Feb 26, 2012

Review & Interview: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Title: Pretty Crooked
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 3.13.2012
Pages: 358
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Yes (Pretty Crooked #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.

Take the Robin Hood mythology and blend it with a heaping dose of Gossip Girl and you get Pretty Crooked; a fun, cute, and amusing read that left me wanting more. Elisa Ludwig does a fantastic job giving a glitzy, modern twist to an old story.

Willa was hysterical to read. She amused and intrigued me to no end from the harrowing beginning to the very end. I’m so glad this is going to be a series, because I look forward to reading about her adventures. I loved her heart and how she truly had the best of intentions when she stared crusading for the less fortunate girls in her school.

But Willa is just one awesome character in a myriad. The supporting cast from her supportive, yet often secretive mother down to the Glitterati (seriously, how cool a name is that for a group of spoiled, rich girls?). I loved the way they all interacted and the relationships Willa had with each of them. The only one who left me a little confused was Aidan. There’s something about him I still don’t entirely trust, but I suppose that will be explored in future books. At least I hope it will.

The details to this story were what really tied thing together for me. Either Ludwig is nursing a serious shopping addiction in her spare time, or she did her homework when it comes to fashion. I love that I could literally picture every scene in my head because of her details.

If you’re looking for something quick and cute to read on a rainy afternoon, I recommend you snag a copy of Pretty Crooked. It’s got great writing with an entertaining concept.

Interview with Elisa Ludwig:

1. What was your inspiration for writing Pretty Crooked?

The initial idea for the story came from a combination of Robin Hood and the Barefoot Bandit, who was in the news at the time. But while I was writing it I also watched a lot of Veronica Mars and Moonlighting for character inspiration and classic heist movies for plot ideas.

2. Have you always been a fan of the Robin Hood mythology?

Yes—it’s pretty hard to resist that story. In the current moment, it feels especially relevant.

3. Who is your favorite Robin Hood (actor) or movie version of Robin Hood?

Well, just for fun, I would have to say John Cleese’s version in Time Bandits, which is wonderfully silly.


4. What are you currently working on?

I just finished the sequel to Pretty Crooked, and I will be starting the third book very soon. Very excited about that. I’m just having the best time with them. I’m also working on an unrelated novel that I am too superstitious to talk about. So it’s busy around here!

5. What was your initial reaction at seeing the cover?

I loved it immediately. It had the right combination of glamour, sass and intrigue. I also love how fresh it feels with the graphic pattern and the contrasting colors.

6. What was the last book you read?

I just finished Divergent. I know, I’m the last person on earth, but I’m constantly behind! In any case, it was worth the wait.

7. What book are you most excited about in 2012?

Oh my. There are so many. Can I just say that I am excited for ALL of the Apocalypsies books to come? Because, seriously, I am!

8. Describe Pretty Crooked in 15 words or less!

When Willa finds out her friends are bullies, she takes justice into her own hands.

Thanks so much for having me, Hannah! This was really fun.


  1. Robin Hood is a fun fairytale, and this sounds like a really well written re-imagining. I love it when authors are great at painting word pictures!

  2. A Robin Hood kind of story - nice. Thanks for sharing.


  3. This was such a fun read and I'm really glad it's a series, too! I want to find out what else Willa and her friends will get themselves into! There were so many great characters in the book and I do like Aiden, but I am Team Tre all the way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the interview :0)

  4. This looks like a pretty cute book! I love the cover :)

  5. i've been looking forward to this book for a while, and your review makes me want to read it that much more! thanks for the interview too : )

  6. Oh there is a interview too! Pretty interesting!!! Thanks for the great review and interview i will be sure to check this book out!

  7. As soon as I read that this is a modern day Robin Hood with a high school student in the lead part, I wanted to read it! It sounds like such a fun story! I loved your interview with Elisa, too - it's always nice to get to know the author of the books I want to read a little bit better :) Thanks for the awesome review and interview!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  8. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy! The humor is an added bonus! I agree with the author, I love the cover!

    Great review!

  9. sounds like a great book. I love to laugh while reading, of course, I do get some odd looks if I'm reading in public! I just found out about this book yesterday and now I see it everywhere!

  10. This looks really entertaining! I love the Robin Hood twist. Thanks for the review!

  11. I am dying to read this book so bad. It has been on my to read list forever :D

  12. I love modern spins on classic tales. Great review and interview.

  13. This one looks really cute. Your review makes me want a copy of it now.


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