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Pretty Girls

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Twenty years ago Claire Scott's eldest sister, Julia, went missing. No one knew where she went - no note, no body. It was a mystery that was never solved and it tore her family apart.

Now another girl has disappeared, with chilling echoes of the past. And it seems that she might not be the only one.

Claire is convinced Julia's disappearance is linked.

But when she begins to learn the truth about her sister, she is confronted with a shocking discovery, and nothing will ever be the same...

688 pages, Paperback

First published July 2, 2015

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About the author

Karin Slaughter is the author of more than twenty instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels, including the Edgar–nominated COP TOWN and standalone novels THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PRETTY GIRLS, and GIRL, FORGOTTEN. She is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. PIECES OF HER is a #1 Netflix original series starring Toni Collette. The Will Trent Series is on ABC (and streaming on Hulu in the U.S and Disney+ internationally). THE GOOD DAUGHTER and FALSE WITNESS are in development for film/tv. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.

Facebook: Facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter

Website: http://www.karinslaughter.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karinslaugh...

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 29,776 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
687 reviews12.5k followers
September 25, 2015
In 1991 Julia Carroll disappeared. Her body was never found. In the following years the family coped in very different ways. The mother while forever quietly grieving, moved on and made a new life for herself. The father spent years looking for any clue as to what happened. Sisters Claire and Lydia grieved in very different ways and were estranged having not spoken in many years. Now over twenty years later, there has been another disappearance of a teenage girl and a murder of a middle-aged man that seem to be connected. This causes the sisters to reunite.

I have found that over the last year I've read quite a few stories about missing girls/children etc. Although this book is about WAY more than a missing girl. There is so much going on in this book right from the start. The twists start early on. This book really shows how a crime affects everyone involved. How differently everyone copes, not just when the crime is first committed but how it can shape the actions and futures of all involved.

At the very beginning I found it a little difficult to get all the POVS straight. However, I was quickly drawn into the lives of these women and other characters, trying to figure out how the many separate story lines connected.

After I was well into the book I started to realize that the gruesomeness might be too much for me. I was starting to skip over the descriptions (very graphic descriptions) and feeling quite bothered. Other readers may not have an issue with it but I just felt a bit overloaded with details of such horrific acts. I ended up having to skip over quite a few parts.

I understand it's a thriller and it was to show just how much of a monster certain characters were but it's rare that I have to skip so much or put down a book because I'm so horrified. In my opinion gruesome violence overkill. At the same time the authors ability to describe other things and situations so well kept me intrigued as to what was going to happen next. At certain parts I was literally holding my breath as things were unfolding. Just like watching a horror movie and yelling "don't go in there" to the person on the screen I wanted to yell similar things at Claire and Lydia.

Throughout the book my heart hurt for all of the families. I can't even imagine some of the things described happening. There really are some things that can't be unseen. Heartfelt and heartbreaking you could feel the love Sam had for his family as he bared his soul in letters to his missing daughter.

The end was quite moving, so I am glad I finished the book. However, I don't know that I would put myself though that again. It was just a bit much for me. I may consider reading some of Karin Slaughter's other books but I will choose wisely.
Profile Image for Karin Slaughter.
Author 109 books65.8k followers
January 31, 2015
Authors are always asked where they get their ideas, and the truth is that most of the time we don't know. An idea is a weird thing--usually, it's like a grain of sand that your brain worries into a pearl. When did the sand start to turn into something shiny and beautiful? No way to know.

WIth PRETTY GIRLS I actually know when I got the idea. Maybe it was somewhere in the back of my brain all along, but I actually woke up from a dream and had the idea firmly in my head (okay, that doesn't tell you where it comes from, but that's as close as I can get. Oh, and can I add that I was taking Tramadol for a slipped disc, so maybe that had something to do with it?)

Anyway, I loved the idea so much that I scrapped the book I had planned for this year (2015*) and started working on the storyline for what became PRETTY GIRLS. I was on fire, I tell ya! The characters were so firmly cemented in my mind by the time I sat down to write the first scene that it was almost like I was taking dictation.

You'll probably hear a lot about characters and the literary merits (ha ha, I hope!) but make no mistake--at its heart, this book is a thriller. There are lots of twists and turns and all the stuff that folks have come to expect from me. The only thing missing is cops. Not that there aren't cops in the story (because they usually show up when there's a crime) but the narrators are just two ordinary women who are thrown into extraordinary circumstances. The real question is whether or not they can rise to the occasion (or will they make it at all?)

I really hope y'all enjoy the book. And don't worry--the next book for 2016 will have Will Trent and Sara Linton. I appreciate your patience because I know y'all love Will and Sara, but long-time readers will know what happens when I get bored and I wanted to take a knee on Will and Sara so that I could take time with the next phase of their stories together.

*wahhhh!!!! WHEN DID I GET TO OLD????
Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
May 19, 2020
i love any book that packs a punch, and this one really beats the shit out of me every time
Profile Image for Basil Sidebottom.
18 reviews8 followers
December 21, 2015
Here's the thing.

The book is full of torture porn. It's about 400 pages and I'd say 1/4 is straight up, highly detailed repetitive torture porn. That's about 100 pages describing women being tortured, raped and murdered. And cut up.

This isn't your run-of-the-mill thriller. No, no. This is big kid stuff. The stuff that gets called "chilling" and "heart pounding" and "edge of your seat" and "thriller" and "psychological".


What it is, is DULL.

Don't get me wrong. I'd say the first 140 pages or so, it's engaging, almost gripping.

And then the first big thing happens and then almost immediately a second. Me? I felt my heart sink. Because anyone who's seen a 90s thriller, Lifetime movie or not, should be able to rattle off the next few major plot points in easy succession.

And they'd be right.

So the plot? Garbage. It goes from one level of ludicrous to the next. You may even laugh at the last big 'twist' the book reveals. Because it's stupid. Soap operas have more flair. This is a paint by numbers tale. People behave in a manner that might work in a Monty Python sketch. There's an FBI agent that acts and speaks as though he's stumbled in from another goddamn dimension, and all you want to do is punch him in the face.

Oddly enough, the purest bits, the best and profound parts are the journal entries that dot the path of this terrible story. They are from a grieving father to the missing daughter he can never give up on. I read each one, grateful, because THOSE kept me going, pushing me to the end.

Because it certainly wasn't the torture porn and the third act that ratchets up everything to a lunatic finish.

In the end, you might feel as I did. A bit numb. Grossed out that you'd picked it up and spent hours of your life actually consuming the work. Astonished at the number of critics who insisted the level of violence was not gratuitous when it was nothing BUT gratuitous.

Library folk? Take off the mystery label you might place on the spine of this book. Put on a horror label instead. People deserve at least SOME sort of warning.

First, last and only book by this author I'll look at.

Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
December 27, 2016
I just want to start by saying I don't want to list any spoilers here; I think this book was so powerful that I would hate to discourage someone from reading it because I took away from their experience before even beginning the book.

Wow! This book was heavy. I just can't think of a better word to sum up how I feel after finishing this. I'm glad I spaced it out instead of devouring it like I wanted to initially. I've seen many people torn on this book and I understand why; it is EXTREMELY graphic and disturbing. Content and descriptions. I know some of the subjects are triggers for many people, especially women. For me, I felt the extreme graphic violence was necessary to put the power behind the punch of the storyline. I have felt lately that nothing really "shocks" me in a book anymore, almost like I've read too many graphic stories. This one was different.

The plot is connecting the stories of 2 young women who have gone missing decades apart- Julia Carroll and Anna Kilpatrick. Without giving too much away, the journey is told from the viewpoint of Julia's two remaining sisters- Lydia and Claire, while inserting occasional diary entries from their father, Sam Carroll.

I loved the layout of how the story was told; the diary entries interwoven between chapters of the current storyline. I had to go back once to reread because it was so clever. I think we can all agree whether we like her brutal style or not that Karin Slaughter is an excellent storyteller and master of her craft. I'm an avid fan but am willing to admit that in her previous standalone, Cop Town while a great story, had a bit of excess descriptive fluff IMO. I was pleased to see this one didn't seem to have that; I felt every word was needed. I found myself literally holding my breath and sitting upright at times.

I felt she did a good job relaying the anguish of a family who has lost a child. A loss this deep affects everyone and it literally tore them apart. I did feel it a little hard to connect with Lydia/Claire at times and I really would have liked to have seen a little more development with Rick and Dee. One of my favorite chunks of the book was near the end with Helen and Claire as we are reaching the climax of the action; I felt this was the most well written part of the entire book.

Overall, I wavered between giving this one 4-5 stars and ended up rounding up. I felt this book was extremely well written, the story kept my attention constantly-this is the definition of a suspenseful thriller. While the graphic violence was extremely disturbing, I felt it did not distract me from the story (personally) but can understand why it would have for anyone. Overall, if you are a Slaughter fan, I would HIGHLY recommend. If you are new to her as an author, I would recommend starting with Blindsighted in the Grant County series.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,604 reviews5,987 followers
August 8, 2015
My reaction to learning a new book was out by one of my favorite authors.

A new Karin Slaughter!!!!!!!!

My reaction after reading this book.

I love this author. I fangirl so hard over her Grant County/Will Trent books so much that if I go anywhere that has them I must be restrained from recommending that people read them. Yes, Library ladies I will try and behave.
But this one. Not.
It didn't even feel like it was written by the same author that I love.

It starts off with Claire Scott. She is a typical Buckhead Barbie

Perfect husband, lots of money, no job. Just looking pretty all day.
Then she meets her husband Paul for dinner one night. As they are leaving old boring Paul wants to put some moves on her in a dark alley. Claire is a bit freaked out that Paul is up to this because he usually doesn't get frisky unless it's in the actual bedroom, so she wants some spark and follows him to the alley. A bad guy attacks and Paul is murdered. (This is not a spoiler because it happens very early and won't ruin any of the book)

Once she returns home Claire gets to looking on Paul's computer for some files that his business partner wants and she finds way more than she bargained for.
Now this is happening in the middle of so much other stuff that your mind is racing at this point of the book. You have Claire's sister Lydia telling some of the story from her viewpoint, a break in at Claire's house, and a sister that had gone missing years ago. Then throw in another recent missing girl from the area.

So much going on.
Then the tropes started...

Then throw in about a thousand times on how very beautiful our main character is...she is pretty and smart. *insert gag here*

That got old real quick. Karin Slaughter is usually better than this. So I gave one of my favorite authors a two star review. Does that mean I will not grab up her next one? Of course not. I will fangirl the next time. Hopefully.

Book source: Edelweiss in exchange for review.

Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,309 reviews120k followers
August 3, 2023
The world stops for you when you’re pretty. That’s why women spend billions on crap for their faces. Their whole life, they’re the center of attention. People want to be around them just because they’re attractive. Their jokes are funnier. Their lives are better.
Well, there might be some downsides. Pretty Girls is a white-knuckle thriller that will keep you turning the pages long after you should really have gone to sleep. Do not read this while on a train. You will miss your stop.

The story is told from three alternating perspectives. Claire Scott, newly free of that nasty ankle-monitor, has a pretty good life. 38, in great shape, no kids, a studly, attentive hubby who makes much more than a decent living, cool digs. What’s not to like? After a celebratory dinner out, Paul wants to do the nasty in an adjacent alley, way out of character, but, whatever. However, it is not to be. No nookie for you guys. An armed, tattooed criminal element sort robs them. Things go too far and Paul winds up on the sidewalk, tinting the pavement with considerable quantities of red, and the game is afoot. What Claire discovers in going through her late mate’s computer files after the funeral will rock her world.

Lydia Delgado’s life is somewhat different. Single mother, 41, struggling to get by, alienated from most of her family, runs a dog grooming business. Her past would not look very nice on a resume. She’d hit rock bottom a while back and lived there for a spell, with a pick and shovel. But these days she is respectable. Owns a dog-grooming business. Met her pretty nice bf in a 12-step program. Her teenage daughter is a peach. Lydia is on the wrong side of pudge these days, with an addiction to the sort of culinary drugs that come in crinkly bags at supermarkets. Life’s a bitch and then you diet. Lydia used to be a looker. Not surprising, really. Her sisters were easy on the eyes too, but one vanished when she was 19, never to be seen again, and the other one just saw her husband get killed.

Sam is a determined sort, bulldog with a bone. He never believed the official cop line that his Julia had simply run away. So he dedicated his life to finding out what had really happened to his eldest daughter. It cost him his marriage, and maybe even more. We see the progress of Sam’s investigation through his journals, from the time when he was on this quest. Claire and Lydia’s adventure takes place today.

The two sisters join forces to continue searching for the truth about Julia’s disappearance, and must face the consequences of Claire learning some very disturbing secrets about her husband.

Karin Slaughter - from her FB pages

Karin Slaughter is not new to the best-seller lists, having sold more than 30 million copies of her crime books in 32 languages. She was born in a small Georgia town and now lives in Atlanta, where Pretty Girls is set. Her books include six in the Grant County series and nine in the Will Trent series, set in Atlanta. She was working on another book entirely when the notion for this one occurred to her in a dream, so she checked in with her publisher, put the planned book on the back burner and dove into this one.

There are several elements at work here. In a book of this sort, if you are not engaged by the characters, the rest does not much matter. Lydia certainly has had her troubles in the past, but she is pretty supportable now, finding her best self in this worst of times. Claire makes us wonder how she could have buried her head in the sand for so long, ignoring what look like warning signs to us. But in wondering, it is worth keeping in mind that we are all sand-dwellers, from the neck up at least. Maybe it is an innate and useful skill to be able to simply ignore warning signs of peril. If we recognize them then we might have to do something about them, which entails personal risk, of either physical or emotional harm. Most of the time most of us prefer to keep a lid on things. Thus we live to ignore another day. So it feels entirely credible that reasonable people can overlook behavior that might stand out to an external observer. Particularly in Claire’s case, as she has tried to keep her head down in most situations for most of her life. We can see her vulnerability, however cloaked it may have been, and can easily feel for her. In addition we see the characters develop over the course of the tale, Claire moving from passive to assertive and Lydia moving from nobody to a sort of anti-hero. Family dynamics plays a major part in the sisters’ struggle, both to find the truth and to find a way back to sisterhood across a very large distance. Check.

The story must be engaging. Will Claire and Lydia find out what really happened to their missing sister? Does Sam? Do we care? If you can’t empathize with this as a driving force, it must be because you are too busy torturing kittens. Check.

Pace must be maintained. Slaughter must have a metronome that is set for increasing tempo. Check.

The baddie must be truly scary, and up to some really awful stuff. You have no idea. Check

The hero/heroine(s) must face believable peril. Is it possible that one or more of our core three might come to harm of the terminal sort? You betcha. Check

A thriller is never without a bit of misdirection, a few fish-hooks hoisting red-herrings for us to consider. Yep. Get your scaling tools ready. Check.

And there is that old favorite, the twist. Let’s just say that Chubby Checker would be pleased. Check. Wait, what’s that? My advisors inform me that not everyone will appreciate my lame boomer refs, so, fine, whatever. For you kids out there, ok, rewind. Start over. Twists. Let’s just say that after reading this book, I was in need of a good neck brace. Ok? Sheesh.

Finally there is the issue of payload. That is the extra information one learns about the world in reading a work of fiction. I suppose there is a bit of that here. I have no idea if the awfulness that is depicted in Pretty Girls (aside from Paul’s questionable taste in décor and labeling) has a real-world basis. Although it does seem that if one can imagine a particularly grotesque form of depravity, there is probably someone, somewhere who is practicing it right now, and with so many folks on the planet, probably more than a few. So if the book is highlighting some actual form of human awfulness, then bad-a-bing. Check

Gripes. You knew there would have to be one or two. The title, Pretty Girls suggests that those on the 10 side of life are more at risk than those closer to the 1 end of things. The theme of prettiness is noted with frequency early on, in comments on the attractiveness of some and the unattractiveness of others. Slaughter seems interested in giving some serious thought to how people react to beauty and to how the beautiful react to the world. Certainly there is peril about for those blessed with pleasing countenances, whether it comes from a wicked witch or the ravages of time. She keeps up the mentions for a while, sometimes offering actual insight. But then it seems to fade, as if she had run out of things to say about prettiness, until it is brought back into the spotlight for a final bow or two. Like, oh, the title is Pretty Girls. I guess I should put something in here to give that some closure. It looked totally like an afterthought. I thought this could have been better handled, maybe spread out a bit more, maybe dig a bit more than skin deep. But that is a quibble. No one is going to read this book to get enlightened about beauty. My second gripe will have to be a bit clouded. I don’t want to spoil anything. I found the particular fixation of the baddie on the specific group that is targeted curious. Why did this person focus on these targets? I did not get that there was a particular reason why the baddie was so set on this particular subset of victims. Perhaps the significance of this is in the eye of the beholder? But no matter, really.

The bottom line here is that you will be ripping through this book, dying (well, almost) to see how things turn out. Pretty Girls is an outstanding thriller, a very engaging, entertaining, and disturbing read, and that is a beautiful thing.

Review first posted – 7/31/15

Publication date – 9/29/15

=============================EXTRA STUFF

Links to the author’s personal and FB pages

How serial killers choose their victims

The Advantages of Being Beautiful
---8 Scientifically Proven Reasons Life Is Better If You're Beautiful – by Dina Spector in Business Insider
---A Smithsonian article on
How Much is Being Attractive Worth
- by Abigail Tucker
---10 Pleasures and Pains of Being Beautiful by Dr Jeremy Dean on PsyBlog

A lovely audio interview with the author by Steve White of Literary Week. The sound levels are off a bit, his volume being too loud relative to hers, but it’s worth putting up with.

July 23, 2020 - Slaughter offers up some commentary on her book in GR’s Kindle Notes & Highlights - some nice intel there - check it out


Offering a bit of further discomfort, after reading this book you might find some of these listens a bit disturbing

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison and friends

Oh You Pretty Things - David Bowie

PYT (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson

You’re Beautiful – James Blunt

You are so Beautiful– Joe Cocker

And the all time best stalker theme song - Every Breath You Take - The Police
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
July 19, 2023
Unpopular opinion but I didn't like this book. I did listen to it as an audiobook which might not have been the best idea.

