Making Pretty


How did I get it?:
I bought it!


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?


Making Pretty is the first book that I’ve read by Corey Ann Haydu, but it won’t be the last. I thought Making Pretty was an interesting contemporary read. It felt a little long in parts and some it was a little predictable, but I think that’s becuse I read quite a lot of contemporary books.

In Making Pretty, we follow Montana, who has been left by her mother when she was younger. She feels let down by her sister who has changed since she went to college. Montana always felt like her sister was part of her, and now she has returning looking and acting differently, she feels lost and let down. Montana and Arizona’s father frequently marries women, encourages them to get plastic surgery to improve themselves and then divorces them. They despair of their father’s antics, and Montana is in for a shock when the new stepmother could be Karissa, someone that she thought was her new best friend.

I think you’ll either love or hate the characters in Making Pretty. They’re complex, confusing and some are quite irritating. But they’re unique and memorable. I thought their father was absolutely awful. He’s a plastic surgeon and believes that everyone should look perfect, or at least his idea of perfect. I cringed when I read that he gave his daughters gift certificate for plastic surgery. Way to raise their self-esteem, hey?! Their father obviously has his own hang ups but I thought it was awful that the sisters had to go through so many stepmothers. I’d like to say he had some redeeming qualities, but I really don’t think he did!

The reason why I haven’t rated this book any higher, was because I felt it was too long and even at the end of it, it didn’t really feel resolved. I felt sad for the girls that they were so insecure and so desperate to be loved. I don’t think Montana really grew as a character.

There’s no denying that Making Pretty is a well written book. It’s messy, controversial and definitely discussion worthy.

Would I recommend it?:

Making Pretty is full of irritating characters, but they’re intriguing at the same time. You’ll like this if you’re into messy contemporaries! 

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