I got an e-ARC of Pretty Ugly to review and promote at my library if I liked it. It sounded hilarious, and as someone who watched an episode or two of Toddlers and Tiaras with her mouth on the floor, I couldn't wait to dig in.
The book is written by a producer for Family Guy, so I shouldn't have been as shocked by some of the things portrayed in the book, but I still was. It was funny, but it was also a lot darker than I was expecting. There's definitely some content that some readers will object to, or be uncomfortable with, but I flew through it.
My rating: 3.5 stars.
Summary from goodreads:
From a producer of
Family Guy, a satirical look at a dysfunctional family complete with a
stage mom, 9 year-old pageant queen, philandering husband, his
girlfriend, and the crazy grandmother
Miranda Miller’s mission in
life is to make sure her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to
be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern
United States. Lately, that mission’s been difficult. Bailey has been
secretly binge eating to gain weight so Miranda will let her retire; and
the reality show Miranda been trying to set up for Bailey (and herself)
just went to their biggest rival, Starr Kennedy and her tyrannical
stage mother, Theresa.
But Miranda’s got an ace up her sleeve.
She’s seven months pregnant with her fourth child, a girl, thank God,
and Miranda is going to make damn sure that this one will be a pageant
Unbeknownst to her, Miranda’s husband Ray, a nurse
with a hobby of popping random pills, has knocked up Courtney, the less
than brilliant seventeen-year-old orphan granddaughter of one of his
hospice patients. With a wife, a mistress, two jobs, three kids (and two
more on the way), a mountain of debt, and no real friends, Ray is
desperately hoping his life puts itself back in order.
the Millers’ two boys are being “homeschooled” by Miranda’s mother,
Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann), a well-intentioned widow who spends most of
her time playing solitaire and planning a murder with Jesus. Yes, that
They’re just your typical dysfunctional American family.