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Such a Pretty Girl

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  13,040 Ratings  ·  1,022 Reviews
A darkly compelling novel about a young woman who must defend herself against her abusive father. “In the character of Meredith, Laura Wiess has created a girl to walk alongside Harper Lee’s Scout and J.D. Salinger’s Phoebe. Read this novel, and you will be changed forever” (New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice).

They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but onl
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by MTV Books
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Paige *an exploding fluffball* Bookdragon I think 15 years and above is appropriate. But if a 12-14 years old is mature enough to understand this, then it's okay. This one is a bit dark and…moreI think 15 years and above is appropriate. But if a 12-14 years old is mature enough to understand this, then it's okay. This one is a bit dark and heavy to tackle.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie L
Jul 16, 2007 Jamie L rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2008 Kelsie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book deals with a dark and demented issue, its style, readability, and theme of justice made it impossible for me to put down. Meredith, a 15-year-old girl, was promised nine years of protection from the government when her father was charged with molesting and raping her when she was 12 years old. Her father was sent to prison and was supposed to be locked up until Meredith was 18 and legally free from her father's guardianship. But to Meredith's horror, he is released after only ...more
Dec 18, 2013 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever felt dirty after watching an episode of Law and Order that featured too little police work and too much voyeuristic stalking of the victim? That is how I felt reading this book.

This book deals with a serious subject, sexual abuse, from the point of view of a girl who was abused by her father. While I am think it does an ok job representing how that girl feels, (the OCD and number obsession was well done) there was WAY too many "I'm running from my crazy pervert father" scenes whic
Jan 15, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
12-year-old Meredith's father is sent to prison for nine years for raping her repeatedly. But he's paroled in only three, when Meredith is 15, and, because Meredith's selfish, narcissistic mother wants her husband back, he sets about working his way back into Meredith's life and continuing where he left off.

Let's just get one thing out of the way: this book requires an enormous suspension of disbelief, at least if you have even the most tangential contact with the real justice system. First of a
SUCH A PRETTY GIRL has only been out for three and a half years now, but I kind of get the impression that--similar to Julia Hoban's Willow--it hasn't reached the wider audience it deserves as a result of its somewhat disturbing subject matter. I know I held off picking it up for awhile. Well, make that several days. I would have gone longer, I'm sure, but I read two absolutely stellar reviews of it and wanted to try it so bad. However, I have a very hard time reading stories about child abuse. ...more
Paige  *an exploding fluffball* Bookdragon
“Rape is not a mistake! He did it on purpose, over and over again because he wanted to, because he get off on it-”

There are just some books that despite not liking the characterization, you love the book because the story it is telling is important.

This book is about a motherfucking pedophile who was supposed to be rotting in jail for nine years (not enough). He was Merideth's father and because the universe is a bitch sometimes, her father was released after three years in prison.Let me be str
Diane ϟ [ Lestrange ]
What's the point of obsessing over cholesterol or bike helmets or even cigarettes when the biggest threats to our children are being released back into society every day? Yes, maybe 'some' of them have reformed, but what about the ones who haven't? Doesn't anyone realize that one 'touch', one 'time' will destroy a child's life ten times faster than a pack-a-day habit?

Such a Pretty Girl was disturbing and a very painful subject. The kind that makes one uncomfortable, as it should be. It is sick
Dec 25, 2007 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mock-printz-2007
I'll start by saying that I was struck by the similarities between this novel and my spring 2007 book Chasing Tail Lights). The journey, the choices, the use of flashbacks, and the two main characters making similar cold blooded and calculated decisions on avenging their abuse. Yet, I was most struck by the middle section of this novel where Mer talks about what is supposed to happen to "girls like me" who have been abused. The book is loaded with creepy moments (the father touching Mer's back a ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

