Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse

Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse from The Figment Reviewby Emily

Pretty Bad Things begins: “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?

And then the reviewer was all, This is going to be a LONG book.

Paisley and Beau Argent are twins with a seriously tragic past. When they were six, their mother killed herself in front of them and they were lost in the woods for days looking for their father, who went to prison for holding up a hotel. But the story really begins when Beau finds letters from their father spanning the past ten years. Knowing that her father had actually been writing, Paisley decides to get herself expelled from her 5th boarding school. Naturally, she returns home, burns down her Grandmother’s house, and she and Beau head to Las Vegas in search of their father.

Finding him is more difficult than they expected, so they (of course) choose to draw the attention of the media by robbing candy stores (but only of candy). Dubbed “The Wonder Twins”, they become a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde in an attempt to reunite with their father.

I enjoy snark as much as the next bitchy girl, but Paisley’s over-the-top attitude and pointed wit comes across as very false. Every line of dialogue is a quip. Not only is that annoying, it’s exhausting.

And I enjoy melodrama as much as the next sheltered suburbanite, but this book has no anchor. From the very first moment, the characters are unrelatable. Something needs to be grounded- either the characters or the situation. This book has outlandish characters doing outlandish things in an outlandish setting. Millionaire twin orphans on the lam in Las Vegas robbing candy stores to find their jailed father and escape their ex-soap star, gun wielding grandmother? It sounds like a Disney Channel Movie trying to play with the big kids. All Pretty Bad Things needs is a musical number.

And I was like, I get it, Book. You’re trying to be a teen version of The Hangover. But you don’t need to try so hard. In fact, please don’t.

Just so you don’t think I’m all doom and gloom, I do like that Pretty Bad Things isn’t a love story. And that the cover isn’t a female torso.

But all in all, and feel free to let me know if this is too easy, Pretty Bad Things is a pretty bad thing.


Emily is a young New Yorker and aspiring hipster who enjoys the Real Estate section of the New York Times, ice coffee, snuggies (actually anything sold on T.V. – including bump-its), and flipping her perfect, glossy curls over her shoulders.

One thought on “Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse

  1. I think that this book is an amazing story, I do understand how you see Paisley as annoying and fake but I think that it adds to the character of the book!It may seem fake but you know immediately what kind of person she is!! I think that it has the capability of being a cliché but only from a certain point of view!!
    All in all I loved this storey and want it to be made into a movie!! NOT a Disney film 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *