Such a Pretty Girl

Such a Pretty Girl[Reading] ➶ Such a Pretty Girl By Laura Wiess – 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 ne 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 Such a MOBI :✓ has run out.

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  • Paperback
  • 212 pages
  • Such a Pretty Girl
  • Laura Wiess
  • English
  • 20 August 2017
  • 9781416521839

10 thoughts on “Such a Pretty Girl

  1. Jamie L says:

    This book was stupid, boring, and too short to short to warrant $9.
    SPOILER: girl is abused by her dad; dad goes to jail; dad gets out of jail; mom is more interested in dad than daughter; dad starts harassing daughter again; daughter hits him with a statue of the holy mother and breaks his head. the end.

  2. Kelsie says:

    Although this book deals with a dark and demented issue, its style, readability, and theme of justice made it impossible for me to put down. Meredith, a 15-year-old girl, was promised nine years of protection from the government when her father was charged with molesting and raping her when she was 12 years old. Her father was sent to prison and was supposed to be locked up until Meredith was 18 and legally free from her father's guardianship. But to Meredith's horror, he is released after only three years for good behavior. Meredith comments, Of course he was on good behavior, there aren't any children in prison. Now that he has been released back into the public, Meredith (as well as her friends) know it is only a matter of time before her father will strike again. He is not the type of offender who wants to change - he is a pedophile who truly believes he loves children (boys and girls) and can't keep his hands off, regardless of what the law says. Meredith finds herself in an almost impossible situation: does she wait around for her father to attack a pure and innocent child, or does she offer herself as a sacrifice, hoping he can be put away for good?

    This gripping story will have you not only disgusted by the degrading acts of incest, pedophilia, and child molestation, it will also have your heart enraptured in rooting for Meredith as she heroically attempts to fight for herself and all other child molestation and rape victims. This book, though a difficult subject, realistically portrays the evil that too many children encounter in our society: molestation and rape by a family member. Though this entire book could not be taught in the classroom, it is a good resource for teachers and students to read in order to have at least some sort of understanding of the horror that molestation and rape victims face and have to deal with. I think that excerpts could definitely be used in the classroom. This book could also be used to discuss the justice system's procedure in handling child sex offenders. Also, Meredith's mother turns a blind eye to Meredith's father and refuses to see that his actions were done by choice, not by mistake. This book could be used to explore the real-life cases and consequences of those who choose to turn a blind eye to the evils in society and accept the wrong done by others and the destruction it causes in a family, community, and society.

    ALA 2008 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

  3. Laura says:

    12-year-old Meredith's father is sent to prison for nine years for raping her repeatedly. But he's paroled in only three, when Meredith is 15, and, because Meredith's selfish, narcissistic mother wants her husband back, he sets about working his way back into Meredith's life and continuing where he left off.

    Let's just get one thing out of the way: this book requires an enormous suspension of disbelief, at least if you have even the most tangential contact with the real justice system. First of all: nine years for raping your own daughter? Nowhere but Bizarro World -- I don't care what kind of psychiatric testimony the guy presented. 40 years would be more like it for that crime. And parole after three years? For sex with your 12-year-old? Nuh-uh. Not anywhere in America, certainly. And finally, there would be no way in hell that the guy would be allowed anywhere near his minor daughter after his parole. Just no way in hell -- it would probably be a condition of his parole that he not get within 500 yards of her, much less live in the same condo development. But that's just what he does here. Uh, no. (Please don't leave comments saying, You're wrong! I know someone, and her sister-in-law's cousin had this EXACT SAME THING happen to her. If you want to send me a documented story showing that something like this actually happened in the United States sometime within the last 20 years or so, fine, but please, spare me the fifth-hand accounts that you overheard at a party a couple months ago.) There's more than just a suspension of disbelief problem here -- by presenting such an unbelievable story, Wiess sensationalizes her subject.

    Let's put that aside, though, and make believe, for the sake of argument, that the wildly unbelievable plot is actually chock full of verisimilitude. Wouldn't matter: although this book is a page turner, it still isn't all that impressive. Wiess is on a mission, and she will never let us forget it for one second. And as with all writers whose mission overcomes their craft, her writing has an unfortunate tendency to become melodramatic and, even worse, overly expository. Long passages describing the effects of sexual abuse don't really do much to advance your story, even when they're disguised as inner monologues. And Meredith's mother, a figure of pure evil and nothing more, actually has dialog like, We're supposed to stick together, family is supposed to stick together. He made a mistake! Lots of people make mistakes and no one tells on them! How could you? and Why did you have to ruin our family? This sort of thing is not, to put it kindly, the apex of psychological realism. She might as well have been named Snidely Whiplash for how well she was portrayed -- if she had had a mustache, she surely would have twirled it while cackling and tying Meredith to the railroad tracks.