In SUCH A PRETTY GIRL, Laura Wiess grabbed and held my attention from the first page to the last. New Jersey teenager Meredith was supposed to have nine years of safety from her father, so she'd be eighteen and out of the house when he was released from prison. But three years later, when Meredith is fifteen, her father gets out for good behavior. No matter what he did to Meredith and to other children before her, Meredith's mother is more than read
This story revolves around Meredith, a 15 year old whose father sexually abused her and has just been released early after serving only 3 years of his 9 year sentence. Her mother turns the other way and is in major denial over the whole thing, and Meredith feels like she has to deal with it mainly on her own. However, she does have allies in her condo community, like her retired cop neighbor, her wheelchair bound boyfriend and his mother, and her grandmother (who happens to be the mayor). She fe ...more
May 01, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book is raw and painful, and although it hurt to read it, I couldn't put it down. After being sent to prison for raping his 12-year-old daughter Meredith and other children, Meredith's father is released. She was promised a sentence of nine years but he's home in three and back to the same abuse. Meredith, is now fifteen and she's losing it.

The characters were all incredibly well-drawn, especially Meredith, but also the supporting characters. (I hate, hate, hate Meredith's mother.) There w
Addi • Pages Within Me
Truly heartbreaking, but still lined with hope.

Meredith, while suffering from major PTSD, was so strong and willful and I admired her. Her relationship with Andy, while unconventional, made me happy and I enjoyed the character development on both sides. The ending also made me smile and I liked that. The anger I felt at a few characters and situations throughout this book was also somewhat mollified by seeing those characters face the consequences they deserved.

Overall, taking into account the
Feb 06, 2016 faith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I just had some major problems with it. I thought it was going to be similar to Perks, and in was in some ways, but it definitely didn't handle the topic of molestation as gracefully as Perks did.
The main thing that put me off about this book straight from the start was the fact that Meredith is dating Andy and Andy is 19 years old while she is 15. In my opinion, the was no reason for Andy to be 19, he could have easily been 17 or something and the
This book was tragically beautiful. I can’t think of a better book to bring on holiday…
Meredith thought she had time, time to grow up, time to get away from him. Meredith is only 15 when her father gets out early from prison and is coming for her. Her time run out and she needs to stop him.
I am going through this phase in my life where I’m not interested in books that don’t include; suicide, or mental illnesses or rape. Weird I know but I love seeing how an author follows a story, I love seein
Mar 07, 2011 Katyh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I know this book deserves more than 3 stars and i would definitely have given it more had i not read "How It Ends" before this one. The latter one had me sobbing so bad. So when i picked this book I had hoped that i would blow me away. But that didn't happen. In fact the ending happened quite abruptly.

Laura Weiss has expertly described the emotions of teenagers who have have been sexually abused and didn't exactly find justice for it. Meredith was abused by her father who is a pedophile. Three
Jul 23, 2014 Tez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a Pretty Girl depicts a community where the tension doesn't simmer; it's explosive. The only way to protect the community is to provoke the offender into re-offending, and Meredith offers herself up as the sacrificial lamb. She's in no way reluctant, though she must battle her fears to complete the task.

The romance is believable: victims, survivors banding together, trying to cope with their tortured pasts...and now their troubled present. Paralysis and religion thread their connection with
Michelle Llewellyn
What a stupid story! Yes, the author is trying to deal with a heavy issue like child incest and pedophiles but the world she's created here is just too unbelievable. The main character, Meredith, age 15, just can't seem to focus on anything except getting away from her sadistic parents and their bad sex to be with her crippled boyfriend, Andy, so they can have the good sex and drink the good booze. Hanging out of a car window while drunk was what led to Andy's paralysis yet he's constantly swigg ...more
She was promised nine years of safety, but received only three: Meridith is fifteen, living with a mother who intentionally blinds herself to the truth, and her sexually abusive father is about to be released from jail. She must find a way to protect herself from her fatherand protect the other children that he may abuse in her stead. Meridith's harrowing story is compulsively readable, but it's too short and the secondary characters and plotlines don't receive enough attention. Careful flashbac ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just... wow.

This book, though short and dark, is one of the best books I think I've ever read. I never wanted to put it down. Wiess does an extraordinary job at depicting what it's like to be the victim of sexual abuse.

