Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 320
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 7, 2015
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Goodreads Synopsis:

A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them 

Everyone thought we were dead. We were missing for nearly two months; we were twelve. What else could they think? -Lois

It's always been hard to talk about what happened without sounding all melodramatic. . . . Actually, I haven't mentioned it for years, not to a goddamned person. -Carly May

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.

My Review:

This book had quite an interesting premise and I found myself intrigued by the story and seeing how these two girls would live a life after what happened to them. I thought that this was a book that would be a lot about coping with PTSD or something like that. I can say that this story did not end up being what I thought it would at all.

The story follows both Carly May and Lois in their adult lives as they have dealt with the events of the summer they were abducted, and now they are each trying to live their lives away from everything where people won't know them. All of a sudden the past comes rushing back to them when a movie begins to be made that has many similarities to their past events. All of a sudden these two women who have not been in contact are being brought together in very unnatural circumstances to confront what really happened that summer.

I have to say that I didn't really like listening to either of these two characters, it made the book a little difficult for me to get through. Neither of the women were someone that was easy to connect with, and I understand they both have a difficult past that made their future tougher to deal with, but I just felt that they were both still very immature. It takes some time to really learn about the details of the their summer, there are a lot of things that are hinted to, and then there are chapters that come from a book written about an event very similar to their situation, but it is not exactly what happened. I found that it almost seemed easier for Carly May to let go of the past than it was for Lois, and everything comes crashing down for Lois quickly that makes her confront her past a lot sooner.

What I did feel is that this book shows sometimes it is hard to let go of the past, it will stick with you no matter how far you try to run. Both of these girls have tried to forget and let go of that summer and yet it keeps coming back. They need answers as to what really happened and why of all people it was them, and the only way to get the answers is to meet up again after so long. Honestly, I felt a little disappointed by the meeting of these two, I thought it would be intense and there would just be more to it than what actually happens.

I was excited, I believe this book had a lot of potential, it just didn't work for me, it took too long to get into the story at times. And then when readers get the details, it just seems like something was missing. I wished for a little more from this book. I do believe there are people who will like this type of story, it just wasn't my type of book, sadly.

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