Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 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.

My Review:

Pretty Girl-13 is a book that I read within one day.  I started it that morning, and I was so hooked that I ended up finishing that night.  I kept turning the pages so I could discover more of the things in Angie's past.  The premise of this book was really fascinating, and it was done well, too.


One interesting thing about this book is how Angie's been many bad things in her life, but she doesn't actually have any memory of most of them.  When the book starts, Angie still sees herself as a thirteen year old who just got back from a camping trip.  She doesn't understand why her parents keep telling her that three years have passed.  Of course, she eventually begins to learn what happened over those three years, while she was kept in captivity.  This girl has been through many hardships since she was in captivity, and she had the things that happened with her Yuncle Bill when she was a kid. 

I thought the parts about Angie's alters was fascinating.  Each alter had a different role in protecting Angie from what had happened to her.  The way that Angie and her therapist dealt with her alters was interesting as well.  Some of the alters were removed, and some were integrated to become part of Angie.  The alters had different personalities than Angie, and they would sometimes do things that she didn't remember doing.  Girl Scout is the goody-goody alter who always cooked and cleaned for Angie's captor.  Little Wife is the alter who had to be with the captor when he sexually abused her.  Tattletale is the little girl alter who remembers something that happened to Angie as a child.  Angel is the protective male alter who can become violent.  Then there's another mysterious alter who Angie and her therapist don't find out about until near the end of the book.

When Angie returns, she sees some people that she knew in the past.  I didn't like one of her former best friends, Livvie, and her former boyfriend, Greg.  They didn't treat her very well.  Greg claimed he would break up with Livvie for her, but he never really meant it.  Angie also sees her other best friend Kate, and I really her liked her character.  She is there for Angie when Angie needs her.  She is no longer friends with Greg and Livvie because she told on her friends for having a keg at a party.  She had become a social leper, so I was glad that she had Angie to be friends with.  Angie also meets a boy named Abraim who is sweet and they have a little bit of romance.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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