Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Such a Pretty Girl, Laura Wiess

Such a Pretty Girl, by Laura Wiess
Published: January 2, 2007
Publisher: MTV
Pages: 212
Overall Rating: 3/5

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.

This book definitely isn't for the faint hearted. You are not going to read Such a Pretty Girl, and walk away feeling warm and fuzzy. (If you do, seek help immediately, thanks.)

Meredith's father was supposed to be in prison for nine years for sexual abuse, but he paroles in three. He isn't home long before he proceeds to pick up where he left off.  I'd really like to find myself with more faith in our justice system than to believe it was possible for a father to get out of prison so quickly in a case such as this, but I don't have it. I've seen people walk away with nothing more than probation for molestation.

Meredith is damaged. It's clear from the beginning. Her obsession with numbers seems insane, but I think it's really the only thing that keeps her sane. She's a product of severe sexual abuse, and everyone around her seems to look the other way.

Putting her sexual abuse aside, she's damaged because has a demented mother. One of those moms who look the other way when they know something horrible is happening to their child right under their nose. One of those mothers who actually blames the child for destroying what she would like to believe was a perfect family. One of those mothers that I would slap, if given the chance.

These people exist in the real world. It's fiction but it isn't fantasy. There are rapists and child molesters everywhere, and many of them pray on their own children. There are many mothers in the picture doing nothing to stop it. I'm not sure who's worse, the scum fathers, or the conceding mothers.

I'm a bit disgusted right now. I have been since I finished the book. It was haunting, gripping, enthralling, disgusting. And unfortunately, far too real.

I do think the ending came a little too quickly, and it's a bit unbelievable. At the same time, I don't think I would've wanted to see much more.

I'd recommend it to anyone who believes they can handle it, but expect to be repulsed.

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