Karin Slaughter is on my never reading again list. While her books are quite popular, I find them too sexually violent for me. In a gratuitous way. I never thought I'd find books triggering but hers are up there.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
January 24, 2020
I found the book to be highly engrossing to read - it's a fiction story that would likely appeal to those who tend to be morbidly curious with the gritty details of true crime stories and murder. While I think Slaughter relies heavily on shock value and violence to be intriguing, I still appreciate the emphasis on family and the bond between the two sisters (even though it is limited to just white feminism, as there's some casual racism that's kind of a turn-off).
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
May 7, 2018
4.5 stars. This book truly blew me away. I was not a huge fan of the story in the beginning but once it picked up, I could not put it down.

CW: murder, violence, gore, torture, rape, assault

This novel is straight up disturbing and horrifying. I don’t believe I have ever read a more graphic and chilling novel. As someone who spends a decent amount of time listening to readings of “dark web stories” and other horror stories on YouTube and scrolling through reddit threads like /letsnotmeet and /nosleep, this book fed into my fascination with wickedness in humanity. This book is truly not for the faint of heart. It is sick and twisted and surely will leave a lasting impression on all readers.

After reading The Good Daughter as well, I can say with confidence that Karin Slaughter is extremely talented at writing complex family dynamics. I loved learning about Claire and Lydia’s history, uncovering the reason behind their falling out, and watching them piece their relationship together in the direst of situations.

The beginning of the novel did not totally grasp me. The plot was a big slow to start as we are introduced to the characters and it took me a bit of time to really become engaged with the story. For me, there was not one particular moment that hooked me so I was surprised to find that at some point during reading, I just could not put the story down. This novel quickly transforms from mundane to thrilling and chilling and I’m so pleased I continue through the end.

Pretty Girls was a truly fantastic read. I would definitely recommend it to my fellow lovers of thrillers, but more specifically to those who can stomach heavy, grotesque content.
Profile Image for Mandy.
320 reviews331 followers
June 13, 2022
This book was so damn freaking spectacular that I don't even know where to start. This has climbed to the top of my list as my favorite psychological thriller ever. This tops Dark Places and That Night and I never thought that would happen! For any book to triumph over those is a win for me :) although they are still right behind this book.

I've never read a book like this. There are so many twists and turns a race car driver would have trouble navigating. I literally cannot stop thinking about all of the people and events in this book. I went into it with just the knowledge that this was about a woman and her sister that hadn't spoken for years and that was about it. Holy moly did this get good!

I simply cannot say enough good things about Pretty Girls. The plot is terrifying yet makes you want to read on because you have to know what happens. Literally every chapter gives you a new twist. The characters are so real I could picture them inside of my mind as I read and the scenery... I could see it all.

Karin Slaughter knows how to write a terrifying mystery. If I could give this 100 stars I would.

It needs to be made into a movie for sure. It would have record breaking ticket sales!

Go read this. NOW!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
September 16, 2021
wow. i didnt know KS could be so disturbing. i dont get triggered by anything, but there were several moments in this where i felt quite uncomfortable. like, it felt as if i was doing something illegal by reading this book.

if you enjoy dark, gritty, graphic crime mystery/thrillers, then this is the book for you. the characters are developed well (the antagonist is one of the most messed-up characters ive ever read), the plot is mysterious, and its written in such a way that you dont really know who to trust.

my only thing is how nicely wrapped up the ending is. i understand the importance of giving the reader closure and a sense of justice, especially when the story is as brutal as this one. but, realistically, with how chaotic everything in this book is, i would have expected a much messier and more emotionally complicated ending.

regardless, this is the kind of mystery/thriller you want to pick up if you want something to take you out of your comfort zone.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
October 10, 2015

HOLY HELL. So, I just spent the last 2 days reading this awesome book. It went waaaaaay the freaking hell outside of my "usual" reading preferences. The genre is more of a crime thriller (no romance) which I almost never read but this particular blurb really grabbed me. So I opened the book. By the end of the prologue, I had CHILLS running through me and tears in my eyes.... So, I had to read it!!! And honestly I loved it!!

But you guys, it is NOT for the faint of heart. The story starts out small but the "mystery" just gets deeper and deeper and deeper. And every new thing you discover is this whole other level of creepy.

Please note that there is graphic violence in this book (not a lot in terms of content, but what there is will make anyone shudder and cringe. However, if you're used to watching TV shows like Criminal Minds or CSI, you'll probably be ok to read this (it's kind of on the same level that they have). But it's still very seriously  G.R.A.P.H.I.C.  and genuinely disturbing at times. Please be warned.

This is also a book with absolutely no fluff. You can't skim anything because you'll miss crucial elements or reveals. It's intricate and layered. This author clearly spent a great deal of time plotting out her story before writing it because everything happens for a reason, every piece of the story has a purpose, and by the end, they all fit together. One reason I'm always wary of thrillers is I rarely find them satisfying but this book gave every single answer to every single question. I'm a fast reader and will usually breeze through full-length book in an afternoon but it took me 2 days to read this (3 technically since I read the first 10% one night, and the rest over 2 days) because there was just so MUCH going on in it...

*deep breath*

First, I'm going to share the blurb with you (because it was the blurb that made me want to read it):

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful novel from one of the finest writers working today.

And next, I'm going to actually show you guys all my status updates now (NO SPOILERS) so you can sort of see what I went through while reading it... (haha, sorry, I can get a bit sweary sometimes)

