Let’s start by saying I loved this book!
Pretty in Punxsutawney is not quite my usual genre but from the title and publisher’s note, I knew that this would be a mashup of two of my favorite movies: Pretty in Pink and Groundhog Day. But nothing prepared me for the Greek mythology and psychological inclusions and the indelicate references to teenage angst that I remember from my own youth. It’s exactly the kind of book I would want to recommend to a young girl who thinks that her most urgent needs center on impressing the popular, cute boy with whom she has nothing in common. She’s the girl you want to reassure that she can still communicate her intelligence so that anyone paying attention will notice, and that gradually, she’ll be able to sift out the ones who’ll be around for the long term.
In this novel, the heroine is Andie (named after the main character in Sixteen Candles) because her mother is a huge fan of John Hughes’ movies and uses the cinematic scenes to teach her daughter how to handle social situations. During a summer where they’ve moved to Punxsutawney, PA for Andie’s senior year of high school, she’s met the cute jock, Colton, and worked with (for) him in a multiplex, where their boss is a fellow classmate, Tom. But the first day of school, which Andie is hoping will take her friendship with Colton to romantic heights, reveals things about the two boys that she couldn’t see outside of the high school setting. Mercifully, she gets a do-over and then a seemingly infinite number of them, which might be just enough time to figure out why things don’t measure up to Andie’s expectations and what she can do about them.
Mentioned in this charmingly nostalgic read of course are Punxsutawney Phil, the future predicting-groundhog, the Greek Sisyphus who is cursed to complete the same task and roll the same boulder uphill everyday only to have it undone overnight. There are also mentions of other 1980s and 1990s favorite movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Beetlejuice, Grease and Footloose that make it feel like this book was written for readers like me who will remember these old favorites, but which will probably also help to introduce and endear these films to a whole new audience.
But other than the delightful movie references, Boyle Crompton explores YA tropes and even explains them for unfamiliar-with-the-genre readers like me, but then dismantles them in such a way that endears our teenage heroine but also shows how sometimes you don’t need to live the same over and over to make good decisions. For example, she has the lovesick experience a meet-cute and then rethink her impression of it. She demolishes the love triangle trope by having our main character choose one boy over another. And in this book, the author doesn’t just includes parents, which are often omitted from YA novels, but writes parents who run the gamut from permissive and overindulgent to steady and sober to show the impact of authority. But the number one accomplishment of the book, I think, is the heroine’s impressions of social structure and her attempt to orchestrate a more inclusive teen society. In such, Boyle Crompton achieves an almost rewrite of some of these nostalgic movie but with even more positive impact.
I loved this book and the publishers have graciously allowed me to host a giveaway where you can win your own copy of this delightful read.
In order to enter, please comment below your favorite scene/character from any of the movies mentioned above. If you haven’t watched any of the movies and sill want to enter, just copy and paste ” I always choose books over movies.. but I still love movies” in the comments below.
Giveaway ends at midnight on February 2 (Groundhog Day)
At the stroke of midnight on Groundhog Day, I will choose a winner at random and make an announcement here and on social media. Then when I wake up the morning after, let’s see if the announcement stands or if I’ve Got You Babe is playing on the radio and we have to draw it again (movie reference)
- Title: Pretty In Punxsutawney
- Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
- Genre: YA
- Pages: 304
- Format: Hardcover
- Publication Date: January 22, 2019
I received a free Advance Reader Copy of Pretty In Punxsutawney from TLC Book Tours and Blink Ya Publishers in order to complete this review but that did not influence my opinion. This is a book I would have bought myself if I had known how perfectly nostalgic and hopeful it would turn out to be.
Click the blogs listed below to read other reviews of this novel
- Monday, January 14th: Bookmark Lit
- Monday, January 14th: @bookish_nel
- Tuesday, January 15th: Books Before Bedtime and @booksbeforebedtime
- Wednesday, January 16th: A Bookish Way of Life
- Thursday, January 17th: @the_readers_nook
- Friday, January 18th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
- Monday, January 21st: Run Wright
- Tuesday, January 22nd: 100 Pages a Day
- Wednesday, January 23rd: Book Fidelity
- Thursday, January 24th: Blooming with Books
- Friday, January 25th: @katielmae
- Monday, January 28th: From the TBR Pile
- Wednesday, January 30th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
- Thursday, January 31st: Kahakai Kitchen
- Friday, February 1st: Books a la Mode
- Saturday, February 2nd: @love_my_dane_dolly
- Monday, February 4th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
- Tuesday, February 5th: Write Read Life
- Wednesday, February 6th: Helen’s Book Blog