AUTHOR: Jillian Lauren
Pretty is the emotionally raw story of a young woman desperately trying to put her life together after the tragic accident that killed her boyfriend a year ago. Bebe Baker is the young woman in question; and her life is anything but manageable. After working her way through the list of societal taboos: drug addiction, stripping, born again Christianity; Bebe is toiling away in beauty school and residing in a half-way house with people she can barely tolerate while dating a severely psychiatrically disturbed fellow halfway houser, Jake.
We watch as she makes a series of choices that seem inevitable in themselves, but which cumulatively serve to nearly unravel everything she is half-heartedly working for. Her inability to get over her ex's death keeps her in a relationship with a man who can do nothing else other than to take her down. Her defiance got her through life thus far, but may be the thing that does her in at the end of it all. Her sobriety is precarious at best and her graduation from beauty school seems unpredictable. The true wild card is her future; no one can predict that. The ending truly will shock you!
Jillian Lauren has written an excellent novel that avoids falling into the usual cliches and remains honest and unflinching to the very end. She endows Bebe with such characteristics that make it impossible to do anything other than root for her -even when it seems useless. The secondary characters round things out and the ending - while a little far fetched - is gratifying. Pretty gets my recommendation.