*This post is in lieu of a Monday Must-Read this week.*
I recently finished Maggie Mitchell’s debut novel, Pretty Is. This book has been praised as a Gone Girl-like story with the ability to skyrocket up the bestseller lists.
After reading it, I can see the potential, but I think the book could have used a little more work.
The premise itself is brilliant. Two girls who were kidnapped at age 12 and held for two months in a cabin in the mountains are reunited nearly two decades later.
Lois, now a college professor, wrote a novel based on their experience which is now being turned into a movie. Chloe (formerly Carly May) is set to star in the movie.
As Lois prepares for the movie and begins writing her second novel, one of her students begins showing a little too much interest in her past and what led to her writing the book.
The story comes to a head when Sean, the student, begins stalking Lois, hacking into her computer and following her to the movie’s set.
The book ends a little abruptly for my taste and leaves one giant question unanswered: who is Sean in relation to the original kidnapper? There’s some speculation tossed around throughout the book, but the question is never actually answered.
(Mitchell also never determines if Lois writes her sequel, and if she does, how she ends it.)
There were points in the book where I felt like the Chloe/Carly character wasn’t really there for any reason. She had no relationship to the Sean/Lois plot until the very end of the book (the last 30 pages or so.)
The writing was crisp and easy to read and I really enjoyed how quickly the plot moved. However, it felt like the ending was rushed and a little stereotypical. It was predictable in a sense as well.
In some ways, I wondered if this book was actually based on a true story. You know, if Mitchell was writing about characters who experienced this like Lois did–with Mitchell being the person who was kidnapped as a child. Pretty Is reads that way at certain points.
Overall, I would say this book is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy thrillers, however, I wouldn’t expect anything on the Gone Girl level.
On a scale of 1 to 5 Amy Dunnes, I would give this book three.