Book Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

pretty is

Title: Pretty Is
Author: Maggie Mitchell
Publisher: Orion
Date: May 5th, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Everyone thought we were dead. What else could they think?

One summer, nearly twenty years ago, two twelve year olds
were abducted and kept captive in the forest.

There they formed a bond that could never be broken.

What really happened in the woods that summer?



„Pretty is what pretty does.“

A dark and disturbing psychological thriller debut – perfect for fans of ICE TWINS and I LET YOU GO. <– that’s how this novel was pitched.

Now, I will take some liberty and say that it was dark because my eyes closed multiple times while reading. No matter how hard I tried to stay awake, this disturbingly boring novel just had that effect on me.
I know ICE TWINS is a huge hit and that book is on my tbr list for months now. However, if it’s anything like PRETTY IS, I won’t mind if it stayed on that list forever.
Somehow, I believe it is better then this novel because, in my opinion, writing as boring psychological thriller as this one couldn’t be an easy task to do.

Pretty Is follows two women who, when they were twelve years old girls, were captured by a thirty-something guy and spent several months with him in the woods.

Sounds interesting, right? That’s what I thought too.
Boy, how wrong I was!

This book is based on actual events that happened in real life.
We can say it was a tool Maggie Mitchell used to tell herself the end of the story she read about in an article more then few years ago.

To be honest, I blame the writing style.
This story had some potential but it was presented to us in such a boring way that even when I wanted to be engaded and care about it’s characters, I was already bored to death that I could bring myself to care.

Pretty Is is composed of four parts: three of them being told from two alternative prospectives, Lois’ and Carly-Mae’s (or Carly’s, because that is the new name she gave to herself). One part, the second one, is a piece of Lois’ book that she wrote, in which she speaks about her and Carly’s experience in the woods, but packed in work of fiction.

My main critic would go to the fact that Lois’ and Carly-Mae’s voices sounded exactly the same.
Those two women took different paths in life and I expected from them to sound different.
Lous being an english professor at university and Carly-Mae being an actress, I really expected from Lous to use some bigger words and to basically sound more educated.

An excerpt from the book called „Deep in the Woods“ also sounded the same (and I get that it sounded the same as Lois POV, because she wrote it), and all four parts were just plain boring.

Fourth part had more action in it but when we came to it, it was too late already. I just couldn’t care less.

We never got the main answer we actually wanted but were left with the conclusion that, sometimes, there are no answers.
I get that, because that is what happens in real life sometimes, but in my whole honesty, I feel like I have been robbed for several hours I spent reading this book.
And I am sorry I feel that way, and I am even more sorry when I think that the author has put so many hours, days, maybe even months into creating this novel and here I am, giving you my honest review and not saying anything good.
But that is how honesty works.

The story ended with an opened ending but, as I already said, when I got to that point I didn’t care anymore. I was just glad it was over.


17 thoughts on “Book Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell”

  1. I read The Ice Twins and absolutely adored it. The writing was sensational and the story so gripping I finished it in one sitting.
    I am not a fan of pitch comparing books, and by the sound of your review, I can say they are quite wrong! I am sorry you lost a few valuable reading hours on this book.


  2. Wow, that’s a strongly felt review. I haven’t read any books by this Author yet so I can’t comment. I guess that the thing with us bookbloggers, we have to write what we honestly feel. Unfortunately, this is not always positive. I hope you enjoy The Ice Twins more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I hope so too!
      As for honesty, I feel like I have that obligation bc, on GR, so many of my friends actually do read my reviews and I couldn’t recommend something that I don’t like.
      I can’t even imagine giving five stars and lying that the book I didn’t like is awesome. That’s not what I’m about.
      It is a bitter feeling to know that your review could hurt someone’s feelings though…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose the book will get a mix of good and bad reviews, then people can decide for themselves whether to read it or not. Also, it makes you credible as a bookblogger, because your readers will know that you reviews are real and honest whether good or bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I started reading thrillers last year with the girl on the train and the ice twins. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on this one


    1. Maybe it was just not for me, I saw some ppl liked it. But on GR it has a low rating, it is under 3,5.
      I’m reading Firechild by that guy who wrote Ice Twins and I really like that one so far, so I would recommend that one if you’re looking for a psychological story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: