Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pretty Wanted (Pretty Crooked #3) by Elisa Ludwig

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Available March, 17, 2015

Willa’s string of good-hearted but ill-conceived thefts at her former high school catapulted her into a life she hardly knows. She became a cult hero, but soon afterward, her mom disappeared, leaving only a cryptic message. When Willa hit the California highway to find her, she discovered a dark family secret: Joanne Fox is not who she says she is-and neither is Willa. Now, Willa and fellow trouble-maker Aidan must race to St. Louis, Missouri, Willa’s birthplace. There, they hope to find answers about Willa’s past. But uncovering the truth requires solving a decades-old murder case.

Unfortunately, the perps are still out there . . . and willing to do whatever it takes to keep the case cold. With Willa’s face on the nightly news and the police hot on her trail, it might not matter that Aidan and her friend Tre are there to help. Willa’s only hope is to find the truth before it finds her first.

If I had any worries about being able to catch up with Willa and company in book three, they were quickly erased within the first few pages. Ludwig does a nice job of bringing the reader up to speed on Willa’s exploits – they’re heading to St. Louis to put the final pieces of the puzzle regarding her mother. Aidan, that trusty mischief-maker is with her as they dodge the authorities and make due with what little cash and resources they have.   I can’t believe they’re still at it but Willa’s a stubborn young woman who’s nothing but determined to get to the bottom of all her family troubles.

The story still has plenty of energy with these two on the lam and now Willa and Aidan must put their minds together to solve the latest mystery which means drudging up details from a painful past. It’s a lot that can confuse Willa and there were a few times when she didn’t make the best decision. Still you can hardly blame a fifteen year-old who’s desperate to get at the truth. She and Aidan make more headway than any of the local or federal authorities have in all these years. The problem is that Willa has to accept some unpleasant facts about her family history. And when she’s not thinking straight, she could land herself in a spot of trouble.

It seems that being on the run and in the public eye has cured Willa of any of the adrenaline rush she initially experienced when her sensational Sly Fox persona first began. Now she wants nothing more than to just be normal and not in the middle of whatever mess she’s in. That longing isn’t enough though to change her mind about the direction she’s headed in. Her only guilt is that she has involved Aidan and her best friends Tre and Cherise in her problems.

There were a few moments where I wished Willa would think more clearly but like I said earlier, you can’t hold that against her. This has been a fun, clever series. Each book delivered a different adventure, all of them related. But I never would have predicted that what started out as a way to level the playing field between the haves and have-nots in Pretty Crooked and progressed in Pretty Sly, would ever lead to events by the end. And I think this is what I enjoyed most about the series – it kept me guessing. More impressive is that Willa herself had come very far from the person she was before. You'll be surprised by what she decides at the end. If you haven’t tried this series, definitely give it a go!

~ Bel

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