5 stars · fiction · young adult

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13

author : liz coley

pages : [hardcover] 344

favorite characters : abraim & angie

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?

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.

review :

I found this book so intriguing mostly because of the psychological aspect presented in the summary. And it was so much more! Usually books involving amnesia can feel a little overdone but in Pretty Girl-13 Angie needs to piece her memories together because she has DID, dissociative identity disorder. Her “alters” are the parts of her that experienced the past three years of her life and, even though terrible things happened to her then, she needs to put together the past or risk letting her kidnapper go free.

There were so many different pieces of the plot happening simultaneously that there was never a dull moment! Angie is struggling within herself as well as the new memories she’s dredged up. While that’s happening she’s trying to become comfortable in normal life again, in a town that knows she’s been gone and has only just returned.

Angie is a great main character. She’s strong and resilient; she’s kept herself alive throughout that terrible ordeal and now is finding the strength to continue her life. Some parts of the novel are hard to read, especially as Angie’s past is uncovered, but I think that it’ll be important for as many people to read this book as possible. It’s powerful and moving, more than I expected, and the message really lingers. There are horrible people in the world but there are also ways to make sure that they won’t hurt anyone else anymore. Angie chooses not to let her past define her; I think that’s one of her best attributes.

5/5 stars

If you liked this book, you should try reading Held.

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