Title: Such a Pretty Girl
Author: Laura Wiess
Genre: General fiction, YA fiction (maybe? I can't tell if it's meant to be YA or not)
One-sentence summary: Meredith was twelve when her father was sent to prison for raping her, and fifteen when he was let out, six years early and as dangerous as ever. This is the story of how she tries to cope with that danger.
Why did you get this book? The cover is pretty and the subject matter is of interest to me.
Do you like the cover? The cover is the best thing about the book. A wilted pink rose on a stark black background, with the title in feminine, teenagery script below the rose.
Did you enjoy the book? Oh fuck no. This book was such. fucking. BULLSHIT. ( cut for a.) triggers, bluntly expressed in angry language and b.) spoilers. Also c.) length, because this book says a lot about people's misconceptions about sexual abuse, and I am in the mood for a rantCollapse )
Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Yes. No.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? PaperbackSwapping it as soon as I can find someone to take it.
Anything else? This book was back-cover-blurbed by Luanne Rice and Barbara Delinsky. So I knew I was probably being dumb in buying it. But man, I didn't expect it to be that bad. One telling remark, though: Barbara Delinsky says it's "Important with a capital I." That's exactly what this book is. It's a Lifetime Movie, a book on an Important topic that completely fails to get at the heart or soul of the matter, but it sounds good to people who know nothing about it, and they flatter themselves that they have just read something Important. No one would ever call a book by Kathryn Harrison or Heather Lewis "Important", just to pick two authors' names off the top of my head. They have both written stunningly real books on sexual abuse, and they are stunningly real because they delve into the characters, into the buried shit most people would just as soon not look at. They're not Books About Sexual Abuse, they're books about people who have been sexually abused, and, well, that distracts from the message, I guess. I think in the end this writer was trying to rewrite Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, but Speak has already been written, and Laurie Halse Anderson could buy and sell this woman in a heartbeat.
Scale of 1 to 10: 2. I give it that one notch above bottom because the prose wasn't bad.
Number of pages: 212
Total pages for the year: 8751
*I mean I am not trying to say that having been groped is not a traumatic experience, because of course it is, and nothing good ever comes of saying "my trauma is bigger than your trauma"... but... my mind just boggled when she said that.