A review by Amanda.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author, Anne Pfeffer, for the opportunity to review Just Pru.
25 year old Pru Anderson has been raised to believe that she is incapable of functioning on her own. She lives with anxiety and depression, and with the help of her therapist, has moved away from her over-protective mother and domineering father for the first time. Two months into her new life, she’s barely left her apartment, her savings are almost gone, and she’s facing the horrible prospect of moving back home. Catastrophe strikes and propels Pru into an unfamiliar world.
Forced to interact with her neighbors after the building catches on fire, Pru is befriended by Ellen. Slightly older and ambitious, Ellen is a brilliant playwright and director. She takes Pru into her home and under her wing, introducing her to handsome, neurotic Adam and sexy, narcissistic Blake. When Pru proves to have incredible skill at managing difficult people, Ellen hires her as an assistant for her latest play. Suddenly, Pru has a job, friends, and a purpose for the first time in her life.
Just Pru is a cute, funny, poignant story. It was refreshing to meet a main character who defies the usual tropes. Pru is overweight and has very little self-esteem. She bases her interactions with other people on characters from TV shows and Lifetime Original movies and keeps a daily journal. Unlike other books with similar themes, Pru’s increasing sense of self-worth does not come from outside sources. She takes pride in accomplishments that might seem small to others and learns to trust her instincts. Her interactions with her parents are nicely balanced between horrifying and comedic. This could easily have become an overused Ugly Duckling story, where the plain girl is unaware of her appeal, gets a makeover and suddenly has men falling at her feet. Instead, when Pru’s clothes are destroyed in a fire, she borrows outfits from another neighbor and discovers that bigger women can dress fashionably, despite what her mother claims. Pru doesn’t have to lose weight or change her appearance on a fundamental level to feel good about herself.
This book was a simple, engaging story, with relatable characters and an emphasis on personal growth. Friendship takes precedent over romance, and readers will find themselves rooting for Pru to find happiness on her own terms.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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About the Book:
When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends … or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped.
What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru’s favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.
Thus begin the adventures of a girl who’s never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen’s whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director’s assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.
Only one thing can derail Pru’s exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it’s two things—and they’re in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?
Blurbs for the books in the giveaway:
When shy, anxious Pru loses her apartment in a building fire, she learns how to make friends and find love.
“….a laugh out loud, heartwarming story…. The eccentric characters are easy to fall in love with and to cheer for…” The Self Publishing Review
Girls Love Travis Walker
Despite his sexy charm and good looks, Travis must struggle to get the job and girl that he wants.
“This novel deserves every award it got… an incredible redemption story that’s both lighthearted and sincere…” http://www.talksupeblog.com
The Wedding Cake Girl
When expert scuba diver Alexandra wants to leave her island home for college, she must stand up to her difficult, demanding mother.
“A well written emotional plot with a lot of twists and turns that will keep you hooked from the beginning. Highly recommended for all YA genre fans…” http://www.coziecorner.blogspot.com
Any Other Night
After Ryan’s friend Michael dies with a secret, Ryan must take over Michael’s unfinished business.
“…. beautifully realized characters in a gripping, page-turning plot….This lively, fresh young-adult romance is Say Anything for a new generation…”
Reviewed as Loving Emily. www.kirkusreviews.com