Making Pretty – Corey Ann Haydu


Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.

With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?


I’ve never read anything quite like this before. If you stop and think about what is happening, the entire plot seems absolutely absurd. Most times, books aren’t good unless you can relate to them on a fundamental level. And although there are so many unrelatable aspects of the plot, the themes are universal. Beauty. Confidence. Being young and invincible like you are living right there, in the centre of the universe.

Above all, Corey Ann Haydu is a master at writing books about losing control. It’s a thing of wonder to see Montana slowly accept wilder and wilder situations. I definitely sympathized with Arizona. She had to accept and love some seriously messed up stuff. I loved Natasha’s role in the story. Tess and Janie’s reactions were realistic as well.

My only gripe was where the story ended. I really wish we got some CLOSURE. Their mom played such a large role in the story, and we deserved to know how she would react to seeing her kids. And what was happening with Karissa? That relationship doesn’t seem sustainable at all. I wish the characters all grew more, by the end of it. If ever, it seemed like a sad story about how the more things change, the more they stayed the same.

Related Reading

  • OCD Love Story – Corey Ann Haydu
  • 45 Pounds (More or Less) – K.A. Barson
  • Life By Committee – Corey Ann Haydu
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

Rating: 4/5


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