Thursday, August 13, 2015

{Review} PRETTY IS by Maggie Mitchell

ISBN #: 978-1627791489
Page Count: 320
Copyright: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition

(Taken from book flap)

The summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still. Maggie Mitchell's Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

Charlene's Review:

Leading a fairly reclusive life, Lois is never far away in thought from her former life. A teacher and writer, Louis penned a novel based on her experiences as an abducted child. As the novel hits the big screen, the only person that shares the original experience, Carly May, or Chloe Savage, as she is now called, is chosen to act in the movie, bringing the girls full circle from their life-time attempt to escape the memory of the kidnapping. When a mysterious stranger appears to know a little too much about the past, Lois must confront her worst fears, in order to survive.

I found the story fascinating, as we began to learn of two girls from different backgrounds specifically "chosen" by the mysterious "Zed". In two months of captivity, we glimpse the obscure, but mostly kind, treatment of the captives, and their increasing dependency and love for their captor. We watch, through alternating accounts, the effect of Zed on the girls maturity and future. And we bear witness to the psychological trauma that haunts them throughout their adult life.

Pretty Is left me with more questions than answers. I would have loved to see more development regarding Zed, while planning his abduction; from the mysterious Sean, to explain his sinister intentions; and even from the girls, as they aged, although if they were left with no motivation from Zed, that would most definitely leave them confused as to what really did happen to them.

This was a perfectly adequate psychological thriller that I believe could have been phenomenal with a bit more information. The writing style was engaging and the premise riveting. Overall, I enjoyed it, but was left wondering what truly happened.

*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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