OAAA YA Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

April 22, 2015     erinbook     Book review

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Release Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
344 Pages
Received: As Gift
Format: ARC


4 Nuts
Description: Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.
When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back–a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.
With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. 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 people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?
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.
Review: I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. I knew the basic premise and I had decided that the book was either going to be pretty good or a whole lot of meh. When I was still just getting into the book I had an idea that the book was probably going to be a solid 3 nuts, maybe 3 and a half. That was until I met the alters.
I don’t know how many of you remember but years ago they made a bunch of Mary Higgins Clark books into made for tv movies. As I got deeper into Pretty Girl-13 I was reminded strongly of one of those movies and the book on which it was based (for some reason I keep blanking on the title). Maybe it was that nostalgia or maybe I’m just drawn to these kinds of stories but I became so invested in the book that I read it in only 2 sittings.
Were there some problems? Sure. Sometimes the way the therapies worked out was a little bit too convenient. Other times I was able to guess the big plot twists several chapters before they happened. Did these ruin the story? Eh, not really. It was satisfying to know I was right. However, there were times I wish I could have been a bit more surprised, especially when it came to the big ending.
Despite this, I really enjoyed the psychological aspects of this book. I’m always interested in the psychology of characters and their motivations so it was really fun exploring that in this book. I also find DID a fascinating subject and I wish there were more stories that featured such good descriptions of it. I almost wish we got to spend some more time inside Angela’s head to explore it a little deeper.
If you’re looking for a book to keep you on the edge of your chair, this is it. Finally I’m finding some good mysterious contemporaries instead of your regular standard romances. I don’t know about you but I’m always up for a good mystery. If that’s your thing, give this book a read.
On that note, if anyone could recommend some more good crime/mystery YA books for me, that’d be great!
Liz Coley is offering some awesome swag as part of the OAAA giveaway so check out that post to enter. She will also be featured in her own guest post at the end of the month!
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