Thursday, May 02, 2013

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

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?

This is a difficult book to review. The subject matter is very serious, and some events in the story are horrifying. So this isn't really a book you can sit down and enjoy. At the same time, though, this book is impossible to put down. The mystery behind Angie's disappearance is compelling and kept me glued to the pages. I read the whole thing in a day.

Angie's struggles with her gap in memory feel authentic, as well as how she attempts to come to terms with her new life, her older body, her freaked out parents, everything. Slowly, we find out where she's been and what happened to her.

Some spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.

Angie was kidnapped by a psycho pedophile when she was 13, and he held her captive for 3 years. She suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which means she has multiple personalities/identities within herself. These personalities dealt with her three years of captivity, so, when she came home, she had no memory of what had happened. Slowly, through various forms of therapy, her story is revealed.

I thought it was done pretty well. Granted, some of the methods used were a little far-fetched, and the timeline of her personality integration is completely unrealistic, but, for some reason, I was okay with this. We can't follow Angie around until she's 30, and yet we also need to know what happened to her. So this was the next best thing.

This is a psychological book that doesn't shy away from the horrors of rape, so if subjects like this don't sit well with you, then you might want to pass. But if you want to read a pretty authentic tale of survival, definitely pick up a copy.

1 comment:

Kelly Hashway said...

This probably isn't something I'd read, but I enjoyed your review and I really like the cover.