Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: Pretty Bad Things by C. J. Skuse

By C. J. Skuse
Published July 1, 2011
Publisher: Chicken House
Hardcover, 256 pages

"Wonder Twins" on the run--and running amok--in Vegas. Road Trip!

Paisley and Beau are boldface names again. Last time, paparazzi called them the "Wonder Twins," two kids found alone but alive in the woods of exotic New Jersey. Three days after their mom's death -- and before their dad's criminal misdeeds.

Flash-forward to now: Their so-called lives? Suck out loud: Hating on their cougarized, Botoxic grandma, they're totally clueless about the location of ex-con Daddy. Till they discover a stash of old letters. That's when they decide to jack the Pontiac and hit the road. Holding up donut shops in Sin City might seem extreme, but if they can just get their pretty bad faces back on TV -- or TMZ -- they might wrap up their whole gaga saga with an Oprah-worthy reunion already! -Goodreads

4 Stars


What a roller coaster ride of a book! The plot was amazing, and not only was it a cute and hilarious story, but it was balanced out with some serious truths about the lives of two troubled teens.

Paisley and Beau's lives are terrible. After finding their mother dead (after committing suicide) the twins wander into the woods looking for their father, and are lost for three days. After that they are under the care of their evil grandmother (their father is in jail) who just exploits them for their money. Paisley also doesn't like to obey her grandmother, so she's sent from boarding school to boarding school to be kept out of the way. Pretty bad, right?

Beau starts out very shy and introverted, but I loved watching him grow out of his shell to become someone much more courageous and willing to take a chance. The grandmother I absolutely hated (but that was the point, she was the villain after all), but I sort of wondered what happened that made her so corrupt and loathsome.

Paisley is the more daring of the two, and can be sorta crazy sometimes, but she is just a troubled teen who is acting out. She curses a lot too, but that just goes with her whole bad-ass persona.Underneath, she is a very likable person. During some of the scenes in which Paisley enacts some of her more insane ideas, I was quite worried for her, and the consequences of her actions. At the same time I was like why would you do something so stupid? I still love her though, and despite my not always agreeing with her actions I can see her honest intentions behind them.

Speaking of some crazy things, so is robbing candy and donut shops, but that is what Paisley and Beau do. They are criminals in that way, but I couldn't help but like them and cheer for them. I just pitied them and wanted something good to finally happen for them. All they wanted was to get on TV so their dad would know that they were looking for him and that they still cared about him. While I was still sympathetic to their cause, they should have gained attention another way, not one that made them criminals. A bit of the plot was a bit far fetched, but that just made it more entertaining.

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a fast and amusing (yet serious) read, and as there isn't much romance, I think guys would also like it. Cheers, and I wish Paisley, Beau, and their dad a happily ever after.

Purchase this book at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository


  1. Wow! What a great review. This definitely sounds like a fun story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This sounds really good! And I love how the girl on the cover sort of matches the badass description of Paisley! Plus I just love that name, Paisley!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  3. Oh yay, so glad you liked this! I read Skuse’s other novel, Rockoholic earlier in 2012, and it was basically the way you describe this: fast and funny with surprising seriousness. It’s good to hear the author can consistently tell that kind of story.


Please share your thoughts! We really appreciate your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...