Review: Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, #1) by L.J. Shen
Pretty Reckless is an enemies to lovers book centered on Penn and Daria. When they were younger, the two had met and since then revenge is something that has not left their mind. After tragedy strikes, Penn is forced to move in with Daria and her family. Having him across the hall, is not what Daria had in mind when thinking about her senior year.
The enemies to lover trope is one of my favorite. Especially when the rich and poor dynamic is also woven in. There is just so much potential in storytelling and also so much to explore and develop amongst those characters. Also, the banter. Due to my fondness of Pretty Reckless I went in with high expectations. Unfortunately, I was left upset and disappointed.
The biggest issue that I had with Pretty Reckless is that all of the characters were unlikable. Every single one of them. Mistakes were definitely made by these characters. And I understand that people make mistakes. But the issue is that some of these characters repeatedly made the same mistake over and over. Especially, Daria. Daria’s actions set off a chain reaction. And unfortunately, she does not learn from her first mistake. Towards, the end of the book she does the same thing again. And this time to her own mother. There is never a full consequence for her actions. Instead, everyone seemingly forgives her and she becomes the victim. Someone else is made the villain, even though Daria is the one who ruined their hopes and dreams.
Another example of poor character choices can be found in the high school principal. He was a disgusting man. And I was immediately shocked when he’s “story arch” per say was introduced in the book. I was unaware prior to reading, but LJ. Shen had written a book about Daria’s parents meet cute prior to this one. So I wonder if she was attempting to show contrast between their meet cute and the whole principal ordeal. Nevertheless, it was an abused of power.
Pretty Reckless is a book that is dragged down by its overdramatic angst and extremely unlikable characters.