Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
What it feels like for a girl"--Madonna (What it Feels Like for a Girl)
NO SPOILER REVIEW (3.5)
I can separate this book into two parts, really easily. Part One read like the most perfect read EVER. This book is long (over 500 pages!) so Part One is almost like it's own book-like 300+ pages of pure, reader's heaven. I sang its praises to my husband, to my friends, to my mom and posted it all over my *bookstagram* account. It's a psychological thriller full of well written, complicated characters. The plot moves a long at a breakneck speed, hooking you instantly and then expertly leading you around by the nose. I was so engaged! So many secrets, so many plot twists, so many questions--what in the HELL is going on?! Like I said, Part One is my favorite book ever-like a Gillian Flynn novel but with characters you actually like. Perfection! Five, enthusiastic stars for Part One! Then comes the rest of the book.
Oh god. Noooooooo
Part Two was rough with a capital "R"
I'm no stranger to violence. I am an avid Stephen King reader and he does not pussyfoot around. I love Gillian Flynn's dark, twisted plots and characters, I loved The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo-trust me, I'm not a prude.
However: I could not deal with the gruesome details of this book as it came to a close. It was WAAAAAAY over the top for me. So much of it could have been suggested or implied and we would have still gotten the same overall feel for the acts of violence.
Here's the thing, as a woman, I don't want to read, in exact detail, what kind of horrific things can be done to me (us).
I live in this world, okay? I have read true crime stories, I have watched true crime TV shows, I read the news, I know about sex rings, child porn & snuff porn, sex trafficking, rape, murder, I know these things because they're real. They happen. It is in a very *real* realm of possibility that I, my 17 year old daughter, or someone I love, could be a victim of something horrific.
And this book, if you're interested, explicitly describes in very graphic detail, exactly what that would look like for us, as women.
I don't want to effing know that in such intimate detail.
I read stuff I can't get out of brain before my mind finally told my eyes just to skim past it for like 30 pages and get to the end so I knew how it all ended. Because this book was an investment. It's pretty long and I was committed, I was all in for a long time. I'm just really disappointed it went so far. It really turned my stomach and maybe it's because I'm an emotional reader, I feel things. Maybe it's because I have a daughter who is the same age as the "missing girl" you read about in the book description. I don't know what it was, exactly, because I have read books along the same lines that didn't repulse me quite so much. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.
And the details I could have done without.
So this book went from a loud and proud five star rating to a disturbed 3.5 for a woman author going way too freakin' far with it when she didn't need to.
Thanks for that, Karin Slaughter.
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