By Liz Coley
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. (Goodreads Summary)
Pretty Girl-13 is based around a young girl named Angie who, at the age of 13, is kidnapped at a Girl Scout camping trip, and is held hostage, until she returns to her home three years later with no memory of happened. In her mind she is still 13 and not a day has passed since her Girl Scout camping trip. All she knows is that one moment she was going to the bathroom in the woods, and the next thing she remembers she is limping down her street as she makes her way back home.
Returning home is difficult for Angie, her friends are in a different grade than he, and they have changed in the time she was gone, making it harder for her to return to her normal, it also seems like her parents had given up on her, and she finds out that during the three years she was abducted she was physically and sexually abused, which caused her brain to split up into several different personalities as a defensive mechanism, which is known as Disassociate Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder.)
Ok, this book was both fascinating and disturbing. As Angie’s altars (alternate personalities) began to show up I found myself more and more intrigued, but I also found that is was more difficult to read, because every time a new alter was discovered and treated, Angie would discover more about what happened to her in the three years that she was gone, and even discover some dark things from her childhood. I also felt like whenever the altars would tell their accounts of what happened in the three years they were abducted it was more personal, and therefore more emotional, and those bit were some of the best parts of the book.
This book is very dark and filled with topics such as child abuse and sexual assault, so I suggest that if you don’t like these topics, or they are triggering to you, not to read this book. But if you’re into dark, twisted stuff this book is right up your alley.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars because I felt that because it was told in third person, I wasn’t able to feel very connected to Angie, and that if it was written in first the author would have been able to make it easier for the reader to connect with and truly feel what Angie was going through. Also, I felt like some of the subplots weren’t needed, especially the ones that involved typical high school drama, and that they took away from the importance of the real issues at hand.But all in all, this book is a fantastic read that you will be unable to put down once you pick it up.
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