2% -- What an amazing prologue!!! I have chills, shivers, tears. Totally hooked!
3% -- So INTO this story!!!!
5% -- Ok I'm seriously freaking out. Can I handle this?? I'm a romance reader, dammit. I need my swoon (even my dark reads have swoon!!!) and this is freaking me the fuck out!!!!! *keeps reading*
6% -- FUCK. dammit. holy crap. Am I strong enough to read this?! Let's find out *eyes book warily*
8% -- okayyyyyy, did NOT see that reaction coming. That must be one helluva history they’ve got there for THAT to be her reaction. O.O
10% -- chills and shivers again. How amazing is this writing?? I hate that I have to go to bed now because I want to keep reading!!
11% — back to reading today. I've seriously been more surprised, shocked, impressed, intrigued, in the first 10% of this book than I have been by most complete books!
16% — Woah. Wait, she did WHAT now??
16% — Holy freaking fuckkkkkkk *GAAAASP* Well that just about calls EVERYTHING into question.
19% — I love the attention to detail. Like how the sister of a girl who’d been abducted would then take natural precautions in her life — like teach her child how to change a tire so she’d never be stuck on the side of the road, or always scan the parking lot before unlocking the car doors. Smart!
24% — my brain is overloaded with theories right now. SO MANY possibilities!
26% — red pill/blue pill <-- love that reference
29%— such an interesting line.
“He isolated her.”
“Sounds like a classic abuser.”
“As far as I know, he never hit her or even raised his voice at her. He just kept her.”
32% — Ahhhhh, love this!!! “He had been so very, very cunning, hiding all of his transgressions in plain sight. The only question now was how many more transgressions was she going to find?”
34% — holyyyyyyy shit. no WAY!!
36% — yeah, I’m with Lydia on this sentiment: “What the fuck, Claire?” She stared at Claire with open shock. "What the fucking fuck?”
37% — hehe that was badass. “I’ve never told anyone this... but it felt so fucking good to be bad.”
39% — ****spoiler removed**** I really wish I could share that line with you. SO GOOD!
44% — this just gets more and more complex …. like woah!
47% — Ok, I actually have a secondary theory which explains 95% of everything. But that other 5% is still weirding me the fuck out!!!  (note: I was wrong about this theory, guess that darn 5% mattered)
53% — “I can’t just walk away from this. I have to know. There isn’t anything left in my life except finding out the truth.” <--- my sentiments exactly! *keeps reading*
55% — holy. freaking. HELL. ****** GASP *******
Okay. WARNING: this book is graphically violent. It's very similar in to Criminal Minds or CSI in terms of the level if you want a comparison point.
57% — NO. WAYYYYYYYYY. How????
67% — definitely not for the faint of heart. Fair warning, I literally just cringed away from the page.... and also OMG!!!!!!!!! O_O
68% — this story goes to show that you really don’t need a paranormal story to show true evil. Sometimes, humans can make the very worst monsters of all.
69% — Okay I’ve been reading this for the last 3 hours straight and I have to go to bed. This is definitely a book you have to FOCUS on. There’s no skimming or light reading or you’ll miss important facts. Its 421 pages and there is NO FLUFF.
70% — back to it (next day). This book is like one holy shit moment after another. And each pause between them only serves to build to the next jaw dropping reveal.
73% — “You haven’t talked to each other in twenty years and now you’re suddenly worried about her daughter?" -- “Lydia is my sister. Even when I hated her, I still loved her.”
75% — ok seriously. This is pretty gruesome. If you’re sensitive to graphic violence, this book is not for you. Please be warned.
79% — holy exposition batman. I feel like I've just have this flood of information streaming into my head for the last few percents. It almost feels like this book will never end. I don't mean that in a bad way but there's just so much going on.
85% — Omg. I love her mom!!!!!!! That was pretty badass!
88% — Graphic, gruesome, disturbing, gory violence. Like seriously. stomach-turning.
97% — Just WOAH. That was an INTENSE last few percents. I feel like I've been holding my breath and just flipping pages like mad. And that scene though..... Karma is a bitch!
100% — Wow that last line. Wow! How strangely beautiful for such a chilling story as this. Definitely a beautiful way to end things. Loved the book!

Ok so without giving anything away, I'll just tell you guys that there is a very satisfying ending. Note again that this is not a romance (at all) but everything is wrapped up in the ending and actually the last line was absolutely perfect. Seriously, just really STRONG writing!

Nothing about this book is 'expected'. Even the nature of the crime itself is one that I honestly hadn't ever seen before (at least not this extreme) on any crime-fighting TV show. *shudders* The story keeps you on your toes, catching you off guard with it's surprises over and over again. There's never a dull moment.

The story is told in third person from three main perspectives. Claire and Lydia's (the two estranged sisters of the abducted girl from the 90's) perspectives that begin separately but entwine later on, and their father's -- though his was through forms of journal entries written addressed to his missing daughter. I found it fascinating the way it showed how much perspective mattered. One person could see someone as a monster, and to another person, they could be a savior. It was chilling.

Karin Slaughter truly has some of the strongest writing I've read. Like seriously. It doesn't matter if you end up loving or hating the story, it doesn't change the fact that the writing itself is top notch. The reason I rare read other genres is that they're rarely able to hold my attention -- I crave the emotional connection in romances -- so it's a real testament to how good this writing was that I was that into this story.

So, at this point I'm still a little in shock from this story, but I absolutely don't regret reading it and even though it was totally completely utterly different than my usual beloved romance reads, I loved this too (even though I'm honestly a little creeped out still, lol). It was a really fantastic "change of pace" read for me. Y'know? Sometimes you just need one of those. I like stepping outside my comfort zones every now and again to try something different. I find it kind of refreshes me for when I step back into my romance reads. Haha, buuuuuuuut I'm gonna need something light, sexy, and fun next!!!

Really though. If you're into thrillers, definitely try this book. If you're not into thrillers but still curious, I'd recommend this as a great one to try because it's genuinely good. As I'm writing this, it was released last week and it actually hit #4 on the New York Times Best Sellers list this week. And yes, I know it's really expensive, which is why I never posted any updates while I was reading. I wanted to be sure I'd finished it and could actually stand by suggesting it before I began posting about it. But yes, it's definitely a great book and one I'd easily recommend for someone looking for a really solid read within this genre!

Rating: ahhh I have no idea how to put these thoughts to a rating. I'm disturbed by the some of the content of the story but I loved the book and loved the writing. Can you guys just accept "really freaking great thriller" to be my rating, please? 

(this is absolutely not a romance)


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Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,330 followers
January 16, 2017
Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com

Wow! This was one dark and disturbing story. I love dark reads, but this was pretty gruesome for me at times. I was at the edge of my seat from start to finish with this one. I even had nightmares about this book. As I start to write this review, just thinking about it is giving me the chills. It was just that messed up.

When Claire Scott is widowed by her wealthy, seemingly perfect husband, she is left to pick up the pieces. With the FBI and the local police showing a suspiciously high interest in her husband's murder, and the subsequent break-in at their home, Claire does not know what to think. When she stumbles upon some computer files of her husband's, she begins to question the very foundation of her marriage and what she really knew about the man she married.

From beginning to end, this book was full of twist and turns. Everyone was a suspect at some point and you never knew who you could trust. As Claire partnered up with her estranged sister, Lydia, to try and sort through the clues her husband inadvertently left behind, the truth seems to become less and less clear.

Claire's husband, Paul, was not who he said he was. He had secrets...big secrets. The more the sisters unearth, the greater the danger. They can't turn back, but they don't know where to turn for help either.

At the center of this book is a string of missing teenaged/college-aged girls, including Claire and Lydia's own sister, Julia. Unsolved disappearances with undeniable commonalities, which all somehow connect back to Paul. Everything is not as it seems though. Claire begins to suspect that there is involvement at the highest levels, protecting those responsible for these horrible crimes.

If you like psychological suspense/thrillers, then this is a great story. Be forewarned, this book is very graphic and downright gory. It contains detailed descriptions of barbaric torture, sexual assault and murder. The sick and twisted actions of this serial killer are not left to the imagination. If you cannot handle the graphic descriptions of torture, then this is not a book for you. I'm a big fan of dark stories and it gave me a nightmare or two.

Overall, I thought that it was a fantastic story. It was suspenseful and kept me in a hyper-vigilant state until every question had been answered. I had chills while listening to this story. This has got to be one of the most screwed up, disturbing stories that I've "read".

I listened to the Audible version of this book and it was great. The narration was well-done. I found it to be an excellent audiobook selection that was easy to follow. The mood and emotions were conveyed clearly, which is sometimes hard to come by in an audiobook. I could almost touch the fear and the anxiety in "Claire's" voice. Kudos to the narrator(s).

Profile Image for Gabby.
1,295 reviews27.9k followers
October 27, 2019
4.5 stars
This was one of the hardest books to read that I’ve ever read. It has trigger warnings for pretty much any awful thing you can imagine like: violent rape, sexual assault, suicide, graphic violence, murder, torture, and at times I honestly wasn’t sure if I could stomach any more of it. But I was captivated by this writing and I couldn’t stop reading this book, I had to figure out how it would end.

This is my first book from Karin Slaughter and it definitely won’t be my last, though it may be a while before I pick up another because my heart hurts right now. It mainly follows two sisters Claire and Lydia who haven’t spoken in years, but when Claire’s husband is murdered, their horrible past comes back to them.

This book was incredibly hard to read, and it made me cringe so many times. I don’t think I’ve ever read torture like this and the way it was described literally made my stomach roll. I would not recommend this book to just anyone, because this shit is super fucked up. But this story really drew me in. It is an edge-of-your-seat thriller from page 100 till the end. And by the ending I was literally bawling my eyes out for this family. I don’t think a thriller has ever made me cry until this one. After finishing this book I feel emotionally drained.
Profile Image for Megan Hoffman.
174 reviews289 followers
February 29, 2016
What would you do if suddenly everything you thought you knew was ripped away from you and you were left to figure out how to make it all on your own? What if that wasn't all and you were also faced with uncovering the dark and wicked pasts of those you thought you loved?

Karin Slaughter's Pretty Girls asks all of the questions and then answers them in the creepiest way I can imagine. It's been a while since I laid in bed at night hoping that what I had just read doesn't give me nightmares, but this one had me doing just that. Add that on top of the fact that I absolutely couldn't put this book down, and we've got a real winner on our hands.

Pretty Girls is the story of two sisters, one whom has just found herself widowed and the other a single mother of a teenaged daughter. They've long been estranged but have recently found themselves in communication again. Little do they know that uncovering their past will uncover way more than they ever could have expected - including some new clues regarding the 20 years ago disappearance of their oldest sister.

This book is full of twists and unexpected moments right from the beginning. In fact, after reading the first chapter I was able to notice that my heart was racing. After debating whether or not I could pass that off as my cardio workout for the day, I kept going and was sucked into the craziness that continued to transpire page after page. I do feel like I've read a lot of books recently that jump around in terms of POV (point of view), but after I got used to the flow of this one it was like putting together a puzzle in terms of connecting all of the pieces. And just as you might a puzzle, after I completed it I found that everything finally made complete sense...which is so gratifying.

Fair warning, this book is very much a thriller and contains graphic moments of sexual content and violence. However, that's part of what makes it so enthralling within it's genre. I might be too much for some to handle but if you're up for it, I can't even begin to recommend this book enough.

Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
September 12, 2015
I didn't dislike this, but I think these days it's pretty hard for me to be shocked by thrillers. My enjoyment of them hinges more on the character development and the way the story is written, which I thought was fairly average when compared to my favourites from the genre - Tana French and Gillian Flynn.

The grittiness, shock tactics and reveals, which many people have praised, left me feeling relatively cold.
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,763 followers
July 1, 2020
3.5 Stars

Pretty Girls hammers the point home that men is the worst thing that’s ever happened to humanity. . .

This is some seriously effed up story. It’s graphic and appalling and will probably give you nightmares, especially if you’re a girl. Particularly, the pretty ones with blond hair. Cause you know, some bogeymen are just so . . . basic and more vain than the others.

Claire and Lydia had a sister who vanished twenty years ago. When Claire’s husband is suddenly killed, the two estranged sisters decided to reunite and work together to find out the connection between the murder and Julia’s disappearance.


The most interesting and twisted aspect of this book is the crime itself. The plot drags and relies copiously on shock value and gory violence. It’s quite predictable and tropey but not so boring that you’ll lose interest. I was engaged the whole time.


I just didn’t find the twists shocking neither was I disturbed by the heinousness of it all. I mean, this book is absolutely sickening, but the horror didn’t jump off the pages and register to me (if that makes sense).

I was deeply moved by the family dynamics. My favorite part in this book is . I wish I’d gotten more of the three sisters so that I could see more clearly the shift in their bond before/after the tragedy and their split.

“You couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing about the missing teenage girl. Sixteen years old. White. Middle class. Very pretty. No one ever seemed quite as outraged when an ugly woman went missing.”

I’m a little concerned that there’s not a single decent male character in this book. Well, there’s one, but the man is dead. I’m also uncomfortable with the way beauty is viewed and how Pretty Girls is heavily centered around violence against women.

My biggest complaint is this:

“Why did it have to be her?”

WHY DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN AT ALL? The book doesn’t provide any explanation why the crime is committed, why the perpetrator has a proclivity for such sadistic behavior and how it came to be. I was curious, .

