Book Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13
Author: Liz Coley
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: March 19th 2013
Review Source: Harper Teen
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

I didn't really know what to expect when I picked up Pretty Girl-13. Rape is a topic I have not read about before and to be honest, it's a depressing subject. But, Liz Coley did manage to take something very tragic into something inspirational.

Angie was only 13 when she was kidnapped from the woods as she was camping with her Girl Scout friends. Only to turn up in front of her parents door step, 3 years later with absolutely no recollection or memory of what happened to her or how she made it back home. When her parents saw her, they thought they had seen a ghost. I mean, can you blame them – she was gone for three years. Quickly, her parents call the detective to let him know the great news. They take her to the hospital to get some tests done and pretty much a rape kit. They need to get whatever evidence they can since Angie doesn't remember anything. You would think that Angie’s parents are super thrilled that she is back, but for some odd reason, her father is happy, but is acting all weird around her. I didn't get that part. Anyways, Angie starts her therapy and discovers that she has multiple personalities. According to her therapist, her mind came up with these alters to help her cope with the things she had to endure while she was captured. Sort of a way to protect her, which is the reason why she can’t remember what happened during that time.

Overall, the story was really good, but I do have couple of issues that bothered me and sort of left me hanging. I am going to try to explain them without any spoilers. I expected a huge emotional scene after a HUGE revelation, but nothing happened. I understand that the story is more focused on the recovery of Angie, but it just didn't seem realistic. It's like they just brushed it off. My other complaint is that Angie was held prisoner and enslaved at the age of 13 by a man who sexually assaulted her, and tortured her and after just a few months of therapy, and her alters disappearing, she was okay. I mean even when she first started her therapy she wasn't as "messed" up as you would think a young 13 year old girl would be after going through such an ordeal. I mean, this is something that takes years to recover from, if you ever recover from it. Yes, I understand that her "alters" took the abuse so that Angie didn't have to endure it and erased from her memory, but still. It just didn't feel realistic. Overall, it was a great read and very inspirational.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to have to finally check this one out. I've seen a lot of people marked this as to-read on Goodreads, over the past two months, but now, I think I might give a try. Thanks for the review!

    ~Demitra @ Characterized Book Reviews


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