Pretty Girl-13 | Liz Coley | Book Review

You ever just get in the mood for a book that you know will depress you? One that will reach into you and maybe smack your emotions around a little bit? I think you do. I think we all do. I read Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley in what might as well have been a single sitting. I was sent home from work because I was that gross nauseous kind of sick, and also just really dizzy and out of it. Y’all, I was experiencing misery and you know, misery loves company and all. SO, I totally trotted out Pretty Girl-13 because it was TIME. I have had this book in my pile for months on end just waiting for the perfect moment. Dragging the book into the bathtub and into bed and into the living room, I really gobbled up Pretty Girl-13 and have to say that if you are into books that are depressing as all get out, YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. I hope.

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley | Good Books And Good Wine

The beginning of Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley is mad eerie. Basically, Angie, the main character is 13 and out on a Girl Scout camping trip. She has to go to the bathroom, so instead of waking someone up to go with her, she just goes alone into the woods. She hears a noise, investigates it, and is kidnapped. The book then picks up about three years later and Angie is dropped off at her home with zero memory of the three years she was in captivity. She basically has repressed her trauma. So, she shows up and naturally her parents are shocked as hell. Her dad has quite the reaction. She also begins going to school again and oh yeah, she tries to hang out with her old friends but it just doesn’t work. OH and also, the press is about to get all up in her business. AND ALSO, Angie starts seeing a psychologist and well, we basically go through what has happened to Angie as different personalities come out. THERE ARE REVELATIONS YOU GUYS. REVELATIONS! Sorry, I just get excited about big plot twists.

While I did not relate to Angie at all and honestly felt pity for her, I did find her narrative to be intense and engaging. You guys, I literally did not put this book down, not even to draw my bath. That is how much of a grip it had on me. I just thought Angie was interesting because she has been through something big and scary and she is doing her best to adjust to life after. It’s been awhile since I read the book so I can’t quite wax poetic to you guys about her personality because I don’t really remember much of it. I think that regular Angie has been through hell, but is a fighter and you know, thank goodness she survived. If you read this, you’ll see the full extent of what she survived.

I am not entirely sure what it is called but Angie definitely has a mental break that happens as a result of her being kidnapped and you know raped and beaten on a regular basis. I think it’s called dissociative identity disorder but I could be wrong. Anyways, Pretty Girl-13 features these different personalities that Angie has inside her that come out when she is going through something awful. They also come out when she is under I think hypnosis at her therapy. It is through those different personalities that she recounts what happened to her. It is chilling and whoa, gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I liked seeing the different personalities and thought it added a unique dimension to the book. It sort of reminded me of this movie we watched in high school psychology class called The Three Faces Of Eve, I think. Anyways.

Liz Coley certainly has written a total page turner. I will admit that there are moments where it feels more like one of those Lifetime movies than something I should take seriously — but honestly? There are those days where you just need something morbid with all these twists and with all kinds of emotions. Pretty Girl-13 got me through a day of illness and so because of that it will hold a special place in my heart.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher

Other reviews of Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley:

The Flyleaf Review – “unfortunately it just didn’t work for me
Supernatural Snark – “an immensely challenging story
Esther’s Ever After – “couldn’t put it down until I was finished

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Pretty Girl-13 sounds incredibly heartbreaking, but also immensely clever. It seems like Liz Coley’s taken a rather unique perspective when it comes to telling this particular story, and I get the feeling I would like how it was written (even while being thrilled/sad over the plot itself).

  2. I really liked this one too… it kind of what I imagined Elizabeth Smart may have gone through, you know? The end notes were key for me – I’m really glad they were included.

  3. haha It totally did have some Lifetime movie moments! I too found myself gripped by the novel and found myself reading it everywhere I went. You just can’t help but want to know what the heck is going on. I was really satisfied with the conclusion as well. It never seemed just too far out there for me.

  4. I wonder why Lifetime hasn’t optioned the rights? lol

    I read this awhile back and loved it, and I also watch Lifetime movies. My book club is getting together to watch the Flowers in the Attic movie when it premieres this weekend. 😉

  5. I REALLY like this one for the most part, especially because I love depressing books, but I was so irritated with the way the author dealt with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Then again I’m a psych major whose concentration is in mental illness so the things that bothered me probably wouldn’t bother the average reader at all. Like you, I went through it SO FAST. Omg the plot twists and the intensity I loved it all.