I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on January 15, 2019
Format: ARC (304 pages) • Source: TLC Book Tours
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A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.
Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.
Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.
I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town.
Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as a “mean girl,” just someone who judged everyone so quickly based on clique-related assumptions. I was ready to see her grow as a character throughout the story.
Aside from those moments, I liked Andie from the beginning – she and her mom had a close movie-related bond that I really appreciated. It was fun to see the different kinds of days she had once she realized she had nothing to lose. She even took up about a MILLION hobbies in that time period, which was so funny – why not, when you have so much time?! I loved watching her come to realizations about high school, cliques, and being true to yourself. I think there were some moments where her inner dialogue was a bit preach-y and lecture-ish (like my invention of words there?) but overall it was sweet to see her learn. I hope those who read the book pick up on these messages!
The ending and the romance were adorable. I wish I could have read more pages in this book because I would have loved to see how Andie was affected with the decisions of that day…. no spoilers 🙂
About Laurie Boyle Crompton
Laurie Boyle Crompton is the author of several YA books, including Adrenaline Crush and Love and Vandalism. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. She has written for national magazines like Allure, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared onGood Day New York several times as a toy expert. And yes, “toy expert” is an actual profession. She grew up in a small town in western PA and now lives near NYC with her family and one enormous and very fuzzy “dog toy expert” named Baxter Bear.