~Brandi Breathes Books formerly Blkosiner's Book Blog has undergone a make-over, you're in the right place!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
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.
Publishes in US: March 19th 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Harper Collins via Edelweiss


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Blkosiner's Book Blog review
   I am immediately drawn to anything with memory loss so from the moment I read the blurb I knew that I wanted to read Pretty Girl-13. What I found inside the pages was more than I expected and crafted with brilliance. There is suspense, mystery, and a strong emotional pull.
   I was sympathetic to Angie, and right there with her on the edge of my seat wanting to know what had happened to her in the lost years of her life, and like her, totally unprepared for each and every twist. I wasn't prepared for how much I would care about her alters, the ones who dealt with the abuse and helped her survive, the ones who lived those lost years for Angie. They each had their personalities and things that they added to the story. One in particular I sort of saw coming, but was blindsided all the same.
   Watching Angie cope with learning what happened to her, as well as those locked up inside her, that are slowly giving their stories, and trying to figure out if these alters, the ones who know what happened and helped her survive, if they are wanting more of her than she has to give.
    Besides Angie and her alters, I also really enjoyed Kate, a friend of hers in the book. Kate had so much to offer, and I am glad that Angie saw past what everyone deemed was a bad decision on Kate's part, but really was selfless and brave. She also introduced Angie to Abraim, who was such a sweet and amazing guy. I love how he was written and how considerate and understanding he was.
    The ending is just as emotional as the rest of the book. I couldn't believe how much I saw Angie grow and  change in the short amount of time I spent with her, and I was so proud of the decisions she ended up making.
    Bottom line: Suspenseful and emotional story with a main character who learns about who she really is and fills in the pieces from her three missing years of her life.

Similar reads: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman, All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

My question to you, my lovely readers:


  1. Oh wow. I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds pretty intense. I like books that deal w/memory loss as well, and add in the alters, it sounds amazing.
    Great review!

  2. This sounds really good Brandi and I love suspense. I too like books with memory loss but this is darker and has more depth then I expected.

  3. Great review! I have it on my Kindle and now I'm even more excited to read it =)

  4. I have this on my reader right now ad your review is making me want to skip right to it!!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. Ah, looking forward to hear what you think

  5. I'm fascinated by alternate personalities so it sounds like a great YA take on it! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I really want to read it.

  6. It sounds like a good one. And memory loss always brings drama

  7. Gosh, can't imagine what it would be like to lose three years of your life! Imagine all the books you would have to catch up on!

  8. I'm not sure I can handle this one, but great review!

  9. The story sounds really suspenseful. I'd assume Angie's mind was trying to protect her from the pain that she had endured during the three years when she had gone missing. I think I may enjoy reading this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Brandi!

  10. oh this has my inner psychologist itching to read this. Sounds like multiple personality disorder which is rare but results from extreme traumatic situations. I would love to know more and to see how much this character grows. Great review> Thanks for the heads up on this one, Brandi!

    1. It is not medical to extreme but prb would still interest you

  11. PRETTY GIRL 13 never really caught my attention before, but - wow! AMAZING review, Brandi. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Emotional and suspenseful books are always a plus for me, and this sounds really good! I'm intrigued to find out why Angie's mind is hiding the past three years from her.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. I agree with plot lines like this. I like it that its suspenseful too. The nail biting onion peeling revelation is the best part.

  13. Awesome review! I have this in my TBR pile so I'm glad to hear that you loved it! It sounds amazing. :)

  14. I'm glad to hear there is a mystery component. I used to not see much of it in YA so I get excited when I hear about books that do have it.

    1. I have been seeing it a little more lately.

  15. This is the first time I have heard of this book, but it sounds soo intense and full of great development, story wise and with characters. I can't wait to pick it up and see how it all turns out. Fantastic review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  16. I've been looking for reviews on this one! I'm definitely going to go read it now! I love characters that we can watch grow and learn from things! Great review!

  17. Wow. Okay so I got this at ALA and then right away I read a very negative review and that had me thinking maybe it wouldn't be my thing. I'm glad I read your review, I'll definitely be giving this a chance anyway!

  18. I have this one, I haven't read it though. After you great review, I am looking forward to it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  19. very interesting story...
    i will give it try to read the book...thx 4 the review....

  20. I have been reading nothing but fantasies for along time now that books like these have been ignored. But I can't let this one slip. Loved the blurb. Looks like a book that'll have me up at night! Thanks for getting it under my radar.

  21. Have you read Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan? it deals with amnesia -- I think that's the only book I've read re: memory loss so this sounds interesting to me!

    Thanks for another great review!!


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