Author: Jennifer Nadel
Published: February 5th 2015 by Corsair
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: A stunning coming-of-age debut full of love and danger, secrets and lies: this is a dark, tense, hard-hitting novel about two girls forced to grow up fast…
When fifteen-year-old Becs meets Bracken, she is convinced she’s found her soul mate. So what if he’s much older? He understands her, she feels free with him and when he holds her she feels safe.
But is she?
Some young women in the local area have recently been sexually assaulted. It’s the talk of the school. And when Bec’s best friend Mary-Jane becomes the latest victim, the true dangers hit home: just as Becs is starting to wonder about her future with Bracken – poor M-J rapidly shrinks away from life...
Set during the sweltering hot summer of 1976, Pretty Thing is a powerful coming-of-age novel, a story of first encounters, dark obsession, broken trust and last chances – perfect for readers of Meg Rosoff, Lauren Oliver and Annabel Pitcher. It pits true love against real life and ask: is love all you really need?
*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: Set in a hot summer in the 70s Pretty Thing is a tale about growing up and love but with an added dark atmosphere. Becs is a character easy to relate with. She is a teenager eager for love and for a place to fit. She is not a brazen girl and neither is she extremely beautiful so when Bracken, older and quite handsome pays attention to her, she becomes quite smitten with him. Even forgetting a bit about her friends.
What surprised me about this story was its honesty and how well the author expressed the raw emotions going on with Becs. She is discovering her sexuality and wants her first time to be special. But life has its own ways and Bracken too. I was actually in two minds about him. I really couldn't read him. And only seeing him through Becs' eyes, who idolizes him didn't help. I had a bad feeling about him and just couldn't believe him and his act.
Pretty Thing is quite a short book, just over two hundred pages but filled with emotions and with some unexpected twits that make this coming of age story darker and grittier. I was certainly hooked at the beginning. I have to say though that I wasn't convinced by the last part of the story, especially with the open ending, as I felt like it was a bit rushed and left me a bit confused. However I am sure this story will appeal to both young adults and adults too, as the setting in the 70s might bring lots of memories and who hasn't been a teenager like Becs or has a kid going through the same, doubts about the future, the desire to be cool and fit in, wanting to be loved...