    And frankly, even if you could point to a case that tracks this one, it would take a certain finesse, along with an exceedingly deft touch, to fictionalize so awful a story. Unfortunately, this book has neither, and too readily descends into pathos and self-importance. The author interview included at the end doesn't help matters, I'm sorry to say. Wiess's earnest remarks about the white-hot blast of terror, fury, and despair that she felt while writing the first draft just strengthened my impression that she wasn't interested so much in writing fiction as she was in writing a political tract.

    Although the strong narrative does carry the reader along, Such a Pretty Girl ultimately isn't able to stand up under the weight of its own outrage.

  4. Sarah says:

    3.5 stars

    This book was an average read. I kind of wish it was longer and meatier but I can understand why it was on the short side. Honestly though, How It Ends by Wiess is so much better than this one so I would recommend that one over this one.

    The best thing about this book was Meredith. I thought she was a great character. I liked how she was brave and quite rebellious even though she was scared of her father. The other characters all seemed pretty real so in my opinion, they were well done. I liked Andy at the start but then he kind of got annoying. The romance kind of rubbed me the wrong way too and I thought it would have been better if they were just friends. Something else I really liked was the dynamic between Meredith and her mother. Her mother was awful, just a horrible person but there are people like her out there. Those people are almost as awful as the abusers in my opinion.

    At the end of the book, Wiess writes about a documentary that partly inspired her to write the book. I watched the documentary on YouTube - its called Just Melvin; Just Evil and I would definitely recommend this. I was planning on only watching a little bit but it was so interesting, I watched the whole thing. Its just incredible and absolutely heartbreaking.

    I would recommend this and I would read more by Laura Wiess.

  5. Penelope Douglas says:

    Wonderfully written story. A little pricey for being so short--I wish it was longer--but I loved the way things were described and the twist at the very end.

  6. Paige Bookdragon says:

    “Rape is not a mistake! He did it on purpose, over and over again because he wanted to, because he get off on it-”

    There are just some books that despite not liking the characterization, you love the book because the story it is telling is important.

    This book is about a motherfucking pedophile who was supposed to be rotting in jail for nine years (not enough). He was Merideth's father and because the universe is a bitch sometimes, her father was released after three years in prison.Let me be straight because I know you guessed in the blurbed what really happened.

    Meredith's father molested her because he's a pig and he gets off raping little kids and Merideth was one of the people who testified against him in the court.And now he's back.

    Let me go back to why books like this are important. It's fucking important because some people likes to pretend that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the world. That the world is made of unicorn poop with glitters and those big bad wolfs were just fiction.

    They can pretend but it won't change the truth. There are some sick fuck out there who likes to hurt little children and sometimes they succeed. I would like to think that this book was written, not just to tell a story, but to make us more aware.

    The truth is sometimes dark and harsh, but fuck it, it's the truth.

  7. Angie says:

    SUCH A PRETTY GIRL has only been out for three and a half years now, but I kind of get the impression that--similar to Julia Hoban's Willow--it hasn't reached the wider audience it deserves as a result of its somewhat disturbing subject matter. I know I held off picking it up for awhile. Well, make that several days. I would have gone longer, I'm sure, but I read two absolutely stellar reviews of it and wanted to try it so bad. However, I have a very hard time reading stories about child abuse. I haven't the stomach for it and I tend to emerge so much the worse for wear that I can't make a habit of them. However. Something about the tone of these reviews (I wish I could remember whose they were) encouraged me. So I made a silent agreement with myself that if my library had it, I would go ahead and read it. And wouldn't you know it, it did have it. And this ended up being another case of me running out to buy the book before I'd even finished my library copy. It was that good. And this all happened within the space of one 24-hour period, as this slender volume clocks in at a scant 224 pages. But I'm telling you, Laura Wiess knows how to make every word count. It instantly snagged a spot on my Beloved Bookshelf and I think about it and Meredith often.

