I just finished Such a Pretty girl and it was definitely an interested read. Although I have my issues with it I’ll give it a 7 out of 10 because I did like it.
It was a difficult read at first because of the content but she wrote it well. Being a Psych major and having experiences that connected me with the main character I can tell she did her research.
Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess is about Meredith, a sarcastic 15-year old living in a nightmare. Her father is a child molester who has abused her as well as other boys and girls in their small town. The story starts with her father being let out of prison only having served a three-year sentence instead of the nine years he was supposed to get. He was supposed to be released when Mer was 18 so she would be free but instead he got out on good behavior and is free to return home.
Mer is outdone and terrified that the abuse will start all over again but her mother is polar opposite. She’s excited and delusional, itching for him to return and resume their relationship. Her mother is obviously not someone you can rely one and not very strict about the enforcing the rules where her husband is concerned.
Mer isn’t alone which is nice. Usually in these types of books the MC suffers in silence. Instead she has Andy, a boy who is paralyzed and a survivor of her father. She also has a retired cop who tries to be her protector and friend.
I will say the characters in this book were defiantly something. While reading i found myself feeling sad and sorry for both Andy and Mer. Laughing at the witty humor by Mer’s excuse for a mother. The mother was realistic but in a way i felt like she might have been overdone. Read the book and you will see why.
I admired Mer for attempting to be strong while dying inside.
Weiss conveyed her message well. Her graphic scenes weren’t too detailed and left your mind to wonder. She explained just enough for you to get the picture or what happened in a string of flashbacks throughout the book. I didn’t find this triggering at all especially if this is something you have been through.
I will say sometimes I found myself wondering who the heck each person was when they were introduced. It was hard to get a clear picture of Andy in the beginning because she slowly shows you descriptions and details as you read on. I pictured him as some dirty old preve in the beginning but apparently he isn’t. I also found her counting to be weird. Mer, likes to count things like the tiles on the floor and such. I get it from the psychology standpoint i think she must have noticed things like that while being abused and counting things and her odd rituals she has in the book is her way of coping. She feels as if she counts and does the other things she will get through the day and be okay. It’s typical for abuse victims but it wasn’t explained. if I were a random person I would be like WTH she’s crazy too.
I think the region aspect of this could be been better explained too. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh at Andy’s mother or if it was meant to be serious and that was confusing.
Weiss could have done a better job with her characters and dug deeper like she did Mer but I know this isn’t an easy topic to write. Throughout the book you are given subtle clues about the father and his other victims. Maybe the mother was a victim by him and was too stupid to know it.
Overall, I would recommend this book if it isn’t too dark for you.