More reviews like this one at: Nicole About Town
When I got into the office this morning, one of my co-workers asked me the same question she asks me everyday, ‘Nicole, what book are you reading right now and describe it in one word?’ My reply: ‘I just finished reading Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley and honestly, it was haunting’. Even now sitting down to write this review two hours later, I’m still not even sure where to start. I guess you could say that I am in complete and total awe of this amazing book; complete and utter wonder at the incredibly detailed and believable story woven throughout the novel. And let’s be honest, I’m a little creeped out as well by just how realistic Pretty Girl-13 was from beginning to end.
There was so much going on with this book, that I don’t even know what to tell you. Is it a book about a girl who was abducted and returns three year later with no memory? Yes, and I honestly thought that was all that this book was going to be about. Not so. There is so much more going on in Pretty Girl-13 and all are dealt with so well. Pretty Girl-13 introduces the concept of ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, also referred to as DID, and that is where the real story begins. We get explanations about DID that aren’t too clinical that the reader gets bogged down with information, and we get demonstrations of the various ‘alters’ that are inhabiting Angie’s psyche and the parts they have played in keeping her alive. Quite honestly, Pretty Girl-13 gave such a great introduction to DID that it’s something I’m interested in researching further at some point.
Liz Coley deals with several horrifying and sensitive topics very well in Pretty Girl-13. The topics of psychological issues, and their triggers, and abduction and abuse of a child are really weighty topics to be tackled in any novel, let alone a young adult novel. There are always the worries of either getting too detailed for the audience or trivializing the entire experience to worry about. Pretty Girl-13 does none of those things, it absolutely nails those topics and issues for the target audience. Like Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman, Pretty Girl-13 is one of those books that should be read by both parents and teens alike.