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Pretty Thing by Jennifer Nadel

Pretty Thing

by Jennifer Nadel

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This has been called a coming of age story. To me, it is a coming of a nightmare for fifteen-year-old friends Rebecca (Becs) and Mary Jane. On the same night Becs sneaks out to join some friends at a club, Mary Jane decides to stay home with her family. Becs meets Bracken who is nearly twice her age while the next morning, Mary Jane encounters a man who forces her to touch him. Such was the encounter that Mary Jane never did get over it. Becs continues to meet Bracken, even feeling proud when her friends see she has a grown man interested in her. Becs is the protagonist and I kept thinking she’d wake up or some adult would intercede to make her realize that when you’re fifteen, a relationship with a twenty-nine-year-old man is just too out there. Becs mother had left her father and her to fend for themselves. Neither ever recouped. Becs father was too wrapped up in him own emotions to provide any solid foundation for Becs. So, Becs was very vulnerable.

This could be considered historical fiction as it is set in 1976. There are certain things that even in fiction, they are still true. Oranges are still oranges; apples are still apples. And … statutory rape is still statutory rape! However, in this novel, it appears as true love and romance. Perhaps laws are different in England, where I believe the story takes place. There was too much left unsaid. The author hinted at Bracken being the one who had assaulted Mary Jane, but that was never cleared up. The ending left Becs at a decision point – we don’t know for sure what path she chose. There is an epilogue written, but it is online. What about all of those people who will buy it because of the blurb or pick it up from the library … they may never know an epilogue is available. This is classified as Young Adult. Since the protagonist is fifteen, generally that is the age group it is geared toward. I think fifteen is too young to read a story about a fifteen-year-old girl with a twenty-nine-year-old man. The story flowed well and I still had an interest to know how it ended, so I rated Pretty Thing at 2.5 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | May 24, 2015 |
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