Review: Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

July 27, 2015 Book 3 ★★★½

Review: Pretty Is by Maggie MitchellPretty Is by Maggie Mitchell
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 7th 2015
Source: Library Thing, Provided by Publisher
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A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted themEveryone thought we were dead. We were missing for nearly two months; we were twelve. What else could they think? -LoisIt's always been hard to talk about what happened without sounding all melodramatic. . . . Actually, I haven't mentioned it for years, not to a goddamned person. -Carly MayThe summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still. Maggie Mitchell's Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

When I first read Pretty Is, I thought that it was based on a true story. The way that it was written evoked a certain “realness” from it.

I think Maggie Mitchell did an excellent job at presenting this story about two girls who were kidnapped years ago. Lois and Carly May felt so real. I thought they were actually real people.

The plot itself for me was at first hard to get into; it was frustrating that both Lois and Carly May were so evasive about what happened that summer years ago. However it was so interesting seeing their thought process; the way they both dealt with their now adult lives.

There was also a small mysterious/thriling element in the story that made you want to keep passing the pages.

The pacing may be hard for someone if they don’t have a lot of patience. I was waiting throughout the whole book to finally see Carly Mae & Lois meet again, but it took so long.

Frankly, the end of the book is what may make you dislike the book a bit. I was enjoying it so much, and I expected that by the end of it I’d get all the answers that were hinted at throughout the book. However it was left up to interpretation. I wanted to explicitly know the kidnapper’s reasoning. I wanted to see more of Lois & Carly Mae’s life after being found that summer. I wanted a lot of answers but got barely none. 

In spite of that, I still think this is a good book. I think it’s a unique read that’ll entertain you, and leave you wanting more.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.7

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • shootingstarsmag

    Sorry about the lack of answers. I have this one to read soon, so I guess it’s good to know going in!


  • Hmmm, it kind of sounds like it was slow and draggy and it sucks how you didn’t get the amount of answers you were hoping. That sounds pretty frustrating. Lovely review Marianne, I hadn’t heard of this one before.

  • It’s a pity about the lack of answer the novel provides, it sounds a bit frustrating; especially when that’s what you want (and I think I’d want to know why too!) but at least you were able to still enjoy it 🙂