Author: Liz Coley
Published: March 19th 2013
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
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Caution: May contain spoilers
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.
It’s amusing to me how I forget the synopsis of a book and then I start reading it thinking it was different. That happened here. I completely had no recollection of the premise and when I began to read it, I was thrown off… but in a good way. This story totally blew my mind.
Angie has been through a lot and her mind created a world to help her not remember the bad. This world consists of multiple personalities that took on different aspects of her life. These personalities, you can’t help but be drawn in by each of them as separate characters. As new information is brought to light by each, you learn what Angie really went through, the pain and the cruelty. Her therapist, Dr. Grant, guides her through the process of discovering the truth of the three years she lost. Since the personalities are still with her, she has moments where she loses time when they take over to protect her.
Angie longs for the days when she was thirteen. Her friends from back then are still around when she goes back to school. Of course, things have changed a lot for all of them. She manages to be friends with Kate again, and to open herself up to Abriam. She is figuring out how to move on and get the memories of her alters to meld into her own. She struggles to find the balance between it all, suffering the losses and the gaining of memories. And in the end, there is more to what she endured than she ever imagined.
Pretty Girl-13 is a tangle of emotions. I’ve noticed that while I may be in a book and close to the characters, sometimes my heart isn’t as into it as I thought. This time, however, Liz Coley brought me to tears. To those who have read this one, can I just say that one moment near the end, did it hit you too? In an instant it HIT me and I instantly jumped and said out loud, “You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.” Anyone who enjoys a twisting psychological tale inside the mind will thoroughly fall for Angie’s story.