Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Such a Pretty Girl Review

Wow. This book got to me. It's been a while since I've read a book about a tough subject like Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess. This one in particular is exceptionally rough but so well done. The back summary sets the scene for this book:

"They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.

Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.

Today her time has run out."

The story hooked me from the back summary, the first sentence and the cover. It is such a heavy story that you can't help but be morbidly curious to find out what happened and how it plays out. The story follows Meredith, who obviously dealt with being abused and molested from her father when she was younger and her coping with him being released early. She is dating Andy, who is a nineteen year old guy who is in a wheelchair and follows his mother's crazed religious beliefs. Her mother is more than thrilled to get her husband back and thinks Meredith essentially "stole" him from her by being molested. Every character in this book is an exaggerated personification of the real life dealings of a victim of child molestation.

Meredith shows signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is her way of coping with every day life. She can give order or numbers to the things that happen, which gives her some sort of control. Andy turns toward religion as a way of making sense of why he feels the way he does about also having dealt with being victimized. He goes down the route of blaming himself and trying to find ways to punish himself. Everything about this book is a quick summary of just what happens to children who are taken advantage of in the real world. It is such a heart-wrenching tale that holds you by the throat until the very end.

I literally read this in about 2 hours. Beautiful writing almost gets missed by the desire to fly through this book to find out what happens. But it is there none the less. Wiess' writing is graphic and breath-taking. 5 out of 5 stars hands down, top shelf all the way. Great little book that handles such a large and overwhelming topic beautifully.

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