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.
Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess