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So Much Pretty: A Novel by Cara Hoffman
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So Much Pretty: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Cara Hoffman

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3221934,434 (3.4)7
Member:katiecoyle
Title:So Much Pretty: A Novel
Authors:Cara Hoffman
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:novel, 2010s, American, murder, rape, feminist, teenage girl, read in 2012

Work details

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman (2011)

  1. 11
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (cafepithecus)
    cafepithecus: Another book about men who hate women, and the women who take them down.
  2. 02
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (kirsty)
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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Devastating. ( )
  woolgathering | Apr 4, 2017 |
Something happened to Wendy and the town seems satisfied to ignore it. Everyone, except Stacy Flynn, is willing to go on with their lives. Flynn is the local journalist but an outsider, her story of Wendy’s death causes a chain reaction and Alice is right in the middle.

This murder mystery gripped me right from the beginning. I couldn’t put the book down! There is a lot of questions raised on justice, ethics and the doing things for the good of human kind. It explores prejudices within communities, touches on environmental issues and is so realistic that I won’t be surprised if I picked up the newspaper and read about Wendy White and Alice Piper.

The narrative switches from first to third person and from different view points, so the story is fleshed out by all parties. The insertion of the video and audio interviews from some of the minor characters was a great touch and added an extra layer of reality to the book.

Cara Hoffman did an excellent job in this debut novel. ( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
Book Description 'A man can only take so much pretty walking back and forth in front of him.' When nineteen-year-old Wendy White disappears, the small town of Haeden, New York, is shaken to its core. The police are unable to trace the missing waitress; everyone assumes that she has run away. But, six months later, Wendy's tortured body is found in the nearby woods. She has only been dead for a matter of days. With no one willing to talk, the investigation slows to a halt. But local reporter Stacy Flynn and high school student Alice Piper have their own reasons for finding out what really happened. The truth behind Wendy's disappearance has a devastating effect on the town: what was once a rural idyll is now the backdrop to murder, violence and revenge.

My Review This certainly was a different type of murder mystery. It switches from first person to third person as all the different characters give their points of view on what they heard or saw in regards to what happened to Wendy. After the murder has been explained, the book takes off and becomes a real page turner as the murder of Wendy White is avenged. With themes of violence against woman by men who hate women, the book is not an easy read. It is, however, an excellent debut for Cara Hoffman and I do look forward to reading more from her. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
considering all the positive hype and glowing reviews, i was disappointed. for me, the book didn't flow smoothly, kind of jumped around. one thing that did bother me was this: i'm no slouch at using the F word when the situation warrants it, but in this book, its usage seemed to exceed even the word 'the.' almost everybody in haeden used it, except maybe the Haytes. after a while, it became worse than tedious. i live in a small village in central new york, in a small villageoutside a small city. my native-to-the-area neighbors might be conservative and provincial, but nobody i know resembles anybody in haeden, for which i am grateful. ( )
  LindaRogers | Jul 22, 2015 |
Overall fascinating story, but sooooo confusing in audiobook format. Especially in the beginning the point of view/narrator/time period changed frequently and it was a challenge to follow the leaps. I may have to go back and read it someday because I really think I would like this book. ( )
  vnesting | Oct 26, 2014 |
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Book description
When she disappeared from her rural hometown, Wendy White was a sweet, family-oriented girl, a late bloomer who'd recently moved out on her own, with her first real boyfriend and a job waiting tables at the local tavern. It happens all the time — a woman goes missing, a family mourns, and the case remains unsolved.

Stacy Flynn is a reporter looking for her big break. She moved east from Cleveland, a city known for its violent crime, but that's the last thing she expected to cover in Haeden. This small, upstate New York town counts a dairy farm as its main employer and is home to families who've set down roots and never left — people who don't take kindly to outsiders. Flynn is researching the environmental impact of the dairy, and the way money flows outward like the chemical runoff, eventually poisoning those who live at the edges of its reach.

Five months after she disappeared, Wendy's body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden's main roads. Suddenly, Flynn has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her. No one seems to think that Wendy's killer could still be among them. A drifter, they say. Someone "not from here."

Fifteen-year-old Alice Piper is an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals. The precocious, confident girl has stood out in Haeden since the day her eccentric hippie parents moved there from New York City, seeking a better life for their only child. When Alice reads Flynn's passionate article in the Haeden Free Press about violence against women — about the staggering number of women who are killed each day by people they know — she begins to connect the dots of Wendy's disappearance and death, leading her to make a choice — join the rest in turning a blind eye or risk getting involved. As Flynn and Alice separately observe the locals' failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst. Alice's fate is forever entwined with Wendy's when a second crime rocks the town to its core.

Stylishly written, closely observed, and bracingly unexpected, So Much Pretty leads the reader into the treacherous psychology of denial, where the details of an event are already known, deeply and intuitively felt, but not yet admitted to, reconciled or revealed.

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Five months after she disappeared, Wendy White's body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden's main roads. Suddenly, reporter Stacy Flynn has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her in this small upstate New York town. Then fifteen-year-old Alice Piper, an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals, begins to connect the dots of Wendy's disappearance and death when a second crime rocks the town to its core.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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