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Pretty little mistakes : a do-over novel
Heather McElhatton
Adult Fiction MCELHAT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Adults who remember the Choose Your Own Adventure YA novels are the target audience for this debut from Public Radio International producer McElhatton. The book opens with a female second person's high school graduation, which leads "you" to two possible choices: travel or college. Each succeeding section (mostly between one and four pages) similarly offers two options for proceeding, leading to an impressive array of possible developments, from a trip to Rome that can result in a live-in Italian artist boyfriend, to a dead-end job as a phone sex operator with the moniker of Stormy Sioux. Situations include the playfully surreal, such as a stint in a German circus as a nude ice dancer, and the tender, as in a life lived on the Iceland coast with a lovely, seal-obsessed child who has Down syndrome and a devoted scientist husband. There's also crystal meth addiction, rape, death by explosion, bursts of salty humor and moments of descriptive lyricism, especially in McElhatton's many vivid imaginings of the afterlife ("heaven is a junk shop... broken beauty everywhere"). Nevertheless, many situations are cartoonish; some of the events repeat or overlap; and "You" remains a cipher, making this "Do-Over Novel" more role-playing for the rut-stuck than a good read. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

McElhatton is a radio producer whose commentaries are heard regularly on shows such as This American Life and Weekend America, among others. So it makes sense that her debut novel is billed as "the first interactive novel for adults." In the style of those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from the 1980s, you can now do the same here. After reading the first section, do you go to college or travel to Europe? Make your selection, then turn to the page given. And don't look back, because sometimes the choice you make may seem wise but have disastrous results. Each section is quite short, and the reader is given many choices to make, so you're constantly challenged to ponder and act accordingly. What should you major in? Should you attend graduate school? Decide to marry? Tell him you're pregnant? Take the job? Go to England or Italy? Join the circus? What's amusing about the book is that each read-through is relatively short, so you can go back through it repeatedly, make different choices, and read a completely different story. It's a quirky concept that will keep you entertained and thinking, "What if I had married that other guy?" For larger popular fiction collections.-Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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