Pretty Bad Things – CJ Skuse: review

School counselor’s office, Immaculate Conception Academy, Lodi, New Jersey
Simpson fumbled getting the tape into the VCR. She was all, which button is it?
And I was like, How old are you and you can’t even work a friggin’ VCR?
‘I’d like you to watch this and tell me how you feel about it,’ she said, finally getting her fat ass out of the way so I could see the screen.”
Paisley and Beau are the wonder twins. Lost for three days in the woods near their house just after their mother was found dead they were found alive and well when everyone feared the worst. What followed was countless TV appearances and plenty of money going into a trust fund for them. Now 16 Paisley is a delinquent type, in her fourth boarding school because her grandmother cant, or doesn’t want to, look after her. Beau on the other hand is his grandmother’s doormat, in the nicest way possible.
Then they discover that their dad has been trying to write to them for years. Not just one letter but tonnes, and he tried to visit when he came out of prison. The last letter he sent places him in Vegas, so they follow, and Paisley has just the right plan to get them noticed.
I read CJ Skuse’s second book, Rockoholic, a month or so back and since I read that one I knew I had to get my hands on her first book. I knew I would love it as CJ’s writing style is just up my street. I love how real and down to earth she allows her characters to be and I really wasn’t disappointed with her first book!
I hadn’t heard a lot about the book before I read it so it kinda shocked me that it was set in America, as CJ is a British author, I expected it to be British. However this really didn’t put me off and the setting was awesome. I loved the reactions that Beau had when they arrived in Vegas, they were just the kind of reactions I would have! It also opened my eyes to the crazy stuff they have in Vegas, I must find out if it was all fact cos it seems crazy to me that they have a rollercoaster in a hotel!!
The twins were amazing chracters. Paisley was a totally ass-kick chick, and you know how I love them. She was the type to call a spade a spade and be done with it, and she had a totally hot wardrobe! I loved that although she was against the world she knew where her loyalties lay and she wouldn’t let anyone or anything get in between her and her dad and brother. If I met Paisley Id totally shake her hand… well, if I got chance after her screaming obscenities at me!
Beau was a bit of a weedy character at first and I kinda had mixed feelings, I hated the people who had just thrown him in a dumpster but also kinda wanted him to grow a pair. But he got better and he was a loving character all the way through.
The plot was hilarious in places, it really would make for an awesome movie! All the way through I was totally engaged thinking “what are you doing?!” and “omg, Paisley is crazy, please Beau do something about her!” I totally wanted it to be a happy ending, but I wont spoil any of that for you!
I would recommend Pretty Bad Things to anyone. It was a really engaging read and I really do love how realistically portrayed the characters are… there are lots of swears in this, and Cj Skuse’s second book, and you know how much I love the swears! 😀

Pretty Bad Things was released in March 2010 by Chicken House books. Rockoholic followed in March 2011 and a third untitled book is due for release in March 2012.


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