Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Pretty Girl 13, by Liz Coley

Whoa -- what a strange, but interesting tale. Pretty Girl 13 kept my interest, even though I knew some of the plot points were a bit forced.

Angie has returned home with no memory of the past three years she's been missing. She's now 16 years old, but feels like she's 13. It turns out she has been kidnapped. She slowly learns what has happened to her by getting to know the other personalities living inside of her. She suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), commonly known as multiple personalities. She developed these personalities to cope with the horrible things she was going through.

With the help of a wonderful psychologist, who Angie feels comfortable talking to, she slowly works toward healing. The twists and turns added a lot to Pretty Girl 13. There's a lot more to Angie's secrets than we realize at first. Her struggles to work herself back into a life, with family and friends -- some old, and some new -- is realistic. The fact that the press didn't know about her reappearance for several months-- not so realistic.

Fortunately, the author explains at the end of the book that her depiction of DID is not entirely realistic. Well, the depiction is VERY realistic -- the cure, not so much. It takes years, not months, to learn to live with this disease. But, I forgive Coley, since she has done a great job depicting some aspects of DID that most people probably aren't aware of.

Pretty Girl 13 will definitely hold your interest. The violence depicted (including rape) is fairly subtle -- we see it as Angie discovers what happened, so it isn't graphic at all. The subject matter is harrowing though. What a horrible experience for both Angie and her parents. It is interesting how differently the parents handle Angie's return. You will root for Angie, and Pretty Girl 13 provides a mostly happy ending.

I will widely recommend Pretty Girl 13 to my teen girls. I think they will love it (actually, it's already in my library and always checked out, even without me pushing it.)

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, March 19, 2013
Copy won from Alice Marvels
350 pages

Rating: 4/5

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for The Trap! 

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  1. I have never read a book dealing with DID so I'm interested already. I think it is awesome too that the author acknowledged that description/narrative of DID is not as realistic as it could have been. That makes me appreciate her as an author even more that she is telling us she is not trying to downplay the issues.

  2. I've been wondering if this one was any good. I'll have to check it out. It's been on my Kindle wishlist for quite some time.

    P.S. - I also see you're listening to Necessary Lies. I loved that novel! It brings up so many important historical issues about gender and socioeconomic status. I can't wait to see what you think of it.


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