Pretty Bad Things

by C. J. Skuse

Chicken House
July 2011

Ages 12 – 14 . Grades 7 – 9

Library of Congress: 2010015640

Lexile measure: HL660L



Paisley and Beau are boldface names again. Last time, paparazzi called them the "Wonder Twins," two kids found alone but alive in the woods of exotic New Jersey. Three days after their mom's death -- and before their dad's criminal misdeeds.

Flash-forward to now: Their so-called lives? Suck out loud: Hating on their cougarized, Botoxic grandma, they're totally clueless about the location of ex-con Daddy. Till they discover a stash of old letters. That's when they decide to jack the Pontiac and hit the road. Holding up donut shops in Sin City might seem extreme, but if they can just get their pretty bad faces back on TV -- or TMZ -- they might wrap up their whole gaga saga with an Oprah-worthy reunion already!
C. J. Skuse

C.J. SKUSE loves graphic novels, '80s sitcoms, Gummi Bears, My Chemical Romance, and malamutes. She hates omelettes, carnivals, and coughs. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in England. BCCB called her novel PRETTY BAD THINGS "a fast-paced action adventure [that] provides a subtle sociolgical study of the effects of living in a hyper-mediated culture"! ROCKOHOLIC is her second book.


  • "It's so good I'd even recommend it to people I don't like." -- Kevin Brooks

    "Slick, hip, anarchic. Fresh and effortlessly readable." -- The Bookseller UK

    "There's an impressive filmic quality...Altogether pretty damn good." -- The Telegraph UK


--- - ! 'I know what you''re thinking. Teens on the run. Yadda yadda yadda. Maybe you''re right. But we''re all out of options. Last time we made headlines, Beau and I were six-year-old "wonder twins." Two little kids, brother and sister, found alone but alive in the woods after being missing for three days. Now we''re sixteen, and life''s somewhat less than excellent. In fact, it sucks out loud. Still no Dad. Still lost. Still looking. But now we''ve got a clue where Dad could be: In the city where what happens stays hidden: big bad Las Vegas, USA. It''s a long shot, but what''ve we got to lose? Time to seize the donut.'

ISBN: 9780545289733

256pp. | 5-½ x 8-¼