Monday 23 January 2012

Contemp YA Month: Pretty Bad Things - CJ Skuse

Pretty Bad Things – CJ Skuse

Pages: 265
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 1st March 2010

Other Titles by this Author: Rockaholic

Twins in candy-store crime spree...

I know what you’re thinking. Tearaway teens. Yadda yadda. Maybe you’re right. But we’re all out of choices.

Last time we made headlines, Beau and I were six-year-old ‘winder twins’. Little kids found alive in woods after three days missing, looking for our dad.

We’ve just hit sixteen and life’s not so wonderful. In fact, it sucks out loud. Still no Dad. Still lost. Still looking.

But now we’ve got a clue where Dad could be. Everything’s changed. It's a long shot, but we’ve got nothing to lose. In the words of Homer Simpson, seize the donut.

Pretty Bad Things is a quirky, funny and immensely entertaining.

Through dual narration, we get to hear from both Paisley and Beau, and you’d be hard-pushed to get two more opposing characters. Paisley is spiky, angry and hard for most of the novel – she’s one of those characters that you probably wouldn’t like in real life, but can’t help but love in a novel. She’s a little insane really and I can’t imagine how Beau put up with her. Beau on the other hand is very sweet and studious: the absolute reverse of Paisley. All the poor boy wants to do is read and learn! But by the end of the novel, you can see that the two are most definitely related...

Pretty Bad Things is rather bizarre in its plot line (ergo, awesome): a crime spree in Las Vegas sweet shops. I loved it. I want to visit so many of the shops that they targeted – America is literally a sweet-lover’s dream. And Las Vegas sounds amazing. The lights! The mad-cap hotel themes! The rides! Man, I want to go. It would probably be better if I waited until I’m twenty-one, however; then I can fully appreciate it.

I have to admit that Paisley’s single-mindedness in searching for her dad was impressive. For the entire time that her and Beau were in Vegas I was waiting for Paisley’s illusions about her dad to be shattered. And wow was I worried about how she’d take that.

I really have no idea why I waited to read Pretty bad Things for so long, but now I’m all set with Rockaholic and read more of CJ Skuse’s fantastic writing.

I purchased a copy of this myself.



  1. I've been meaning to read this forever! Thank you for the great review, which only makes me tell myself off more for not having read it yet. :)

  2. I've had this on my shelves for AGES and I really must get around to reading it! It sounds fun and strange..


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