Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review: Chasing Pretty by Jennifer Lark

Chasing Pretty by Jennifer Lark
Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
See on: Goodreads

Buy links: Amazon

Ashlyn is sick of the attention her beauty brings to the point she may do something rash like smack her face against a cement wall, anything to alter her appearance.

As a senior at Mt. Timmons High, the boys date her for the bragging rights and the girls despise her out of jealousy. Even her own mother doesn't try to hide her contempt.

Mt. Timmons, Virginia is known for historical battles and colonial witch trials. Since childhood Ashlyn's been taught that this is the place where history is made. But all she wants to do is fade into obscurity when a scantily clad picture of her, that's been photoshopped by her ex, is circulated at school. As if life couldn't get any worse her car breaks down.

Zeus, the one man immune to her charms, offers her a ride home, he just has to make one quick stop. But that layover changes everything. There's a witch and a book of spells and Michael, the ideal boyfriend conjured from pure magic.

Ashlyn must choose between two men, the real thing or the dream, come to terms with her own appearance and keep her mother in the dark long enough to decide her future. All this while figuring out if the man who's stalking her is really her ex. There's magic swirling through the Virginia hills and it might just save Ashlyn's life...

**Thank you to the author for providing me the copy in exchange for an honest review.

“It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.” - Warsan Shire

Ashlyn considers her beauty both a fortune and a curse. She can get away with anything and yet must maintain the image set out by her mother. She can never do anything that could ruin how people perceive her: beautiful. And it traps Ashlyn. It limits her identity to being just a beautiful shell without a core. But she is more than that and the only person that was able to see and look into who she really is are her brother, Trevor, and Zeus. 

Of all the characters in the story, the one I liked the most is Trevor. In many scenes he was shown to be a boy who matured at a young age. He was able to read the many signs of distress that Ashlyn sends out whenever their mom is around and can also be really calm even when his sister's forehead was already bleeding. He even lent her his shirt to staunch the blood. And yet, upon meeting Zeus' family, he was able to show a childlike side to him. I like him because you can totally feel the tension of living in a house where imperfections were not allowed being lifted from his shoulders. He finally showed his child-like curiosity towards things when he began to relax and feel loved by Zeus' family. 

Oh, and I also totally loved Zeus' parents, Applejack and Stargazer. I loved Stargazer because of how eccentric she can be. At times, I do get the vibe that she's a witch but then, it spins into her just truly being unique. Though I can not really tell. Both of them could actually be placed in Narnia or the land of the hobbits and they'd totally fit in.

Story-wise, I like it a lot. The mystery as well as the magic weaved into it makes it a good read. However, there are times where I feel like a certain part can be removed and it would not be detrimental to the story such as the subplot regarding The Book of Spells. Star's eccentricity covers enough of the magical mystery that even without the book, it would still contain that sense of mystery and wonder of "Did that really happen? Or was it magic?"

Chasing Pretty might mislead you with its title but do not think twice about getting this book. This book presents mystery and magic into a tightly woven tapestry that would leave you wondering whether there's truly magic in this world or your own sense of wonder



  1. This book handles the conflict in a different way and I like it. Also, the magic elements makes the story interesting, I suppose. I will definitely have to check this out. :)

    Azee @ UnderCover Critique

  2. It will be interesting to see how it handles the conflict. Will be hard to integrate complex conflicts in a YA book. I'm sure the author did a great job of it if your review is any indication.
    I sure will. :)

  3. Yes you're right on how it handled the conflict. The conflict's really heavy and yet the book was able to maintain its YA vibe till the end.
    Tell me what you think of it when you read it :)
    Thanks for stopping by!


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Maira Gall