Ashley Gilbert

Creative Writing 463

William Gillespie

CYOA Web Post

Pretty Little Mistakes

            Pretty Little Mistakes is a choose-your-own-adventure book written by Heather McElhatton. This is a choose-your-own-adventure book (CYOA) that is very clearly geared toward adults as it has many scenes that are inappropriate for children. With that being said, this book also contains a lot of adult themes and storylines that are intriguing. You are reading this as if you are the main character, which is how most CYOA books. No matter which direction you choose the main character continues to struggle her way through life. Some paths lead you to being a sex worker, having cancer, and even dirt broke in Europe. Through this we can see the character’s persistence, but also her stubbornness. While the character is doing different things and going on different paths, her personality still shines through. She is determined, but also very gullible. She finds herself in avoidable situations, and she must learn from them.

            The biggest takeaway I had from this book was the ability the main character had to adapt to the world around her. For example, when she was diagnosed with cancer, she was able to change and adapt her life to fit into her diagnosis. We also see how she was able to turn that diagnosis into something positive by becoming a therapist of sorts for people who are sick. We also see this with her journey in LA as a movie star. She had to keep changing her because of the madness that was surrounding her. She ends up falling in love and changes her whole life for that as well.

            We also get the pleasure of seeing how she finds happiness at the end of almost every version of the story that we read. Her journey to happiness and self-actualization seems to be a theme throughout the book. The main character knows what she is worth and what she deserves as a human in this world. There is never a moment where she gives up and rots away her life, which is meant to be inspiring. There are highs and lows, as it is about her pretty little mistakes, which she does make a lot of.

            I think my favorite version of the story was when she got cancer and ended up helping other people who were diagnosed. She ends up giving one of her patients the greatest last day of her life and she dies while it is happening. The main character gets told she performed assisted suicide and loses her job, but she gave this woman everything she wanted for her last moments on earth and that changed the trajectory of the mindset of the main character. She writes a book and really learns how to live the life that she was given. We see this in her storyline when she becomes a famous actress and realizes what it is really like to be living and alive. She leaves behind her glamorous life and goes to live a humbler one with the lover of her life.

            One notable thing about the main character is that we do not usually see her fall in love with a good person. Of all the storylines I followed, she only finds one lover that works for her and the other ones are either married or terrible people. This is a good aspect of the book because it really does highlight the persistence that the main character has. She will stay with the wrong person if it is what is right in the moment, usually, it does end up being a mistake, but the reader gets to see how she fixed the mistake and what good things came out of it. The whole book is not centered around her falling in love, but in each storyline, her love plays a huge role in how she learns and grows. We see her as a character on her own, but her relationships are portrayed in such a way that you as the reader can see and track her growth. It was fascinating to read.

            The writing quality, in my opinion, was tremendous! The author did a great job of showing the personality of the main character throughout each storyline. The main character was very present which is a very difficult task to do in a story where the constantly changing. I think that the author did an amazing job of making the reader feel for the main character and want her to succeed. The multi-sequentially aspect of the book was well done and made sense. There were no crazy jumps or anything that confused me. There

            It is safe to say that no matter what adventure you choose in this book., you will witness the main character find love and success, in spite of her million little mistakes.

            Overall, I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars! I think that there were moments where there was just a little too much going against the main character and it just did not seem believable to me, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the read and will probably go back to it again.


Pretty little mistakes : a do-over novel : McElhatton, Heather, 1970- :  Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive