Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse

Publisher: The Chicken House

Goodreads Synopsis:

"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!


[Contains Spoilers.]

I saw this at Borders, during their closing sales, and thought it sounded good. I hadn't heard about it from anything, which is disappointing, because I really enjoyed. Mostly.
I really liked the characters, and thought they were really well thought out. They were very different from each other, I could tell who was who very easily, and I just generally enjoyed them. Paisley was very... not-nice, with a very hard exterior and not much of a softer interior, but more than her outside. She'd had such a hard time, especially with their grandmother, and her separation from their father and then from Beau. She didn't want much, just her brother and father. And then there's Beau. I just wanted to hug him most of the time. He's so sad, being bullied and separated from Paisley, the only person he has anymore. And yet he's so sweet, so very sweet. The only thing that bothered me about him was that he's a wimp. He really is, and I was hoping that he would grow out of it, at least a little, by the end of the book. So I was quite happy about his character at the end of it. Paisley didn't seem to change much by the end, though, besides reverting back maybe a little bit. I liked him more, though; he's more my type of character. There weren't very many scenes showing how close the twins were, though, so I didn't feel as much of a connection between them as I'd hoped.
Their grandmother played a very good villain. She was terrible, and I totally disliked her throughout the whole book. Some of it seemed exaggerated near the end, with her and her gardener just showing up. It could be not too far fetched, but maybe she just could have been written out better.
I really liked their father. Throughout all of the book all we knew about him was from the twins' memories, and it all seemed very sweet and cute or sad. I was kind of wary before we met him, hoping that there wasn't going to be some huge disappointment. There wasn't, so I was happy about that. And he was still very sweet and caring of them, which was nice to see.
The plot line I enjoyed. I liked the beginning, thought it started it out well and the scene before they head to Vegas was very nice. It was entertaining throughout it all. One thing that bothered me was all of the money that they were spending, because it seemed like such a waste, and I wanted them to realize that. I see why they did that though, with the whole robbing thing later. That bothered me some, with the gun and all, but it didn't bother me too much since they weren't actually hurting anybody. And all of that candy that they had! It was practically the only thing they ate and stole; it was ridiculous and made me kind of jealous.
The ending, though, I didn't like. They deserve better than to be on the run. They deserve happiness and all that, so that upsets me. That would be one of the only reasons I would want a sequel. More closure than that, and maybe for more of Beau, just 'cause he's adorable and I want to see him grow some more. 
I do hope that more of Skuse's books get released, though, because I liked her writing and characters, and I know she has another book out only in the UK. 

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