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Gameboard of the Gods
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Pretty Girl-13 - Liz Coley This was an intriguing book to read. I find myself using the descriptions “interesting” and “intriguing” when I’m not sure how I feel about something or how to react…this isn't an exception. I am torn because there were things I liked and there were things I found obvious/annoying. The subject is definitely a tough one to read about and the feelings that result are definitely mixed. I will say that yes, there were some somewhat unbelievable and perhaps unrealistic twists to this story but overall I found the book to be one that kept me engaged and curious as to what would come out or happen next.The book actually grabbed me from the very beginning as we open with Angie at girl scout camp heading toward the trees. Angie is the main character and 13 years old. While out in the woods, she gets a weird feeling that someone is watching. Regardless, she heads out and the next thing we know, she is face to face with her captor and being led off. The next thing she knows, she is in her neighborhood and headed home. Oh, and it is 3 years later.We come to find out that Angie has been missing for 3 years and the last thing she remembers is being at camp…somehow 3 years are missing from her memory and she doesn't know how to act or be around her family. This part of the story was a bit painful to read considering she doesn't remember a thing. She has the emotional maturity and experiences of a 13 year old while everyone is treating her like a 16 year old and on top of this, she has developed DID (Disassociative Identity Disorder) - multiple personalities - to deal with the trauma she has faced over the last 3 years in which she has been abused. It is clear that there are going to be some challenges – Angie’s mom is pregnant with a new baby which Angie feels may be an attempt to replace her, her friends have moved on in school while she hasn't, and in addition to all of this, Angie begins to see a therapist to try to unlock what she can’t remember. Clearly there is a psychological aspect to this book and anyone who finds that interesting might also find the techniques and brain mapping experiments interesting. I have no connection to this type of work so I have no idea if any of it is really how it would work or be done….I still found it intriguing.The multiple personalities that inhabit Angie are varied and serve their purpose. Where the story lost me were the pieces where it was obvious where Coley was headed…at least to me and those that didn't really fit or impact the overall story. The bit with her uncle and Sam being her baby. I’m not sure what the deal was with the fire and the underwhelming response from Angie’s friends to her return. At times the dialogue felt off and somewhat uncomfortable. Angie’s responses didn't really fit her age as well as the situation. I don’t claim to know how someone would react to all of the things that have happened but it just felt off to me. I have to stick with my 3 star rating on this one and stick with the middle road. Please don’t consider that a negative review. I have to be completely invested in a character and although I felt for Angie, I didn't necessarily connect with her in a way that made me love her. Also, her “friends” annoyed the crap out of me.