Since I was a young girl, I loved reading. This is something I still hold very dear to me, even though I don’t have as much time to read as I would like. In order to still make time for it, I decided I needed a way to motivate me to read each month, and so I joined the Poppy Loves Book Club. In fact, I decided that Hull needed its own, so I started a local branch (find your local one here). Since I’ve joined, it has been a fantastic way to get to know some of the ladies from work, chat about the book and be able to have a few drinks together to break up our routines.
Last month’s book was Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell. It is a story about two twelve year old girls, Lois and Carly Mae, that were kidnapped one summer by a guy who called himself “Zed”. This summer was, for obvious reasons, quite unique, and an experience that bonded them. There are so many layers in this story. I find this type of writing style very intriguing, and I must admit, I was curious what would happen next. The way Mitchell wrote the book gave insight to the girls as adults and as children. After many years had past since the abduction, and after not having seen each other in all those years, the girls were finally reunited due to unusual circumstances. Carly Mae had run away from home and had become an actress that went by the name of ‘Chloe Savage’. Lois grew up to be a professor of some obscure kidnapping genre in literature. Lois also happened to write a book on the side about her experience in the abduction (though as a work of fiction, and not under her own name). Apparently, this book became success enough for them to write a movie for it, and low-and-behold, who is the leading actress? None other than our Chloe Savage (aka Carly Mae). Then, there’s the fact that this rando guy is stalking Lois.
Also, don’t get me started on the kidnapper, Zed. I can wrap my head around the relationship Carly Mae and Lois have with one another, but the Zed and girl triangle is so weird. He doesn’t touch them, or do anything to them. And even though he is their kidnapper, they adore him. Additionally, their experience with him sticks with them well into their adulthood. They don’t find any man ‘worthy enough’ after comparing them with Zed. I know. Bizarre.
That’s all intriguing and what not, [SPOILER ALERT] but what I really found disappointing about the book was that you’re waiting for something major to happen (something dark or deep, or really just… anything). And NOTHING really happens. All book long. Sure, you get into the character’s lives, and sure, you have a lot of different stories within a story. But that is really it. No murder, no trauma, no depth, really.
I would definitely read something from Maggie Mitchell again, as this was her first book. I do appreciate her writing style, although I’m really baffled why she chose to write it the way she did. Maybe she just wanted us to come up with our own conclusions, but it really made it seem like she didn’t have a full grasp of her own book, herself.
I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars!