Pretty Bad Things | CJ Skuse | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pretty Bad Things | CJ Skuse | Book ReviewPretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2011-07-01
Genres: Action & Adventure, Family, Runaways, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Twins are so cool. No, really, they are. Especially ones who are on the wrong side of the law. Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse hits my list for what is cool and what is not, when it comes to twins. If you are looking for a fast read that just begs you to keep flipping the pages, you’ve come to the right book. Pretty Bad Things is one of those white knuckle books. Although it has it’s fair share of flaws, I ended up liking CJ Skuse’s young adult contemporary book about teenage criminals on the whole. 

When Paisley and Beau were six years old, their mother committed suicide and they ran away from home into the woods. The two survived and were found after three days. This made them media darlings. Unfortunately, their dad was jailed for robbery and the two were sent to live with their grandmother. Y’all, grandmother Virginia is one of those cougar types who is hellbent on keeping her youth, and a former actress.She is horrid and physically abusive towards the twins.

Virginia is unable to handle Paisley and so, sends her from boarding school to boarding school. Paisley keeps getting kicked out.At this last boarding school, Paisley gets herself kicked out on purpose and comes home to Beau. The two strike up a plan to hold up different candy shops and dessert stands in Sin City in order to catch the attention of their missing dad. Will this work out for them? Get your hands on Pretty Bad Things and find out.

CJ Skuse’s Pretty Bad Things has first person chapters that alternate between Paisley and Beau. Although the two are twins, they could not be more different. Paisley is a total badass, you guys. Although, there are moments where I thought she came across as really, really mean. Then again, she has her walls up so that no one can hurt her. You see, Paisley is the one calling the shots when it comes to the armed robbery. She is the one who hatches the plan. She also is very, very angry and impulsive. She does not think twice about doing anything, including burning Virginia’s house to the ground. Y’all, there is no way that I could NOT like Paisley even though she does need some sort of impulse control.

As for Beau, he is more the quiet and contemplative type. His still waters run deep if you know what I mean. Unlike Paisley, Beau is kind of awkward and finds himself getting beat up at school. He’s often described as a doormat and weak. Yet, we know he’s not a wuss or anything. I did not mind Beau’s chapters, he provides a nice contrast to Paisley, however, I think that Paisley was much more exciting and fun to read about.

If I had to describe the writing style in Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse, I would say that it is kind of hipster and jive talking, there are lots of swears. However, Pretty Bad Things is very fast paced. On the whole though, there is not really a sort of unified mood or feeling. It’s quite uneven. I guess I would describe it as gallows humor in that the teens are in a very, very tough situation and this is dealt with using humor. If you’re looking for a contemporary book with an oddball storyline, check out Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse. It is not for everyone, but it is not what I would call a terrible read either. OH and the ending is kind of a cliffhanger in that not everything is perfectly resolved with a bow. I guess it fits the overall attitude of the book though.

Other reviews of Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse:

Christina Reads YA – “a fun and fast-paced read
Books For Company – “C.J. has put so much character into this book
YA Novelties – “What a roller coaster ride of a book


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Lols, this cover. Um, so I had not heard of this and bahaha hipster and jive talking = Christina out.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted..Review: Red by Alison CherryMy Profile

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