Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess

2007
12.04


such a pretty girl
Fifteen-year-old Meredith is trying to catch a criminal. This terrifying man abused the trust of his small community when he used his position as a school baseball coach to molest children. Sentenced to nine years in prison, he’s been paroled after only three years–and now he’s coming home. You see, Meredith knows him better than anyone, because he’s not just a face in the newspaper–he’s also her father. He may have fooled the parole board, but he hasn’t fooled her. Meredith has come to the awful conclusion that if she wants to make sure he never hurts anyone else ever again, she’s going to need proof of his continued sickness, even if she has to use herself as bait: “I know now that I’m the only one who really understands the threat and if I’m ever going to be free of him…then I will have to bite the bullet and spend time in his company. Stake out the sacrificial lamb. Uncoil the rope so he can hang himself.” I burned through this devastating read in one subway commute, and I’m still shaking from the impact. This chilling debut by Laura Wiess is horrifically real in its depiction of not only adults who abuse but also those who stand by and let it happen. But Wiess balances these descriptions with the angry, amazing Meredith, who’s character showcases the hidden strength of teens and their ability to heal in the face of overwhelming odds. While the transcendent ending makes the horror of getting there all worth it, don’t pick up this book unless you’re ready to travel with Meredith to the deepest, darkest corners of the human soul.

14 Responses to “Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess”

  1. Morgan says:

    Didn’t you HATE Meredith’s mother in this? What a spineless, terrible, awful, no-good mother!

  2. Oh, I’ve been wanting to read this one too! But I have roughly 5 billion books on my “To read” list.

  3. Jen Hubert says:

    I put this one off for a long time, mostly because a friend had to read it for her book committee. But I found it really powerful and uncompromising. It was hard to read, but so well-written! I’m excited to see what this author will do next.

  4. Mari Stack says:

    I read this book and absolutely LOVED it! It was incredibly powerful and it left a permanent imprint on me. Meredith’s mother was terrible; everytime she was mentioned I wanted to gag..ugh! Overall though, it was a phenonimal book.

  5. haleema says:

    im in the middle of reading this book.
    i must say, the authors writing is different from what i’m used to reading. but im into it now and love it!! cant wait to see what happens at the end.

    and yes. i hate her mother.

  6. haleema says:

    im sorry. but i have a question.

    what happened at the end??
    did Andy end up going to the victim soul person?
    and i also didnt understand when she looked up the word Pious?

  7. Jen Hubert says:

    *******************Spoiler alert!!*************************

    Yes, Andy did visit the victim soul person, but the man died before Andy saw him. I can’t remember exactly why Meredith looked up pious, but I think within the story the word had some meaning for her in terms of her relationships with both Andy and her father.

  8. haleema says:

    —-spoliers———–

    but the last line of the book says “meet his shining gaze and smile. he is so tall”
    the last line suggests that he did get cured, no??

  9. Morgan says:

    I just got Laura Wiess’ new book LEFTOVERS – I am excited to read it over the weekend!!!

    Morgan

  10. Kassidy says:

    This was a phenominal book!! It was great. I am probably the only person who doesn’t totally hate meredith’s mother.

    SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

    I loved the end the most how andy gives the magdalene figure to her for “good luck” and it ended up being GOOD luck!!

  11. Jennifer says:

    Yes I believe Andy can now walk! Just like in his dream he walked to her just as she figured everything out! But I still don’t understand what she figured out….
    so I guess I’ll have to do my own research! I’ll let you all know what I find!

  12. Cathleen says:

    She looked up pious beacuse Andy was looking for a “pious or suffering soul” and pious means someone who is determined to take on the hurts of others, or someone who has done so much bad the they are forced to take on the suffering of other. Because of this she understood her father could be a pious soul, ergo, her father taking on Andy’s paralyisis. She realized all of this because her father had the exact same paralysis from something that shouldn’t have really done that to him.

  13. Kelly says:

    Really good review and I can’t wait to save up money to buy this book but you missed something! Her father also molested Meredith. But other than that AMAZING!!!

  14. Olivia says:

    I read this book, too, and loved it but am still really confused about whether or not at the end Andy can walk again

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