‘Pretty Girl-13’ review

Pretty Girl-13Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On the surface, this was a five star book. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. When I wasn’t thinking about it…well, that didn’t happen. Too many books focus on the kidnap itself. The time spent being kidnapped. I liked that this looked at the after effects. I liked that it focused on Angie coming home. Because there’s trauma there too. Different, but still trauma.

The book starts with Angie’s return home. It’s been three years since she was taken, but to Angie, no time has passed at all. In fact, she still thinks she’s thirteen, still thinks she was camping with her friends, still thinks that it’s August. She can’t quite believe what her stunned parents tell her, and the face in the mirror just isn’t hers. But with the help of a psychologist, Angie learns the truth: she has DID (dissociative identity disorder) and there are a number of Angie’s, but which one you’ll get depends entirely on the circumstance.


Like I mentioned above, on the surface this was fantastic. It was interesting, haunting, emotional and tragic. But, unfortunately, the second half of the book led me to a few problems and though I was enjoying what I was reading, in the back of my head I was very disbelieving and quite irritated.

A lot of the big twists are revealed and then forgotten. Some of the twists were good ones, ones with a lot of fallout after. With 90% of these cases, the fallout wasn’t mentioned. It was skipped and we were briefly told what happened later. It wasn’t good enough for me.

My biggest complaint of this was after Angie attacks Yuncle and her parents find out what had happened. I expected this huge emotional scene, especially a confrontation between Angie and her father, and instead that wasn’t explained. We’re later told her parents accepted it and now her Grandma won’t come to Christmas? It felt to me like a cop out.

Another complaint…when Angie manages to mould two of her alters with her own personality, she gets back all of their memories and isn’t affected one tiny bit by it. The girl was held captive for 3 years and terrified of her captor, not to mention the incident that caused her to have an alter in the first place. But she doesn’t think about it or react to it at all. She carries on dating and babysitting and going on with life as though none of that never happened. For me, that was really unrealistic.

There were more things I had a problem with, but I won’t go into it. Because at the end of it all, I still really enjoyed reading it. I devoured the entire book and finished it quickly. I wanted more and more and more. And actually, maybe I’m so annoyed at the parts missed out because in fact, I just wanted to know more and that’s a sign of a good story. If I didn’t care about the book, I wouldn’t want more!

4 stars.

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