January 15, 2015

Book Review: Pretty Girl by Amy Heugh

Pretty Girl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

I loved to read books from the authors I’ve never read their works before without finding out first the what-about of its content. I simply loved to make expectation based on the cover, though I realized it’s not always effective. I rarely read blurbs and only do when I couldn’t make any interpretation from the covers.
Seeing Pretty Girl for the first time, I couldn’t help but hooked by its beautiful cover (and also the title!). I interpreted the story must be those kind of sweet romance (almost fairy-tale like) with adorable couple. Something like that. Never once crossed in my mind that this book would be crushing my heart out thousand times repeatedly and cut the pieces into some confetti.

Izzy hated it when people asked her if she’s okay. She hated it when people called her by her given name, Isabella. She hated it when her mother made decisions for her. She hated it when people made her the center of attention. She hated crowd. She hated strangers. She hated liars. She hated to talk about her past to anyone. She hated the reflection staring back at her in the mirror. She hated herself.
Mason hated it when people judged him by his doings. God, he hated his own doings. He hated people with their needs to put the whole society into groups. He hated people who benefited one’s trust and crushed it in a flash. He hated it when his mother left him. He hated words of sympathy. He hated disappointing those who loved him. He hated people with hollow eyes. He hated himself.
When the two flawed worlds collide, it could only mean either of the two things: worst collision that caused indiscernible wreckage or good collision that filling each other’s voids. Izzy and Mason’s encounter could be one of those things. But it was only natural to push each other away in the beginning. They knew nothing about each other, yet they could make out what was haunting each other’s eyes.
“And, what I see, I know so well, and it kind of scares me, but it brings relief along with it, knowing that I’m not the only one out there who is like me.”
Slowly but steadily, they finally became closer and together reached the gate of friendship. But to start a relationship―whatever it was, there should be trust given to each party. The question was, were they ready to reveal what they’ve been hiding from outer world under their quilts? While one’s secret was worse and darker than the others? While one’s secret was more heart-crushing than the others? The answer was hidden within their hearts, whether they wanted to make the first step to each other’s hiding corner and help directing the light to come inside.
“The past cannot be undone, but tomorrow knows no regret.”
Seriously, God. I felt so damn hollow during reading. I didn’t even know what to say. I might successfully guess their secrets but holy, Amy Heugh hid nothing ordinary behind the curtain! They were greater, darker, and scarier than what I could imagine. When I thought things couldn’t be worse, they were. I might just let Nicholas Sparks to share my award of most heart-breaking author with Amy Heugh. They both had done a very good job breaking my heart but giving me good life lessons of life to think about after reading. I liked that a lot.

The story began quite slowly at the beginning. On the first 20% I almost giving up reading but I kept going anyway. The heroine, Izzy, lassoed my heart the moment I met her. She has a really strong character and even though she was flawed, she didn’t turn into full time brat like most people with same situation. She might appear cold but she didn’t have a stone heart. And Mason, the hero, was one brave boy despite all the bad things happened in the past. I loved how fierce and keen he was when it came to protecting those he loved. God, Mason, come protect me, too please.
“You know what I hate?” His voice soft but strong.
“What?” I whispered, almost afraid to be heard.

“That you have to feel like that, that you feel like you have to deceive everyone around you for their sake only. Don’t do that, and I don’t want you to lie to me. I hate f*cking liars.”
Amy Heugh’s writing style is so excellent! I loved how Izzy’s recovering was described here. It was as if we were there as well witnessing every second of it. She didn’t narrate it in one straight paragraph but through pages of scenes so when we almost reached the end Amy was like taking us to recall all the progress Izzy has made little by little and it was overwhelming and made me want to cry happy tears. How Izzy and Mason formed a whole different kind of friendship, two fragile hearts protecting each other. God, that was so damn touching I wanna cry all week. There were just too many heart-wrenching scenes I was scared I might ended up curling in bed in despair. I had no idea that two desperate people could form a tight chemistry that led into a really beautiful relationship. But don’t worry there were also some cute scenes as well.

My emotion was totally played here. The tension was built real strong I felt like my breathing stopped for some good minutes and I was scared to exhale it. God, if you are fan of heart-ripping story, you have to pick this book right this minute!
The after-reading effect is quite strong. I have these repeated flashing scenes in my mind about this book that made me think about a lot of things in life. This book contained a very good amount of life lessons. Every word was written beautifully and full of meaning. The realization was one thing that I really adored of Amy’s writing. I’m having a hard time choosing my favorite quote from this book but it’s alright, I’ll just end up citing the whole book here…

Despite all the indication of heart-ripping story I mentioned above, this book would make you smile in the end. Well, I don’t know I just feel like saying this so a lot of people wouldn’t hesitate in picking this book up for their next read :)
“I realized that some people came into your life
just so they can teach you how to start it over again.

The day Mason rescued me he shared the words that gave me the power to do just that...

“... . I can’t tell you when it will get easier or promise you that it will be okay,

but I know that I won’t give up because I’m with someone
who gave meaning to the word ‘hope’.
I heard once that sometimes you have to go through the worst
so you can arrive at your best, and I believed that day for me will still come.
Until then I know that the sun will set over the horizon and a new day will begin.”
Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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