Friday, February 4, 2011

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
MTV Books, 2007

Summary from Goodreads:
They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.
Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.
Today her time has run out.
Throughout this entire book I just wanted to swoosh down into the story and scoop Meredith up, out of there, and into my world. Seriously, who does that to a child? And I'm not talking about the father--although his crimes are certainly henious enough. No, I'm talking about Meredith's mother. Who cannot. Wait. Until her husband is out of jail so they can get their lives back together. Who made arrangements for Meredith's father to rent an apartment in the same complex that she and Meredith live in. Who BLAMES MEREDITH for the father ending up in jail. Meredith's parents started dating when Dad was 18 and Mom was 12, and Mom thinks this is normal. Mom has blatantly come out and told Meredith that if she were ever forced to choose between Dad and Daughter, she would pick Dad. WTF?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not minimizing the atrocious acts of the father. For some reason, though, the mother really got to me. It's one thing to have to go through what Meredith went through, but to have to go through that alone because Mom loves Dad above all else? There's just something so horrifyingly sad about that. I mean, I love my husband and all, but given a choice between him and my daughter, I'd pick her. Always. I know he would do the same. And I don't begrudge him that. That's what happens when you have a child--your child trumps everyone else. How can Meredith's mom not feel that obligation?

It is slightly reassuring to learn that Meredith does have a support system to rely on. Her grandmother, retired-cop neighbor, and sort-of boyfriend and mother are all looking out for her. However, these people have their own reasons for hating Meredith's father, and it becomes difficult for Meredith to know if they are helping her because of her, or because of their agendas towards her father.

Fans of gritty, realistic fiction will enjoy this one. It was almost (almost!) as difficult to read as Living Dead Girl, which, you should realize by now, is the title by which I measure all dark, difficult fiction against.

Borrowed book from library.
Enjoy your reading!


  1. Fabulous review! This one sounds very intriguing, and because I'm a fan of gritty, realistic fiction, I think I'll be picking this one up sometime soon.

  2. It sounds fascinating. This isn't the sort of book that I normally gravitate to, but I have to admit, you have me intrigued.

  3. While I don't know if I would read this book, I do like your review of it. I do enjoy realistic fiction, but I have a hard time going out of my way to read it. Does that makes sense? I want to read happy books! Your review does sound like something I would write. I love when that happens, when a book makes you emotional!

    And I love the cover.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments! For Peep & Madigan: I enjoy reading dark fiction--generally the darker the better LOL So if you usually avoid fiction like that, this one might not be for you. I hear you about happy books, though--sometimes I do like kicking back with a "lighter" story.


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