Review: Pretty Bad Things by C.J Skuse

Pretty Bad Things Sixteen-year old twins in Candy-Store crime spree. Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the 'wonder twins', when as six-year-olds they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother's death -three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life's not so wonderful. Out-cast and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother, they're still clueless about their dad's whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That's when they decide to hit the road - and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might get the dream reunion they thought could happen.

While this book was published last year, I had never heard of it until I was browsing the Chicken House website and loved the cover, I was intrigued by the blurb as well, it sounded funny and cute but also packs a punch.

You know what this book reminds me of? Those emo Hello Kitty toys, the ones that are all cute and pink and adorable but when you look a bit deeper it's a little bit dark and disturbing. The storyline is fantastic; it's funny and clever and has a very cute story but there are underlying truths there that add a tone a seriousness in there. I also loved how creative this story was, despite the book being contemporary, the pot is very crazy and not realistic, which isn't a problem because it makes it a whole lot more entertaining. Though this book is quite dark in some places, the perfect mix of the fun and the edgy level it out perfectly.

The characters are great, I loved Paisley, who was so cool and street-wise and despite going a bit off-the-rails she's also a very likeable character, while I didnt necessarily agree with the things she did I could see why. Paisley's brother, Beau is also a very likeable character who we see develop throughout the story from a shy, introverted boy to someone much more awesome and brave. The way these two behaved was also very believable and I loved the character dynamics. I do wish their grandmother had been developed a little more as then I'd find her actions and motivations easier to understand.

All in all, Pretty Bad Things is an enjoyable and witty read with fantastic story. I'm almost considering holding a 'Pretty Bad Things' party to get the word out because, really, this book really needs to be read!
Please note: This book does include quite a bit of swearing and some more mature themes.

Overall rating: A+

Stand alone/series: Stand alone

Paperback Release:March 1st 2010
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 272
Recommended for: Teen
Book obtained via: Given for review purposes by Chicken House 
Many kind thanks to Claire from Chicken House for getting this book to me!


  1. This book sounds really interesting! I've never heard of it before. I'm a new follower. Who are you rubber ducks? Just curious (:
    Come on over to my blog: and you can read some of my reviews and follow me back!
    -Katie @ Magic Is In Words

  2. I've never heard of this one before either. Shall add it to my good old Amazon wishlist now =D

    Thanks for a great review!


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