- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins Imprint)
- Publication date: 3/19/2013
- Pages: 352
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review
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 don't even know where to begin with this review. I really liked the book, but it was totally disturbing too. I don't know that I ever connected with Angie, but I think it's meant to be that way. She isn't even connected with herself. This was a bit on the predictable side, but I loved seeing it all unraveled and was so intrigued by the story. It is very psychological and gripping. The subject matter is tough, but it was done so well that it held my attention even when I wanted to cringe or cry for her.
Angie is completely lost. She literally doesn't know herself. She went missing from a camping trip when she was thirteen, and has now somehow arrived home as a sixteen year old. In her head she has completely lost the past three years. She still thinks she is a thirteen year old girl and she needs to slowly try to figure out what happened to her and why she has no memory at all of the last three years. Even now that she is back at home with no memories of what happened, she is losing large chunks of time in her days and doesn't know why. It's like she completely disappears from her own head. She was very determined to get to the bottom of it all, but also very scared and still felt like she had to hide things. I liked her character, but also thought she made some bad decisions. Though in the same situation I might do the same thing.
The storyline is intense. This book moves at a slow and steady pace. You are unraveling the past three years piece by piece and putting things together. This is one of those books that I really wish I wasn't so perceptive with because I think that the mystery of it all is really fascinating and how it all comes out is done really well. I did think that it was all a bit fast though. I understand that for book purposes it would have really bored us to draw it all out though. I also think that how she dealt with it all was a bit too easy. I really thought the way her parents reacted was very realistic. I may not have agreed with a lot of things, but it's explained and I got it.
I know this review seems totally vague, but I can't really say anything without it potentially spoiling the book. This was a fantastic psychological mystery, with some tough issues in it. Had I connected with the characters it would have probably been very emotional too. It's not to say that it didn't trigger some emotions because it definitely did, but I didn't feel like I was fully invested in it. I did really want to hug Angie and help her. I felt angry and disgusted at some of the events in the book. I think that it was really well written and held my interest from the beginning to end.