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Reading Under the Willow Tree

Environmental Science student, book reader, big dreamer, Sailing/Kayak/Surf instructor, Film buff, Adventurer, Girl.

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REVIEW: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 - Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 could have been excellent.  It is about a challenging and interesting subject matter that should emotionally engage its audience. But the truth is that I found Pretty Girl-13 over done and its subject matter overplayed.

It started well and I was instantly interested and engaged in what was going on.  I had hopes the author was going to treat this subject matter with some realism but like so many other authors out there things seem to get out of hand and what follows
are pages and pages of unneeded twists and drama.

Angie was abducted when she was 13 years old.  She is forced to become a sexual
slave for her abductor and spends the next three years of her life  living in hell.  Suddenly, she is sent home but has no memory of what has happened to her or where those three years have gone.  She suffers from a multiply personality disorder that she developed to help her deal with her imprisonment.  This book should have been just about that, about her recovery, about her disorder, about trying to get back to life
after everything she has been through, but instead (because protagonists in these books seem to have to go to hell and back to get a happy ending) all this other stuff happens that is not needed.  There are pregnancies, babies, fires, school drama, boy drama, family drama, slut shaming, abusive uncles...it just goes on and on and I just have to question why? Why was it needed?

The more I read, the more insane it seemed to get and I couldn't quite believe it.  Again, and I feel like I am constantly moaning about this in my reviews lately, why is the need to go over the top with drama so popular at the moment? In the last few months I have read this book, Pushing the Limits, Nobody But us and Hooked that all share this problem, they are all about serious problems, and they are all over dramatized to the point where I actually get angry.  Are these issues, these real life issues that teens
face every day not enough?  I just cannot help but think that it is just not being taken seriously at all, and that makes me sad.

This is not personal against the author.  I did think this book was well written and brave to attempt.  It just appears to be a trend in YA writing at the moment, and it is a trend I just do not like.  This book,I am sure, will do really well.  Already other reviewers are raving about it and that's fine.  I know my opinion is not a popular one and I don't want to offend anyone but I cannot help the way I feel about it.  Pretty Girl-13 is not the first book to make me feel like this and it will not be the last.

(ARC provided by Harper Teen in exchange for an Honest review)