making pretty by author Corey Ann Haydu


Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.

With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?


*A Junior Library Guild Selection

“This summer read has the ubiquitous quirkiness that has become a marker of contemporary adolescent realism and will appeal to fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell.”
– Kirkus

“Haydu’s dialogue shines.”
– PW

“In a breathy first-person narrative, Montana describes what it’s like to be lost and to finally find herself again, but she is not the only lost one: her father obsessively remakes all of his wives to be physically perfect, which ultimately distorts Montana’s understanding of love and acceptance. It’s a lot to let go of, and the addictive intensity of her relationship with her boyfriend doesn’t help matters, but with the help of friends and some self-reflection, she learns how to be herself on her own terms. Fans of Sarah Dessen’s character-driven novels will appreciate Montana’s journey of self discovery.”
– Booklist

“Montana’s fast-moving love affair with Bernardo is delicious but also troubling, as she realizes she’s emulating her father’s speed to the altar. Readers will vicariously thrill to the drama, but they’ll also feel for Montana’s struggle to find stability in the face of her ever-transforming family. ”