Title: Pretty Is
Author: Maggie Mitchell
Date: May 5th, 2016
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.