When I first heard this book was on its way, I was super excited. I loved Corey Ann Haydu’s other books and could not wait to get my hands on this one, cover lust aside.I remember reading those books, OCD Love Story and Life By Committee, and enjoying them. So I guess I had high expectations for Making Pretty as well. It’s about a girl named Montana, who is trying to find where she belongs in the world, while dealing with the fact that her father’s a plastic surgeon perfectionist, her friend and sister ditched her and she’s made a new friend that isn’t the best influence. That’s a brief summary of the blurb given. Here’s how reading it went down:

At first, I couldn’t get into it because of the way I’m introduced to Montana. I didn’t find her likeable (to be honest, she seemed a bit immature) , but I did think she was intriguing. There would be so many thoughts that I would find brilliant and worth saying aloud. The problem is she never says these things aloud. Even though she was on the losing end of the fight, I wanted to see what happened and if she would right the wrongs set in the beginning. I guess I’ll always love the underdog.

Montana is sort of a sad character but with given reason. Her mother left her, followed by several stepmothers. Her father is only looking to change her into the person he wants her to be, because apparently she isn’t good enough aesthetically. In this book, she has a confusing relationship with her sister, who does not want to share her sister with anyone and at the same time, leaves her sister out of decisions and events. Feeling left out of these relationships that should be a given, Montana seeks them out in other places, like a new friend or a boyfriend. Ironically enough, these characters are also seeking out a connection. Her boyfriend, Bernardo, is just crazy about love and loving Montana, while Karissa seems to want a connection for a different reason.

All throughout the book, there are instances where characters are trying to control a certain thing. Like when the father, Sean Varren, changes his wives and then divorces them. Or when Karissa uses her family’s “tragedy” to get what she wants. Montana eventually incorporates control in the way she thinks , labelling everything and everyone as “something”, because she cannot hand the unknown. In fact, she even goes to her step mothers and eventually her mother (even though it isn’t shown) to get answers from them, about why it didn’t work out. What this book shows is that sometimes you don’t need to control every little aspect of your life in order to be happy. Throughout the book, there is a lot of drinking going on, and in those moments, the characters are more honest, with truths being revealed that wouldn’t necessarily come out sober. Corey Ann Haydu turns what would be ordinary events in someone’s life into something worth reading, relating and reeling about. This is why I love her writing so much! To this book, I would give a four star rating!

I would love to hear what you all have to say about this book or any other books by Corey Ann Haydu. Please comment if you do. Any other tidbits on how to improve my post would be helpful as well! Until next time, keep reading!

-Sumaya

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