Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review of Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Title/Author: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen Books, March 19th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought a finished copy
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: 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?

OMG, this book was SO INTENSE! And I just loved it! It was so creepy! And I'm not really one for the creepy books usually!

It may be due to my profession, but I'm fascinated by mental health issues. It is simply amazing what a mind can do and this novel just goes to show how far self-protection mechanisms go.

So Pretty Girl-13 deels with a pretty heavy subject: child kidnapping and abuse and while this might not be suitable for every teen to read because of this, I did think that it dealt with all of this very well and doesn't get graphic. And it definitely feels like Liz Coley has done her research on the subject matter and I always appreciate that!

I really liked Angie, she's been through a LOT and even though she can't remember most of it at first, I thought she dealt with it pretty well. She's not supposed to be ok and she's not, but she doesn't give up. She's a survivor and is willing to really work on her problems. I like that, I can respect that.

And seriously, I was fascinated by the different alters and their stories. I loved that in between chapters from Angie's viewpoint we get fragments told by the 'gate keeper', who knows much, MUCH more and reveals snippets and I was just on the edge of my seat trying to figure it all out! There were times when I was getting this sense of doom and figuring out something based on the clues we were given and was like AAAH! THIS IS SO CREEPY! AND IT WAS AWESOME!

It's always mindboggling to me to imagine the extend of cruelty people are apparantly capable of and what a mind can do to cope with this and I was completely sucked in by Liz Coley's writing! I didn't want to put Pretty Girl-13 down and seriously, whatever Liz Coley writes next, I will READ IT! This is my kind of psychological thriller!

My rating: 5 stars


  1. This sounds very intense! While I'm not certain I'd really read this one, I do appreciate that a lot of people are dubbing it an interesting, unique story - one that grips you and won't let go. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Oh, it does sound good and, you know, I'm old enough to actually remember the Elizabeth Smart case so I'm very intrigued - since this seems to share some similitudes,

    I'm glad you liked it so much, Daisy. I'll try to check it out.

  3. The premise and the first line of your review convinced me, Daisy - SOLD! Love these kinds of stories. Didn't want to read the rest of your review just yet (I like going into a book knowing as little as possible, in cases like this) but naturally I caught your enthusiasm!

    (I've never heard of Elizabeth Smart btw, must be an American case...?)