Pretty Thing – Jennifer Nadel

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Format: Paperback
Published: 5th February 2015
Publisher: Corsair Books
Pages: 256 Pages

The Blurb
When fifteen-year-old Becs meets Bracken, she is convinced she’s found her soul mate. So what if he’s much older and who cares about her exams? He’s gorgeous, he gets her, she feels free with him, and when he holds her she feels safe.

But is she?

When her best friend is assaulted, one of a spate of attacks against girls from her school, the world suddenly seems a much more dangerous place. Who is it safe to trust? Should she follow her head or her heart? Becs is forced to make choices that will affect the rest of her life.

Set during the summer of ’76, to the music of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, Pretty Thingis a powerful story of first encounters, dark obsession and last chances. It pits true love against real life and asks: is love really all you need?

Rating: 3/5

The Review
Thank you to Corsair Books for sending me a copy to read and review.

Pretty Thing is set in the sizziling 70’s and focuses on the love life of school girl Rebecca. She is besotted by Bracken and when he returns the affection she feels like all her Christmases have come at once. Little does she know that Bracken might not be everything he seems – he’s definitely bad news.

Right from the beginning you knew that Pretty Thing was going to be a journey of self discovery and about the loss of innocence because Rebecca drops down her guard and lets Bracken corrupt her. He doesn’t necessarily force the corruption, but he knows he’s utilising her infatuation – something many teenagers experience.

For such a young girl (a tender 15 years old) Rebecca experiences many adult situations and has little support from her family. She’s a vulnerable teenager dealing with the loss of her best friend and also the disappearance of her Mother and maybe Bracken was a “healthy” distraction from the reality of life. We all know how desirable bad boys can be and with the added hormones flying around Bracken is every teenage girls dream.

The book itself was only 200+ pages, so considering the length it was confusing as to why the ending was so abrupt – you were left with lose assumptions that I felt could have been explained within a few more chapters. Maybe the abrupt ending was intentional in which case please consider writing a follow – up as I’m keen to find out what happens in Rebecca and Bracken’s lives.

Jennifer deals with a very serious topic within the novel and one that is very sensitive in nature. Rebecca’s friend Mary Jane is sexually abused by a mysterious male who you never really receive any information about. There is the assumption that the male could be associated with Bracken, but this is never really discussed. I felt it was dealt with perfectly because for the audience (Young Adult) it needed to be suitable for them to read. Overall, it’s definitely making people aware of what can happen without throwing every sordid detail into the story.


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