Review Detail4.5 4
I almost didn't even read this because the cover is a little off-putting. It reminds of the Fear Street covers, and while I enjoyed reading those when I was younger, I don't exactly think of them as great literature. So I'm really glad the internet was flooded with positive reviews and recommendations for it. This is definitely a book worth reading, though if you're sensitive to sexual abuse you might want to avoid it.
I liked the way Coley explored Dissociative Identity Disorder. I'd never heard the term before the book, but I know of similar disorders. It's one thing to understand the definition of a disorder and another entirely to read about it from the point-of-view of the one suffering the disorder (fiction or otherwise). The other personalities within Angie are more like their own selves rather than simply alternate personalities to her own. The Alters saved Angie from a lot of pain, but once she returned home they didn't leave. Instead, they would surface in Angie's day-to-day life. Her body would be taken over and she'd have no knowledge of what had happened. I can't imagine what it would be like not being in charge of my own body.
Angie is an admirable character. Sure, she does some things that looked rather stupid from my point-of-view, but doesn't everyone? I takes a strong person to go through everything she did and end up relatively okay. Plus, I think she was really brave in the way she handled her Alters. She knew that whatever happened to her in all that missing time was something she purposely tried to forget, yet she worked through it anyway. I know there aren't many other options in such a situation, but it would still be difficult to go into it knowing you would remember things that were obviously incredible painful.
I'm really glad I listened to Pretty Girl 13 instead of reading it since the narrator (whose name I've sadly forgotten) did an absolutely fantastic job of making each of Angie's Alters sound unique. It was easier to think of them all as separate people and I think it made it ultimately made it easier to understand Angie.
The Nutshell: I really enjoyed Pretty Girl 13, though it was rather difficult to listen to at times. I found myself wanted to box it up and call it fiction, but the truth is that things like this do happen in our world today. That's probably what makes Coley's book so powerful, though the way she tells the story is a big help.