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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Perfection is an illusion that I have mastered. It is the weak who suffer in mediocrity. But my fears are very real and the story of my past is what nightmares are made of. The monsters no longer hide under my bed. I welcome them under the covers. Popularity is a contest after all and I was anything but a loser.”
This book brought me to my knees. I read it in one day and I am pretty sure I forgot to eat. I rarely read a book that is capable of eliciting so many emotions. It’s hard to put into words how I felt while reading this book. It took me over a week just to write this review. I was taken on quite the journey with this one!
The book starts with us understanding that Annabel was trapped in a situation where she presents a façade to the world. She and Colin have escaped a horrible past, but they haven’t eliminated the dangers, they have simply outrun them… for now.
“Here we don’t pray for the weak, we prey on the weak.”
For Annabel, living in this dynamic is a daily struggle. She is 17 almost 18. She lives under the thumb of her “brother” who wants to protect her by micromanaging her life. She wants to be free and live as a normal teen does, but her biggest problem is that she has never known what normal is. The only constant in her life is Colin. He is all she knows.
Colin rescued her, but he knows that danger is still in her presence every day. Escaping the devil who held them left him full of demons. He trusts no one with Annabel… including himself.
“It wasn’t as easy for others to accept the darker side of themselves. Most like to cling to the notion that hesitation still marked the presence of morality. Deep down we were all just selfish animals. We liked to take… or be taken.”
The chemistry developed between Colin and Annabel touched on so many levels. It was them against the world, but no one could ever know. They depended on each other for everything from survival to companionship, because with so many secrets, they could never truly form bonds with anyone else. They fought like siblings and they fought like lovers.
“Patience, little one. I want to take my time with you.”
And then there is the fear that looms over their perfectly crafted world. It is real and eventually your past always catches up with you.
Teresa Mummert has written an extraordinary book with Pretty Little Things. She alternated the story from present to past, allowing us enough background with each chapter to understand Colin and Annabel. She left everything on the pages and I felt raw when the story ended. It was a fascinating take on a disturbing subject. Well done, ma’am! This was a fabulous book. I was left with a serious book hangover!!!
5 Stars and 3 fingers of scotch!