Lisa Burstein

This Be Where I Blog

A pre-peek of PRETTY AMY chapter 1

on March 27, 2012

Hey Guys!

In honor of the YA scavenger hunt this week, I will be posting a link of ALL of chapter one of PRETTY AMY on my FB page. Here’s sneak peek of the first section of chapter one edited to PG-13 for the hunt. 🙂

Unfortunately, I am only myself. I am only Amy Fleishman.

I am one of the legions of middle-class white girls who

search malls for jeans that make them look thinner, who

search drugstores for makeup to wear as a second skin, who

are as sexy and exotic as blueberry muffins.

I am a walking, talking True Life episode. Your highschool

guidance counselor’s wet dream, and one of the only

girls I know to get arrested on prom night.

When my mother dropped me off at Lila’s, rather than

running like hell the way I usually did, I sat next to her in our

minivan and waited for a speech. The speech mothers give to

their only daughters on nights when those daughters are all

dressed up and the mothers look all wistful and teary.

I assumed she was building up to it, was working through

exactly what she was going to say so it would be perfect. I

knew from TV that she must have practiced in the mirror, but

maybe, faced with having to say all those things to me, she’d

frozen up. I could understand that.

When I saw Lila peek out to see who was sitting in her

driveway, and then felt my phone vibrate with a text that I

knew must say, WTF R U DOIN?, I figured I had waited long


“So this is it…,” I said. My mother stared at Lila’s small,

birdsh*t-gray house and bit at what was left of her nails. After

I’d started hanging out with Lila and Cassie, my mother

gnawed at her nails the way a baby sucked her thumb. “…my

senior prom,” I continued.

Maybe she was overwhelmed. Her little girl was all grown

up. Her ugly duckling had finally become a swan.

“I don’t want to ruin this for you, so I’m choosing to hold

my tongue.”

My mother loved using old-time folksy sayings. Hold your

horses. The early bird catches the worm. The penis with two

holes puts out the fire faster.

All right, fine, I made up that last one.

She had been holding her tongue for a while now. When

yelling at me about my “degenerate” friends hadn’t helped,

she went for the semi-silent treatment.

Stupid me for trying to get her to talk.

“There’s something very wrong with this, Amy,” she said.

She meant that Lila’s boyfriend, Brian, had arranged a

date for me. My mother had never met this boy. I had never

met this boy. It may have seemed wrong to her, but I was used

to Lila bringing the boys. And, it was still my senior prom. It

was still my night, and she couldn’t even have a special, sappy

moment with me.

“I want to tell you to have a good time, to enjoy every

moment, to be safe, but I know you won’t listen anyway. I

know you’ll do what you want to do.”

She was talking to herself again.

My mother’s favorite hobbies were talking to herself

and bitching. Though I suppose those were hobbies for most

mothers, my mother honed them like skills. If bitching were

karate, my mother would be a black belt.

I looked down at my dress. It was strapless and light blue

to bring out my eyes, which weren’t blue, but raccoon gray,

and picked up whatever color I put next to them. The bodice

was tight and shiny, like what a superhero might wear, and the

skirt flared out and fell just below my knees. When my mother

had seen it hanging on the bathroom door earlier tonight,

she’d said it looked trampy, which made me even happier that

she hadn’t been there when I picked it out.

She also hadn’t been there when I got my shoes and clutch

purse dyed to match. Sure, she had given me money, but she

hadn’t been there. Not like I would have asked her to be there,

but she hadn’t offered, either.

“Thanks for the memories,” I said, opening the door.

Her only job tonight was to tell me I was beautiful, that I

was her beautiful baby girl all grown up, but she couldn’t even

do that.

“I can’t help the way I feel,” she said, like some self-helpbook

junkie. Well, not like one—she was one. For Chanukah

last year she had gotten me an itchy sweater and Chicken

Soup for the Daughter’s Soul. The inscription had read, FYI.



In addition to giving away a signed copy of PRETTY AMY for the hunt, I will also be giving away a signed copy, bookmark and bracelet to one lucky Facebook follower. I’ll also be posting a link to the WHOLE first chapter on Thursday! Simply Like my page to be entered!



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