Book review: Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen

Published April 21st 2019 by L.J. Shen


From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.


They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.


Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

My rating: ⭐⭐

My first thoughts after finishing Pretty Reckless:

– The worth of a person is measured by the number of people they’ve slept with.

– With such speed in sexual shenanigans, by 50 y.e. they’ll have nothing to measure it with.

– I am ten years older than these teenagers and know about sexual ‘fun’ activities less than they do. I think I haven’t lived my life properly *inserts sarcasm*

I haven’t read a new adult novel in a while. I don’t hold anything against guilty pleasure reads. Some of them are really decent, and I have my list of favourites. But what I don’t tolerate is when the message a book gives is purely based on basic instincts.

The hero:

✔ If you are a privileged jock with a big cock you’ll get any girl.

✔ You don’t need to be a decent human being, just act like a Byronic tragic figure with a complicated past. Doesn’t matter that you are only 18 y.o.; you have a big manly cock and the cock knows better.

✔ You must attend high school because it’s vital that you stand out from the majority of your peers: you have a six-pack at least (!), acne and pimples are intimidated by your boss cock and don’t even dare to trespass on your square jaw with your manly stubble, and your roman nose should smell only roses and sex juices. You must sniff your sex preys with your roman nose, another type of nose will not do.

“Eat me,” I moan. “You don’t deserve to enjoy this. I’m the one who should be taking everything in this situation.”
He drops down to his knees and tugs my Daisy Dukes and panties aside, stretching the denim against my skin and causing me delicious pain. He throws one of my legs over his shoulder and presses his nose into my slit, inhaling deeply.
A feral growl rips from his throat, coming from somewhere deep and primal, and he bites my inner thigh.

And what about the heroine?

✔ She can be a nice person with a tragic past, as well, and a total bitch to her parents and her peers. But if she’s a virgin than everything is forgiven. Oh, also from time to time she must be beaten on her ass by her school’s principal, because it doesn’t make any sense but adds to the special snowflake card.

I atone for my sins in strokes of his ruler.
I deserve it. I deserve the pain. I distribute so much of it to others, I can’t even blame Principal Prichard for putting me through all of this.

The big bang romance between the two main characters should be as delusional as possible:

✔ They hate each other because ‘from hate to love’ theme rocks.

✔ They basically sniff each other all the time and cocks stand and pusses leak and so on. It’s unstoppable and very embarrassing, especially in public.

✔ He allegedly has a girlfriend and a son but she doesn’t care, because she leaks downstairs and he has his roman nose to fix her.

“I’m not going to have sex with you, Penn.”
“Why’s that?”
“You have a girlfriend.”
“Maybe I don’t.”
“But you do.”
“Actually, I don’t.”
“Huh?” I let out a nervous laugh, but it stops between his fingers pressed against my throat. “What do you mean?”
“Can’t really get into it right now but think about it for a second. Am I with her? Do I go to her? Do you see us talking on the phone? Shooting the shit? Hanging out? Have I ever talked about her? Brought her over? Adriana is not my girlfriend.”
So you just knocked her up. Sweet.

✔ He’s the domineering jock. She allows him to manhandle her.

“You never pull away when I kiss you.” He still holds my gaze.
“I don’t?”
He shakes my head, looking down at me, his longish hair falling across his eye.
“You want me,” he says simply.
I snort. “Jesus, you are conceited.”
He leans in until our noses touch again. His hand is still wrapped around my throat. He squeezes it lightly as his tongue brushes from the base of my chin all the way to my forehead, where he kisses my hairline.
“Tell me you don’t want to fuck me as much as I want to fuck you, you screwed-up, messed-in-the-head, gorgeous girl with skulls in her eyes,” he whispers hotly, his free hand traveling over my thigh, up my skirt, his callused finger pads grazing my bikini line. My throat bobs against his hand.
“Tell me you don’t want me to push my finger into you and make you come.”

The compliments! *gag*

✔ Parents… This is all you need to know:

He cocks his head, scanning me. “Your parents won’t give a shit if I fuck you on the dining room table while Bailey helps herself to another serving of pie.”

✔ To make everything more bearable you need to sugarcoat it and put a mark of true love on it. But under the souring sugar, you’ll find that sex, money and zero human decency still rule the world new adult.

Pretty Reckless tries pretty desperately to copy Cruel Intentions but it lacks in style. I would enjoy this book better if it had less cock and more common sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s