Monday 7 July 2014

Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse

Life is not so wonderful for sixteen-year old twins, Paisley and Beau Argent. 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.

I didn't really know much going into it, apart from the normal expectations that comes with CJ's writing. What I found was a dual narrative between the twins as they ditched their botox-ed grandmother and went on the road to find their dad. 

As I've come to expect from CJ's books, this was funny and touching at the same time, plus full of ridiculous dramatic acts of violence and arson. Yeah, that makes sense once you know Paisley's character. CJ did really well in writing completely opposing personalities; Paisley was the wild child, school drop-out, fighter and tough skinned; Beau was cautious and quiet, used to letting Paisley take the lead. They couldn't be more different but being twins, they had that connection and only had each other to lean on. 

Semi-famous from the time they were found in the woods after three days of being lost, it doesn't take long for Paisley's evil brain to use this to speed up the search for their dad, by robbing sweet shops along the Strip in Vegas! Las Vegas was just... wow. The madness of the rides, the hotels, the grand lights really came through on the page and matched their frantic search perfectly. I just hoped it worked out for them, because if anyone needs a happy ending, it was these two. 

I absolutely loved this, from Paisley's sharp wit to the weird turn their search took; it became more than just them finding their dad, they practically became national heroes for any child cut from their parents. It was very sweet and completely unexpected that they had all this support. A fantastic and very funny read that has everything I love about CJ's books.

Published 1st February 2010 by Chicken House. 

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