Book Review: Pretty Little Mistakes

Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over NovelPretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel by Heather McElhatton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this book in my library’s used book store. I was immediately intrigued by the book because it is a choose your own adventure novel. I loved those books as a kid (who didn’t) and the idea of reading one written for adults seemed exciting (key word “seemed”).

The sections are really disjointed and pretty far-fetched. Each “story” is very short; only once did I jump more than five times. The stories were neither creative nor did the consequences equal the choices I made. I died in every ending and depending on the choices I made I was either incredibly happy and at peace or I was some miserable waste of space. The odd part, however, was the choices seemed to lead to some ridiculous and impossible outcomes.

Example: In one story-line I became an alcoholic and after beating a baby on the head with a bottle of wine I end up in jail. After three years I am paroled and must choose to be a janitor or a waitress.

Choice 1: I chose to be a janitor at a hospital where I was raped by a monkey which lead to me living happily ever after on millions before dying of a rare monkey disease.

Choice 2: I chose to be a waitress and worked at the same restaurant for the rest of my life. I was miserable, never married the abusive jerk I lived with and finally died after a pressure cooker exploded on me.

What the heck? How is that possible? How does getting raped by a monkey lead to a happier ending? Why is that even an event that occurs? Was that supposed to be funny? I don’t even know what to think of that.

The novel is also very graphic. I don’t have an issue with books that have foul language, descriptions of sex, or excessive gore. The author, however, seems to have included a gratuitous amount just for the sake of it. It’s not particularly shocking in my opinion, but it does get a little tiresome after a while.

The novel only had a few redeeming qualities. It was a quick read. It was super easy to read a section of the story on the bus. It has a few humorous scenarios. Overall, though, the books just falls flat.

In theory, a choose your own adventure novel for adults is fantastic. I am sure that if a more established writer had taken on this task the novel would have been more enjoyable. However, due to a lack of linear movement from choice to consequence and some downright disgusting and repulsive events and decisions Pretty Little Mistakes is a good idea gone wrong.


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