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Katie.
273 reviews3,839 followers
April 1, 2018
Nothing like finishing one of the goriest books I've ever read on what some say is the holiest days of the year. Happy Easter!!!!
Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
391 reviews342 followers
July 1, 2022

I’ve read two of Slaughter’s books and I’m pretty sure I’m scared of her. Actually, when I looked up the meaning of the word graphic, her picture popped up. One thing is for sure, Slaughter knows how to grab a reader’s attention. This is quite detailed to the point of discomfort, but it still didn’t deter me from finishing this book to the end.

Claire and Lydia’s relationship in this was brilliant. Two sisters are torn apart and brought back together due to so many horrific secrets that have plagued them their whole life. I was genuinely really mad at Claire for what she did to Lydia when they were young, but I’m glad that I felt I got enough reasons to really like her by the end. I love how their bond grew in a realistic manner throughout the book. I can never imagine being thrust into a life where it seems that you can literally trust no one even the fucking cops, and that is what exactly made this ride a thrilling one. Giving their dad his pov where he keeps using “you” was a great element. We really felt the pain of losing a beloved daughter through his lines.

I like how we got a lot revealed quite early on in the book, but that didn’t really make me lose interest. It just made me want more to be explained, and therefore, my eyes were glued to this one. I was somewhat confused in the beginning because of a lot of details that were given without much connection, but it all made sense in the end.

This one was definitely a reminder of the reality women face each and every single day. Slaughter throughout the book slips in facts here and there about how unsafe women usually are, so this book is also a great way to get educated about this issue. Obviously, this book alone won’t expose all the truths of this, but it’s a start.

Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,124 reviews3,709 followers
February 10, 2017
So incredibly good!

The shattering of a family as told from the perspective of the remaining members.

Julia goes missing one night at age 19, following an evening out with her college friends to a local bar. Julia's 2 sisters Claire and Lydia, grow up in the shadow of her disappearance and take different paths in their lives.

24 years later her family remains in shambles. A recent, tragic event brings Julia and Lydia back together. Can they finally discover what happened to their sister?

Shocking, disturbing, riveting. Can one feel all three at once? Get ready…this book takes you through all three emotions and more. Not for the faint of heart. If you like your thrillers a little dark and edgy then you will absolutely love this one!

I was gripped by the story immediately, though I had no clue what direction I was being taken. Felt like a slow ride up a roller-coaster, where you know the story is building and once you reach the top it's all going to break free and explode at breakneck speed. And that's exactly what happens. What a great ride!
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
August 9, 2018
Wow! I have never read anything by Karin Slaughter before and I was a little bit apprehensive to start with this particular book because of some of the things I was hearing about the subject matter of this one. I thought it was absolutely one of the best dark, psychological thrillers that I have read! It was an absolutely intense read with shocking twists that had me totally engrossed in every single page I was reading! I could not put this down, it was so good! I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future!

PRETTY GIRLS is a story told in three different points of view; Claire, Lydia and their fathers journal/letter to Julia the sister who went missing over 20 years ago. Claire and Lydia are estranged but brought back together after a tragedy happens in Claire's life. I absolutely loved the interaction between these two characters as they unravel the truth and secrets from their past.

This is by far one of the sickest psychopaths I've ever read about and the author does go into some graphic detail that might be disturbing for some. It didn't really bother me though as I tend to not put myself totally into those parts while reading. I am not a skimmer, I have to read every single word but I am able to detach myself while reading disturbing scenes.

The author did an excellent job with the plot and character development which had me totally invested in what I was reading as the suspense and tension developed.

It was an intense, quick and disturbing fast-paced thriller with a very satisfying ending. Would recommend!

Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading.
Profile Image for Sydney Books.
260 reviews5,785 followers
May 23, 2023
First read: Jan 2020

Re-read: May 2023

Just as much of a gut-punch as I remember. Love this book so much.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,412 reviews35.2k followers
January 22, 2021
WOWZA! I thought this book was terrific. I worked for years in forensics working with serial killers, serial rapists, child molesters, etc. so I was not as "horrified" by the subject matter as some might be when they read this. Slaughter certainly did her research. I thought her deception of "bad guy" to be very realistic and spot on.

This book is gripping and I wanted to keep writing to find out what would happen next. This is a hard book to review because I do not want to give anything away that will ruin the story for anyone. I liked the dialogue of the characters they talked as "real" people talk to each other. I found that I liked most of the characters and shook my head when some did not always act in their own best interest i.e. mouthing off or being sarcastic.

Twenty years ago, Julia went missing and has not been seen since. The book shows how her disappearance affected her family. Her father never stopped searching and wrote her letters. Her mother suffered depression and drank before pulling herself up by her boot straps and tried to have a life. Claire, married Paul and lived a very affluent lifestyle, while Lydia has been sober for years after a long drug addiction. She is a single mother in a relationship with a man who is also in recovery. The book lets us know that a young girl has gone missing. Her disappearance triggers feelings in both sisters and remind them of their owns sister's disappearance.

Clair and Lydia have been estranged for years but begin speaking again after a family tragedy brings them together. Both women need to depend on and trust each other in order to survive. There is a twist reveal that may not be too much of a shock for some people.

Not everyone will like the subject matter. Unfortunately things like this can and do happen each and every day.

Karin Slaughter is at the top of her game with this book. She continues to have great character development, characters you root for, characters you despise and those that are right in the middle. She does her research and her plots are multilayered and engaging. I could not put this one down!

See more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Linda.
1,285 reviews1,331 followers
March 19, 2016
I've not read anything before by Karin Slaughter. Believe me, this was probably not the one to start with. The subject matter is heavy, heavy, dark, dark.

Ms. Slaughter can give you precise, intricate details of a crime like no other. She makes you feel like you are watching your foot placement as you tread through the crime scene with bated breath. Your brain is filled with such terrible imaginings.

This story focuses on a missing sister from the past and a missing girl of the present. Karin Slaughter writes with such emotion that peels away the deep and the hidden secrets that a family has carried for years and years. It deals with the agony of a father through his journals and we, as readers, are privy to such unspeakable loss that ripples across the pages.

This is not just the telling of a horrendous crime. It is the fracturing within a family that chistles away at all that we hold precious and untouchable. This book leaves you totally unsettled within. Be prepared for that......

Profile Image for Rebbie.
142 reviews113 followers
February 4, 2017
This book might need a trigger warning for those with genuine PTSD because of its brutal violence. Normally I'd steer clear of suggesting that someone might have a hard time with a book, but this one is particularly gruesome and gory.