Told by 15-year-old Meredith, this is a deeply moving story of scars and recovery, both emotional and physical. There are religious undertones throughout which you can either bring to prominence or leave in the background depending on how you personally perceive the signific
Meredith, age fourteen, learns that her father has been released from jail – several years early. Her mom is ecstatic (and in serious denial), but Meredith is sick to her stomach. Her father went to jail three years ago for sexually abusing her and several other children in town. She thought she would be safe from him, and then safely away from him (she’d be eighteen by the time he was supposed to have been released), before this happened. Not only is he getting out, but he’s also going to be li ...more
Lori (Pure Imagination)
I’ve had Such a Pretty Girl on my to read list for years. Everyone has amazing things to say about it so I don’t know why I put it off for so long exactly. I picked it up on a whim the other day and devoured it.

Such a Pretty Girl is a difficult book. The subject matter is something that a lot of people wouldn’t want to read about. I’ve always liked dark books. Books that make me step outside of my normal life. That’s definitely what this one is. Meredith has been sexually abused by her father in
Sep 26, 2011 Jenni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
I loved Such a Pretty Girl with the same deeply personal portion of me that felt M. Night Shyamalan's Signs was an awesome movie.

My favorite passage is as follows:

"...I know how bad the odds are for girls like me.

We wait to be rescued, but for whatever reason, no one comes. We figure that if no one protects us then we must not be worth protecting so we become prey and are easily picked off. Our wounded, kicked-puppy gazes attract sly predators and we sell ourselves for clearance sale prices, m
Jan 14, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Very well done on the sense that you can't help but sympathize / empathize with Meredith, and you can't help but rage against a mother who would side with her child-molesting husband over your own child. This is a hard book to read, but even harder to put down. That said, the religious aspect and the idea of a victim soul didn't really speak to me in any meaningful way, and instead, it detracted from my experience of the book.
Dec 18, 2012 Kalee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. Just like the book I finished before this, it was sort of dark. "Such a Pretty Girl" is about a girl named Meredith. Her father molested her and other children when she was younger and he was put into prison for only 3 of the 9 years he was supposed to do time for. When he is released, Meredith's mother blames her for him being in prison and says it is her fault. This book made me aggravated because of the ignorance of the character's mother, and how no one would under ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Renata R.
Mar 02, 2016 Renata R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Short, quick, writing format that is easy to read but it just didn't do it for me.

This is the kind of book that you could read at once and I just couldn't do it. I got lost a couple of times because I wasn't interested enough. I tried to make the characters come to life and they barely did. Of course I had a reaction, the main story is disturbing so yeah, I got mad. Mad at the crazy father, the insane mother, the mayor grandmother, the justice and the fact that this could be happening a few feet
Ashleigh Wilber
May 12, 2015 Ashleigh Wilber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was about a teenager, Meredith, who was sexually assaulted by her own father. The story revolves around her destroyed family dynamic and the remnants of the life her father destroyed. I personally appreciated the writing style the author uses, some sarcasm blended in with serious topics. Meredith experiences a real life issue, and the reactions of the characters are realistic in my opinion. The age range I would suggest this book to would be high school teenagers due to the content di ...more
Celia Baybutt
May 12, 2015 Celia Baybutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that Wiess does an outstanding job putting the reader into Meredith's head, and really making them feel for her. I think she builds her characters very well, making most readers hate the dad and feel extreme frustration towards the mom. She also does a nice job with the plot, tying together Andy's family with Meredith's and showing their relationship. This book is great for educating about sexual abuse, especially in a family. it shows how different characters deal with the situation and ...more
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Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl, chosen as one of the ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and 2008 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Leftovers. Originally from Milltown, New Jersey, she traded bumper-to-bumper traffic, excellent pizza, and summer days down the shore for scenic roads, bears, no pizza delivery, and the irresistible allure ...more
More about Laura Wiess...

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“The ache starts in my chest and spreads through my veins. The abuse I can handle; it's the happiness that cripples.” 41 likes
“A victim soul is a pious individual chosen to absorb the pain and suffering of others.” 33 likes
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