Meredith Shale, 15, lives in a world that no child should ever have to live in. She was sexually abused by her father as a young girl, and the monster is about to be let out of prison early. As Meredith says, they promised her nine years of safety but gave her only three.
While it is nearly impossible to imagine one's life with a sexual predator back on the loose, it is disgusting to realize that your own mother won't even protect you. Meredith's mother, Sharon, has been with Charles since she was a young girl, and has lived in her world of tunnel-vision love and delusion. She calls what happened between her daughter and her husband âa mistake,â is angry that Meredith reported him, and feels that now that Charles is out of prison, they can be one, big happy family.
Laura Wiess has created a story and characters that are raw and real, sometimes almost too real to bear, but you dare not put the book down. Meredith's anger, pain and fright are on full display, although she might not outwardly share her fears with the people in her life. They know she is concerned, but she lets only the reader past her tough-exterior shell and see the scared little girl that very much lives inside her.
Meredith gains her strength through the support of her boyfriend and a few neighbors in the condo neighborhood in which she lives. But the most strength comes from herself.
This no-holds-barred novel, told in present day and flashbacks, suspends the reader in Meredith's state of unrest. With trepidation, fear and resolve, both reader and protagonist gear up for the final confrontation between abuser and victim.
What a great book - I really couldn't put it down. The chapters are short and is an easy read - but don't let that fool you. It is a powerful book that grabs you right from the beginning and keeps you at the edge of your seat until the very end.
I really wasn't expecting the ending and I love it when a book does that to the reader. Meredith is faced with such terror while her father is being let out of prison. Her mother is absolutely no help to her.
This is a book that will stay with you long after you are done with it.
A+ to the author!
This was such a good book. It is easy to read and has alot of emotion in it.
Merideth's father is getting out of jail on good behaviour. He is a pedophile. Merideth knows he will not stop and it does not matter how "good" he was, there are no children in jail.
Her mother is oblivious and just wants her husband home and to re live her youth.
Merideth has several friends that she can go to, one whom is in a wheelchair and a former victim of Merideth's father.
The final conclusion is surprising and heartbreaking.
If you have been molested this will bring back memories but you will cheer in Merideth's strengths.
Heartbreakingly honest and completely absorbing. You won't be able to put it down but it's short enough for finishing in one sitting.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com
In SUCH A PRETTY GIRL, Laura Wiess grabbed and held my attention from the first page to the last. New Jersey teenager Meredith was supposed to have nine years of safety from her father, so she'd be eighteen and out of the house when he was released from prison. But three years later, when Meredith is fifteen, her father gets out for good behavior. No matter what he did to Meredith and to other children before her, Meredith's mother is more than ready to take him back.
Meredith isn't alone, though. She has her grandmother, the mayor of the town, who wants Meredith to move in with her to escape her father. She has Andy, her best friend, the guy she is in love with, who was also scarred by Meredith's father as a child. She has Andy's mother, who moved across the street from Meredith's family just to keep other children from the horror from which she couldn't protect Andy. She has Nigel, a retired policemen who has a plan to get Meredith's father back in jail and away from children. Even though Meredith is far from alone, she still feels that way when she can't even count on the people every kid is supposed to be able to count on: her parents.
Meredith wants to get her father back in prison. She wants her mother to go back to visiting him instead of having him in their house. She wants to be able to go into her own home without fear. She wants other kids to be safe, too. She doesn't know what that's going to take, and she's certainly not unafraid, but she isn't going to let him hurt her, or any other kids, again.
This moving, powerful novel is one that should not be missed. Once you start reading it, you won't be able to put this book down. I wasn't! It's an emotional book that is beautifully, powerfully written and unique, and it'll stay with you long past the last word.
Laura Wiess's characters are as well-written as the rest of the book, very realistic (in some cases, scarily so). They're three-dimensional characters in an equally (and, again, scarily) believable story that will certainly be a favorite of anyone who reads it. I know it's one of mine now! Don't miss this book.