A lot of people like that sort of thing, but I personally felt overwhelmed beginning around the 30% mark, and it didn't really let up until the end. I didn't have a problem with the violence until that point, but then it just got to be too much, especially because the nature of the brutality toward the rape and murder victims is extremely unsettling.

I was hoping more for psychological torment, rather than relying on sheer shock value to carry the story. Of course, that's just my opinion, which is only worth what you paid for it. ;)

I particularly loved the chapters where Julia's dad wrote her letters. Man, that ripped my heart out. It physically hurt to read the loving, fatherly tone, with his undying love for his missing daughter. The world could've ended, and he wouldn't have sacrificed his love for his daughter. Only death could bring sweet relief from the pain of missing your child.

His chapters completely redeemed the book imo, and made it worthwhile to finish the book until the end. It shows that Karin Slaughter has some good writing chops, so I'll definitely check out her other work and give it a go.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
185 reviews38 followers
May 9, 2016
It’s all fun and games until someone gets waterboarded. Or raped. Or murdered in a snuff film. You know what, fuck it.

I had such high hopes for this one, guys. Pretty Girls had positive reviews, strong word-of-mouth, and I really pretty cover that I could Instagram the hell out of.

But by the time I was almost done with this book, trudging through the last 100 pages, all I could think was, “I’m getting real tired of this shit.”

I don’t know if you’ve managed to piece this together yet, but I read a lot. Good books, bad books, romance books, crime books, I don’t judge. Of course, I have my favorites. But I try to approach each book with an open mind. I don’t necessarily mind violence in books. Or misogyny. I don’t even mind if a book has sexual violence in it, as long as there’s a compelling reason.

But Pretty Girls is a book about women being hurt. Nameless, terrified, hopeless women being brutalized in every way possible. And then they think of more ways to hurt them. Tied to meat hooks, disemboweled, whatever you can think of. It’s like if Criminal Minds went on a coke bender. And yes, the book is written by a woman and mostly told through the perspective of two women. I’m sure to some that mitigates the issue of the over-the-top violence against women. But I can’t get past the gratuitous, almost gleeful sexual sadism that permeates this novel.

And when the book isn’t showing women being tortured, raped, murdered and cut up into little pieces, it’s actually kind of boring.

Which is too bad, because the book started strong. 24 years ago, Julia Carroll disappeared. The disappearance shattered her family. Her father killed himself (his letters to his missing daughter are the closest thing to a heart this book has). Her mother retreated inward; she stopped talking about Julia, but she kept her bedroom exactly the way the 19-year-old left it. Sisters Lydia Delgado, a single mother, owner of a pet grooming business and recovering addict, and Claire Scott, the pampered wife of a successful architect haven’t spoken for 20 years. The estrangement wasn’t because of Julia-it happened after Lydia accused Claire’s husband of something awful.

After Claire’s husband is killed in a mugging-gone-wrong, she uncovers some dark things about her husband. And her sister is the only one who can help her get to the bottom of his vast mountain of secrets. On their way, they uncover an underground snuff ring, a conspiracy that goes ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, and an FBI agent that seems to be doing his best Foghorn Leghorn impression.

The primary mystery was promising enough to keep me reading the book. But then, that mystery is solved and the book nosedives into the ridiculous. There’s a bad guy who makes a Bond villain look nuanced. A couple of crooked cops. And our two heroes, who were relatively competent to a point, become bumbling idiots. At one point, they think they find the room where a bunch of women have been killed. And instead of running and calling the police they try to Jessica Fletcher this crime scene. No, bitch. If you find a room that looks exactly like the set of the 150 snuff films you just marathoned and it’s covered in blood, HOW ABOUT YOU JUST RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE, HO? WHAT, YOU DON’T THINK ANYONE’S GOING TO COME BACK TO THEIR OFF-THE-GRID MURDER HOUSE?!

This is as good a time as any to mention that the writing wasn’t that good. It’s written by one of those authors who has to tell you every.single.thing. the character is doing. So it’s not enough to say the character unplugged her computer. It has to be "Claire stood up, shocked. The computer! She reached her hand to the smooth back of the 2014 Macbook and grasped the cords in her hand. She pulled. Some of them unplugged easily, a few stubborn chords remained. She moved to the back of her desk. The cords were screwed in. She slowly unscrewed them, left to right. Righty tighty, lefty loosey. That’s what her husband had said to her before he died. Could she really have been so wrong about him?"

I don’t even have time to touch on the weird beauty stuff in this book. Claire’s beauty is mentioned constantly, as is Lydia’s chubbiness. In fact, the dude torturing her BY WATERBOARDING HER WITH HIS OWN URINE, manages to get a couple of digs in about how she’s gained so much weight, he doesn’t even want to rape her anymore. Apparently, that’s how we’re supposed to know that he’s a REALLY bad guy.

There’s this thing that happens in books and movies like Pretty Girls, an idea that if our women survive, then this isn’t misogynistic. That if the heroine lives and the bad guy dies, that undoes all of what preceded it. Yeah, I Spit on Your Grave is 90 minutes long and 85 of them are spent torturing this woman, but in the last 5, she shoots the big baddies and waltzes off into the sunset. Doesn’t that mean the woman won? It doesn’t make it worth it. Let me repeat this into the megaphone: It’s not a feminist victory for our heroine to survive-not if we have to deal with 50 pages of her being tortured for some goddamn fun.

Pretty Girls requires a strong stomach and a herculean suspension of disbelief. I can’t see myself picking up anything else from the author anytime soon.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
760 reviews566 followers
November 7, 2020
This suspenseful thriller was such a page-turner that there were a few nights when I would stay up past midnight, wondering what would happen next!

The main characters, although flawed, were likeable to me. I looked forward to reading all three POV:
-Claire - although a seemingly high-maintenance doormat, we learn, soon enough, that she has teeth! I was left wondering throughout the majority of the story - who could she trust?
-Lydia - her demeanor, her actions, her words, are so believable as to explain why she was such an angry woman.
-Sam - his poignant journals to his missing daughter were so heartbreaking to this parent of young girls!

Warning: if you are a fan of the suspense/thriller genre and can handle reading disturbingly violent scenes, then you might find this story quite engrossing. I would definitely read more by this author!
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