Pretend She’s Here: Book Review

By: Luanne Rice

Lizzie and Emily were best friends before Lizzie died a horrible death caused by cancer.  The best friends had been inseparable in life.  They spent their growing up years going in and out of each other’s homes and carpooling with each other’s parents.  Lizzie’s family consists of her mother, father and sister Chloe.  Emily is the youngest of seven children and she lives with her mother and father. Emily’s mother is a former alcoholic. 

About one year after Lizzie passed away, Emily sees Lizzie’s sister, Chloe, and goes over to talk. Emily ends up kidnapped by Lizzies parents.  Lizzie’s parents have been torn apart by grief and decide the Emily would make a good replacement Lizzie.  They force her to dress in Lizzie’s clothing, dye her hair and call Lizzie’s mother, Mom.  Emily is not a willing participant in this farce; they hold something over her. She is too afraid to leave…

This was a great book.  It made me tear up in some places and it made me angry in others. The story flows nicely and it was horrible to imagine it happening in real life. I understood Emily’s reasoning throughout the story, and I can imagine it is what any child would believe and do.  I would not read this if the subjects of kidnapping or brainwashing will cause you difficulty. It was a good read. Very emotional and it makes you feel all the feels. There was nothing sexually explicit in this story. 

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