Friday, May 31, 2013

The Preservation of Self

"Together, we were invincible."
--Liz Coley, Pretty Girl-13

Genre: YA Contemporary, Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 350 pages
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Source: Borrowed from Library

Goodreads Description

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.

My Thoughts

This book was IN period TENSE period. Like, had me almost in tears in the first 40 pages. Pretty Girl-13 is about 13 year old Angie who gets up in the morning to go to the bathroom while camping...then the next thing she knows she is walking up to her front door...oh, did I mention it's three years later?! Wow. Angie is convinced she is still 13 and she has no idea where the last 3 years of her life went. The story then goes on and we see how Angie tries to piece together the last three years of her life. 

I loved this book. It had me hooked almost immediately. It was almost like those horrible people who slow down when they see a car crash on the side of the road. You know you shouldn't look but you can't help but look away. That is how this book was. The context and the things Angie goes through are brutal and absolutely horrifying but her strength...her strength is one of the most amazing things I have ever read about. She is a survivor and she fights so hard to gain control of her life. She was an absolutely beautiful character to read about. While I found her grip of control over the crazy situations in her life a little unrealistic of a 16/13 year old, I still really enjoyed reading about a heroine who didn't throw herself a pity party. And trust me, if anybody could throw themselves a "let's everyone feel bad for me" soiree it is gonna be Angie. Like whoa. It was like one blow after the other.

The psychological aspect of this story is un.real. Yep, period between syllables. You have to pause. I don't read a lot of stories dealing with psychological issues and this one will be the gold standard for any future books I read about them. The issue that is explored in this book is ridiculously intense. While my heart goes out to anybody dealing with this, I couldn't help but love reading about it. I was fascinated. The way Liz Coley writes this story breaks down and exposes the pieces of the puzzles in a way that helps the reader understand what Angie is going through.

With that said, the pacing of the story is perfect. Angie's recover is not on warp speed and it is completely believable. Again, her strength in the face of this is something to truly be commended. Reading about Angie taking back control over her life and making the choices that are right for her was amazing to read about. This story is definitely unique and definitely a hard read but totally worth it!

Should You Read This? Yes! If you like psychological issues or very strong and well-written female characters you will like this book. 


  1. I'm so glad you loved it!! And you're write, it was like watching a trainwreck happening! And YES SO INTENSE!!

  2. Ugh, RIGHT instead of write.. I saw that when I hit publish... Blame my excitement for that one..

  3. ARGH. I want to read this OR 17 & Gone. I STLL DONT KNOW WHICH.


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