Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pretty Girl 13

Pretty Girl-13  by Liz Coley

Angie is introduced to us in a backflash prologue: at thirteen she is at Girl Scout camp.  When she is alone in the woods peeing behind a bush, she is accosted and then kidnapped by a male adult.

Now, flash forward to Angie arriving home, just walking up to the door of her house, not knowing how she escaped.  Homecoming has a few problems however:  she has actually been three years, and although Angie has total amnesia of her time away, she has the telltale marks of manacles on her wrists and feet.  

While she is actually sixteen, Angie still feels like she should be in eighth grade, and wants to learn what she has missed.  After all, she still feels thirteen.

Angie’s parents take her to a therapist, who through hypnosis, discovers multiple personalities who have taken over her psyche in an effort to allow Angie to detach from the trauma of the situation a thirteen-year-old could not handle.  The alternate personality completely takes over, “tucking” Angie into a corner of her mind.  However, inside Angie there are five distinct personalities. 

This is a dark, dangerous path for both Angie and the reader.  It is pieced out slowly since it is not easily read by an adult, and will be even more difficult for a high school student.  And yet, as readers cheer for Angie and just want her to be a “normal” student in school, it's obvious that this will never happen.  

Just what can we hope for?  This book will captivate you and touch you in the way that few books touch on your emotions.  Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl did that in a different, chilling, way.

Coley talks about new ways to treat Dissociative Identity Disorder, some of which are not really used yet.The Afterward is just as interesting as the book, with more information on the disorder and famous people who have suffered - and recovered.  

For mature readers, 14 and up.

Child abuse, cussing, death, grieving, kissing, pregnancy, rape, sexual situations, violence

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