    Meredith Shale thought she'd have longer to prepare. She thought her father would be locked away for nine years. That's what his sentence read. But after serving three years in prison for child abuse, he's released on good behavior. And he's coming home. Her mother, who never got over her father being gone, is ready to welcome him home with open arms. Meredith's reaction is just a little bit different. At fifteen, she thought she'd be able to reach her eighteenth birthday and leave home, thus avoiding ever having to see him again. But now he's back living in the same apartment complex. And Meredith has no one but her best friend Andy and retired cop Nigel to turn to when her anger and fear threaten to overwhelm her. But Nigel can't always be right there when she needs him. And Andy, who is confined to his wheelchair and not so incidentally had his own brush with Mer's father, really does have his own set of messy issues to deal with as much as he loves and wants to protect Meredith. When the unthinkable first happened, no one believed her. And the horror spread to other kids as a result. In the years since her father was incarcerated, Meredith has acquired several coping mechanisms for dealing with what happened to her. From her strict vitamin-taking regimen to her obsession with prime numbers, everything in her life has its place. Now that he's out, even on parole, she abhors the idea of seeing him, doesn't believe for a second his claims of reformation, and is determined no one else will ever suffer at his hands the way she did again.

    I was shocked at how much I loved SUCH A PRETTY GIRL. It's an incredibly fast-paced story, with a very present narrative style so that it feels like you're standing at the sink with Meredith in the morning, sitting on the curb with her under the glaring sun of the afternoon and staring up at Andy's door, walking home with her at night--a ball of dread tearing a hole in the pit of her stomach. And here and there the story is shot through with brief flashbacks to the time in her life when she was most powerless. But it never overwhelms completely. It never made me want to shut the book and leave. Rather, I could not put it down. I loved this girl from page one and I was going to see her through to the end. Which is perfect, by the way. Wiess strikes a touching and precarious balance between moments when Meredith is supported by a desperately needed group of truly good, if slightly unusual people--a cop, a cripple, a zealot--and moments when she is left utterly alone to stand up to her demons. Because she's the definition of a survivor. Meredith lives through nightmares unimaginable, more than any 15-year-old should ever have to live through. And when the law lets the nightmare right back into her house, she doesn't crumble and succumb. She fights. That's why she won a spot on the Top Ten Kick-A** Heroines of YA list I put together awhile back. I took a risk on this book, but it was just extremely well done. The relationship between Meredith and Andy provides an important current of sweetness and light to counter the darkness of their combined pasts as well as the imminent danger of their entwined presents. And to top it off it has one of my favorite last lines ever. An amazing debut novel for Ms. Wiess. Recommended for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Julia Hoban's Willow, and Donna Freitas' This Gorgeous Game.

  8. Diane ϟ [ Lestrange ] says:

    What's the point of obsessing over cholesterol or bike helmets or even cigarettes when the biggest threats to our children are being released back into society every day? Yes, maybe 'some' of them have reformed, but what about the ones who haven't? Doesn't anyone realize that one 'touch', one 'time' will destroy a child's life ten times faster than a pack-a-day habit?

    Such a Pretty Girl was disturbing and a very painful subject. The kind that makes one uncomfortable, as it should be. It is sick and sad but it is true and real problem among us. Child incest destroys the innocence of a child and leaves a ruinous future in its wake. The effects of it are devastating, profound and can last a lifetime.

    Straight word: ordinary. There are many novels out there that deal with this kind of subject, and Such a Pretty Girl is like any of them. This book deals with usual issues, like rape, abandonment and incest. Despite being ordinary it’s not an easy novel to read, as reader will feel Merith's nightmare toward her father’s abuse and mother’s abandonment.

    There are some that I liked in this book. First is the Merith's fascination on numbers (maybe the only thing that I like with the main character). And last, is how the author shows us various outcome of child behavior with same past experience. Like with Merith and Andy. One character finds strength and confronts her problem, while the other finds avoiding or escaping as a solution. Though other than that is plain and I didn’t feel hopeful at the end. I just felt beaten down by how cruel the world can be, and how sick and vile some people can be.

  9. Susan& says:

    I was cruising around for a good YA novel when I cam across this one, ordered it on Overdrive, and surprise, surprise, discovered that I had already read it years ago. This story is about abuse, parental abdication and one girl's battle to stop the abuse by her father.
    I loved the magical overtones and the poetic justice of the ending.
    Highly recommended!

  10. Jennifer Wardrip says:

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

    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.

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