediacy. Her loving family, a bright spot, brings quick repercussions and appropriate punishments, helping her to face consequences and herself. This first-time novelist realistically creates the angst-filled tween’s world with darkness and hope, the bright “pretty” cover and title a sardonic link to life’s complexities. And how great a nickname for a new middle-schooler: Scissors. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-525-47813-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2007




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