Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Pretty Ugly By Kirker Butler

This is a book review for Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

After eight-and-a-half years and three hundred twenty-three pageants, Miranda Miller has become the ultimate stage mother. Her mission in life is to see that her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern United States. But lately, that mission has become increasingly difficult. Bailey wants to retire and the reality show Miranda has spent years trying to set up just went to their biggest rival. A bright new voice in satirical literature, Kirker Butler pulls no punches as he dissects our culture's current state of affairs. It's really funny, but it's also pretty ugly.

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is written by the creator of Family Guy so you know it's going to be twisted. If twisted is what you are looking for, then this is the book for you. Miranda is pregnant and is the stage mother to end all stage mothers. Her daughter, Bailey, has won more crowns than she can even count. She wants to retire but knows her mother won't allow it so she secretly skips workouts and binges on junk food to gain as much weight as possible. That's okay though because Miranda has big plans for her unborn daughter. Miranda's husband, Ray, works as many hours as he possibly can, both to pay for all the pageants Bailey competes in and to spend as much time away from home as possible. He is also a pill addict nurse who is juggling an affair with the seventeen year old granddaughter of one of his hospice patients. Joan is Miranda's mother and has delusions of Jesus actually speaking to her. The author also delves into Courtney's point of view (the mistress). Courtney is selfish, deluded and incredibly naive.

As you can see, there is really no sympathetic character in the book . . . except for the children of course. Miranda actually tells Bailey that it is a shame she isn't "blessed" with an eating disorder so she can remain thin. Little does she know, Bailey is well on her way to an eating disorder, just not the kind of eating disorder Miranda would prefer. Miranda and Ray also have two sons, who Miranda barely acknowledges. If the child isn't a girl she can dress up and parade around, she isn't interested. There is so much craziness and insanity going on in this book that it can seem pretty overwhelming at times. There wasn't one single character that I didn't want to shake. But I think that's the point of the book. Kirker Butler takes everything you think you know about stage moms, cheating husbands, young teenage girls, pageantry, and exaggerates it to the thousandth degree. Yes, some parts of the book made me angry but there were other parts that made me laugh out loud. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I am going to say buy. Yes, it is twisted but it is also compelling and so funny.

6 comments :

  1. Well, that's not surprising considering the forte of the author. This sounds fun, but I'd probably need a whole lot of understanding to be able to handle the crazies of the characters.

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    1. Oh yes, Joyous Reads that is true. I think you also just need to be in the right head space. :)

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  2. I am definitely reading this one! Looking forward to the crazy :) Really good review.

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    1. Thanks Ramona! I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. Sounds very twisted and a lot disturbing but I think I'd love it!

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    1. Thanks Trish! I hope you like it. It is awesome!

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