Book Review: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley and Double Crossed by Ally Carter

Pretty Girl-13Pretty Girl-13
Liz Coley
Katherine Tegen Books, March 2013
ISBN 978-0-06-212737-2
Hardcover

From the publisher

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she’s returned home…only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen-or at least that’s what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn’t know.

But there are people who do-people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren’t locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her “alters.” As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angie’s parents have experienced what every parent fears, the abduction of a child with no resolution, no knowledge of what really happened on that fateful day. When Angie suddenly reappears three years later, the repercussions are not what we might imagine, should we find ourselves in such a situation. I would not be the least bit surprised that the child can’t drop back into life as though nothing happened but, in this case, I found her father’s behavior baffling and sometimes her mother’s was also. Yes, her mom has the excuse of pregnancy wreaking havoc on her hormones and moods but her dad’s aloofness is nothing but hurtful and it’s even shameful when he has to choose whose story to believe.

Angie, on the other hand, is an extremely sympathetic character and I understood her desire to have a normal life as well as her rage against her parents. When it began to be apparent that “others” had an active say in what normal meant, I completely bought into the premise. Although multiple personalities are a fairly rare condition, it makes sense for Angie when her alters start to reveal what Angie’s life has been like—and not just for the past three years.

I’ve read other books that feature a kidnapped child, including those who are held for long periods, but this one struck me as particularly appealing. I like Angie very much and applaud her strength, no matter it’s source. Ms. Coley has done a fine job of telling not only Angie’s story but that of the people who love her, including those who will always be a part of her.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2013.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Double CrossedDouble Crossed
A Spies and Thieves Story
Ally Carter
Disney/Hyperion, January 2013
ISBN 978-1-4231-8747-9
Ebook

From the author—

Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

Two very uncommon teens discover each other, and their respective talents, at a high society charity auction just before a band of masked intruders breaks in and a heist begins. It begins but why doesn’t it end as quickly as most such things do, allowing the robbers to abscond with the goods before the cops get there? Macey and Hale are on their own to try to save the day—but, then again, they’re not really on their own when Kat and Abby make their presence known in Hale’s earbuds.

This is a novella that combines the characters of Ms. Carter‘s two series and then offers excerpts from those series. I’ve known about these books for quite a while but have never read any of them—now I’m a convert and am heading on over to fill up my Nook. Hmm…not sure which series to start with but probably Gallagher Girls since that was first. Can’t wait to get started!

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2013.