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.Publishes in US: March 19th 2013
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.
Source: Harper Collins via Edelweiss
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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