Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig

Monday, March 31, 2014

About the Book:
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Publisher: Katherine Tegen, an imprint of HarperCollins
Source: Author, ARC Copy
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Series: Pretty Crooked – Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
Hotly following on the heels of the events of Pretty Crooked, the next story in this contemporized Robin Hood-esque invention goes a step further than petty thieving. Staying out of trouble and accepting her punishment is something 15-year-old Willa Fox is willing to accept as she knows not just how badly she messed up by thieving from her wealthy classmates, but also the disappointment she caused her mother. Only trouble now is her mom has disappeared and though she’s been told by her mother no to follow, Willa cannot seem to stay behind without answers. Despite the parole violation she will raise by leaving, she again falls into old habits with the assistance of her friends including her crush, Aidan Murphy who just happens to be willing to take to the open road with Willa in pursuit of finding her mother.

Everything about the first novel was really setting up this sequel – from the bread crumbs of secrets dropped about to Willa’s foray into criminal mastery, the set-up was unavoidable. Usually I’m not the biggest fan of road trip stories, they more often than not bore me, however as was the case with this novel, sometimes I get sucked in and that’s what happened with this novel. It read even better than the first and while I find Willa a sometimes-hard-to-like heroine, in this present at least there is a better reason for her taking a walk on the wild side. Vulnerable and worried over a future, she set out to fight for and protect that future only to set in motion a series of events that she never could have foreseen.

For the most part, this is a fun, quick read. The cute guy is a bad boy who doesn’t fall into the same stereotypes (he’s got oodles of secrets, yes, though I don’t think they are going to pan out as being of the norm) and irrespective of Willa's personality who hasn’t always been the most endearing titular Robin Hood – although knowing she’s only 15 sort of excuses some of her jumping in without thinking attitude, though I am liking the people around her, including her friends and the occasional appearance of a certain FBI agent. Ludwig does a good job of upping her premise in book two, making us guess what will go down (even though readers can surmise the big reason for the mystery, all of the little things leading up may throw up for a loop) instead of staying in a rut and possibly getting stale which promises to keep things hopping once Elisa’s presumed third book will release. It’s been a long while since there has been a more fun pair of on-the-run crooks in a long while!  

(Parental review; there are a few innuendos and one kissing scene is a bit suggestive, some profanity including sh*t, h*ll and some minor crudities. Willa and Aidan break into homes while on the run, steal cars, etc.)

Synopsis: Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble. In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.

However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.

But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong. – Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the author, Elisa Ludwig for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.


  1. I love this cover and am always excited to find fun quick reads!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Me, too, Missie. Quick, fun reads are always a blast! Hope you like this one - it's very cute. :)

  2. I miss my reader friends :) Just had to drop by and say that. I hope you're doing well, Rissi. Well-written review.

    1. We (I) miss you too, Ganise! :) Your absence is definitely noted around the blog and/or twitter universe. Super glad you are stopping by blogs so we can still chat!

      Thanks for reading. :)

    2. Warms my heart :-) Bless you, Rissi.

    3. Meant every word, Ganise. <3

  3. Bummer on there being some language. I was hoping to share this series with my niece, but I'm really picky about what I pass on and language isn't allowed unless it's super mild and very rare. I'll still be reading this though.

    1. I agree, Tressa! It's hard to find clean YA/teen fiction today and I don't blame you on being picky - my family was too. It's hard to know the limitations when recommending because while we were growing up, my family was very strict but others aren't as much so, which makes it difficult to know what the standards are when recommending. I hope you can find some books to share with your niece... :)


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