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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Melissa Simonson’s Pretty Waste dives deep into the life of Lucy Porter-Crosland’s emotionally bankrupt life. Abandoned at the age of two, Lucy had moved from foster home to foster home until Miranda entered her life. Miranda gave Lucy everything and then taught her a trade. As a prostitute, Lucy perfected her ability to be anyone except herself. Sadly, Lucy began to have night terrors to the point that she could possibly endanger herself or other people. After several attempts to remedy the situation, Lucy and Miranda both felt she was beyond treatment. One evening, Lucy met Joseph Brant, who insisted that she stay the night with him, where she ended up assaulting him during her nightmare. She discovers that Joseph is Miranda’s ex-husband. Joseph becomes smitten by Lucy and insists on taking her to Lucas Carrington. Lucas is a psychologist who becomes increasingly interested in Lucy and her loyalty to Miranda. Lucy is unaware that Lucas has a secret about Miranda. As the sessions continue, it appears that night terrors are the least of Lucy’s problems.
Pretty Waste is an exceptional book about the life of a call-girl. Melissa Simonson described each character in such detail that I felt like I knew them personally. Even Lucy’s personas were convincing, and I could understand why Lucy would attempt to deflect Lucas’s attempts to break her exterior. I don’t think Lucy respected Miranda but was codependent on her. She didn’t really have any idea of what love was, and if I was faced with the same life, I would feel loyal to the one person who appeared to save me. The intertwining of Miranda’s connection to Lucas made the tension palpable. Lucas appeared as if he didn’t care about anyone, but I could see his cold exterior crack as the story continued. The supporting characters were well-developed and added even more depth to the story. This is a highly suspenseful book that kept my attention to the point where I couldn’t put it down. I would recommend the book to anyone that enjoys a thriller written from a psychological standpoint.