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There are hundreds of lives sown inside Pretty Little Mistakes, Heather McElhatton's singularly spectacular, breathtakingly unique novel that has more than 150 possible endings. You may end up in an opulent mansion or homeless down by the river; happily married with your own corporation or alone and pecked to death by ducks in London; a Zen master in Japan or morbidly obese in a trailer park.

Is it destiny or decision that controls our fate? You can't change your past and start over from scratch in real life—but in Pretty Little Mistakes, you can! But be warned, choose wisely.

Topics: Choose Your Own Adventure, Drugs, Sex, Family, and Murder

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061857027
List price: $8.99
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Borrowed from LeeAnn.

This is such a fun (and sometimes really heartbreakingly sad?) book! I think my favorite parts were how so many situations could turn into situations-involving-meth, any guy you were involved with had a humorously giant dick, and you got killed by terrorists a lot. Also you were constantly getting accidentally pregnant? Like, were you just straight up not on birth control or bad about taking it or what? You were just always suddenly realizing you were pregnant by the giant-dicked guy you were dating and I feel like in one of your reincarnations you would've gotten tired of this. Definitely worth picking up if the idea of a collection of short stories that's also a game appeals to you.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I REALLY REALLY wanted to like this book more than I did. I love the idea of a chose-your-own story for adults. I found the author made too many choices for you. And the story lines were pretty annoying. *sigh*read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Most of the time we spend money on a book we will read once and forget about. My copy of Pretty Little Mistakes has been used time and time again by myself and my girlfriends. I thoroughly enjoy the writing style Heather Mcelhatton uses. However, I was disappointed that there were so many options for bad decisions. It gave the book a dark atmosphere, with so many choices to be made in regards to sex, drugs, etc. While there were positive choices and positive endings, I feel like a majority of my endings were keeping true to this dark theme. But despite this I still continue to read. I can't help it, it's always fun to make the bad decisions that you'd never make in real life.Kudos to Mcelhatton for putting together such an incredible and complex book! I can't wait to read her next book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wasn't impressed with this book, don't think books like that are my kind of books!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting premise--being given a decision to make at the end of each short section, thus changing the story depending on what path you choose to take. I used to love books like this when I was a kid. The problem was that the writing was overly simple (though to a certain extent I can see how it would have to be to make the premise work), I really wasn't engaged by it, and the choices seemed rather judgemental (if you make what the author deems a morally questionable choice, you're sure to meet a bad end). It was an okay way to pass a slow afternoon, but I wouldn't have read it if I'd had anything else around.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel is more fun that a barrel of monkeys! Beginning after your high school graduation, you are asked to make a choice between going to school and travel. Based on that decision, you make another and another in this updated version of the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel. The possibilities are truly limitless, and the adventures extraordinary! You can read each "life" in about 20 or 30 minutes from start to finish, but you won't want to stop there. If you're like me, you'll read this book dozens of more times, trying out different decisions and getting outcomes that range from the hilarious to the heart-breaking.Each life you live ends in death - sometimes a natural death after living a long life, sometimes death by accident, and sometimes murder. After each life ends, McElhatton describes the afterlife of that person, ranging from textbook descriptions of heaven and hell, to a "choose your own afterlife" sort of thing, to re-incarnation as a fish! It's all just utterly fascinating.I couldn't stop myself from trying on new lives all week long! The funniest thing is that the life yielded by my first choices was the best one in my opinion. I ended up living in a stone cottage in the country with a husband, child, and grandchild that I loved. I died at a "ripe-old-age," after a life full of love, travel, adventure, and even a little fame - who wouldn't want to live such a life? Just like in real life, the safe, honest, and "right" choices didn't always yield the best results. I really did get my share of horrifying death scenes in my exploration of Pretty Little Mistakes, but it was still fun to make those decisions in my quest for the perfect life. Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel is an inspired idea, brilliantly conceived and expertly accomplished. It is one of those library books I wish I'd bought and not checked-out. After all, there are probably a hundred or more combinations that I didn't get to examine. I may need to run to the bookstore for this one...read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Okay so this novel isn't for everyone, especially for those that like a novel to stick to a normal routine of telling a story from beginning to end. This does that, but with a handful or your own that you can choose instead. The reason for that is there are 150 endings to choose from in the book!Growing up I was into the Goosepbump books that let you choose your story. Not only was I totally into those covers (they were pretty awesome for Goosebump books!), but I loved changing the story into something more interesting. I was the kid that would mark my page if there were two choices and then go back to it if the one ended too quickly or was too insane for me.I still did that with this novel. It has some grown-up themes to it, so maybe this wouldn't be a good book for those under the age of 15 (i.e. - sex, drugs, and a few other descriptive things that most YA books don't have!).Anyway, the book starts off with you either choosing to go to college or off traveling. From there depending on which choice you make you can either go into an art program or science program or travel to europe and have your life changed. Along the way things get more complicated and life gets a little too real for the choices you make or just a little crazy, because let's face it, it's fiction, but still really interesting fiction.I've gotten to read about 20 or more different endings so far, but all of which have been really interesting. I've died a handful, been shot, grown old and happy, grown old and sad, fall in love, been cheated on by men, been discovered, became famous, made my parents proud or shamed them, lived out my dreams, made miserable choices, and still trying to get to every ending!No two endings are the same. And that's what I love the most. It makes you wonder, "what if I choose to fly to...?" or "should I have gone to that show with...?" or even "was that a really big mistake to...?"This book I think is for those that get frustrated when books don't go the way they like it and wish they could have chosen something else or are the types always wondering "what if...?" about their own life in general.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm not done with the Choose-your-own-adventure stories. This one is called a "Do-over novel".This one is written from the perspective of a woman. I suppose it could be a gay man, but "you" bear children in some of the scenarios...so, maybe, someday? Miracle of science?You start out on the day of High School Graduation. You get a healthy chunk of money from Grandpa - do you go directly to college, or do you travel? If you go to college, do you study art or science? If you travel, do you go to California or Europe? And so on, and so on. Each scenario only lasts about 5-6 jumps before you've settled in for life and eventually die.It's fun, I guess. I got a bit depressed while reading it. Most of the lives sounded much better than the one I'm currently living, making me feel like my end-scenario would have been one of those that made the reader go quickly back to the beginning and try again. The back of the book states (as polar opposites): "You may end up in an opulent mansion or homeless down by the river; happily married with your own corporation or alone and pecked to death by ducks in London [I got that ending once]; a Zen master in Japan or morbidly obese in a trailer park." Well, I don't like how obesity wound up in the same pole as "homeless by the river" and "being pecked to death by ducks"...but it's just a book, hmm?I wonder if the author is particularly morbid in real life. The most interesting, poignant, beautiful, and disturbing sections of the stories seemed to revolve around "my" eventual death. "My" exits from the corporeal plane were varied (there is a God, there isn't a God, reincarnated as a human, reincarnated as a squid, etc.) and some were beautifully described. Once I wound up sailing away on a sea of pinks and reds. Once, I wound up meeting a bizarro St. Peter and being sent directly to the Skinning Room. Yeesh!There seems to be a disproportionate number of endings in exotic locations (although some of them had "me" at Betty's Pies!), and a disproportionate number of death-by-car-accident. Also, "I" was quite...erm...promiscuous at the beginning of the book (not my choice, my character was written that way). Not that there's anything wrong with a healthy appetite, but screwing a mechanic for parts and labor...when I've GOT money in the bank...yeah.Anyway! Reading this book at this particular point wasn't a great idea for me. I didn't need to see all of the paths that I could have taken (even though I know it's fiction...the world WAS that open at one point), and have my current path treated like something I'd better do-over.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It's fun to pick your own ending, but the use of 2nd person POV is really annoying!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, though, as many of the reviewers have mentioned, many of the scenarios are more negative than I would have liked. A fun choose your own adventure for adults, I'd recommend it to people who like fast paced, entertaining books, though there isn't a lot of substance to it for people who like meatier reads. I'll probably loan it to friends who used to read the kid versions of coose your own adventure back during their heyday in the ninetiesread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a "Choose your own adventure" book for grown-ups. It was fun and interesting, but the choices available were not always what I would do, and I kept reaching dead ends...read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Unlike the other reviewer, I would go so far as to say buying this book was a "Pretty Little Mistake." This book is nothing but shallow and disappointing with very little adventure.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'd like to refer to this book as a "choose your own adventure" for adults. The first page starts with high school graduation and from here, you decide whether you want to go to college or travel to California or Europe. Where your life leads is completely up to you.I loved that the book lets the reader go down various paths but I hated that all my paths ended with me dying.Overall, it was a fun and interesting book that I'd definitely read again.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Odd format. Kind of like choose your own adventure for somewhat stoned adults...read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pretty Little Mistakes is unique in the premise of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for adults. However, I found that many of the endings were too extreme and/or unbelievable to keep my interest. Also, too little thought is invested in plot and character development to make the various endings worthwhile. The choices are also limited - often when I wanted to make a choice, I couldn't; other times there were not enough options to choose from. However, the concept is very good. Allowing the reader to interact with the text by providing a variety of endings is intriguing. I would like to see another book like this with more of a potpourri of bland and spicy endings based on the reader's choices, rather than pure sensationalism.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book works best as an aid for nostalgia. It's a quick experience - it takes less than twenty minutes to get from the first page to the end of a story line - but it's fun. The stories are absurd and while not particularly well-written, they're not dreadful either. However, if you liked the choose your own adventure books when you were a kid, this is a fun way to bring that experience into adulthood.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Borrowed from LeeAnn.

This is such a fun (and sometimes really heartbreakingly sad?) book! I think my favorite parts were how so many situations could turn into situations-involving-meth, any guy you were involved with had a humorously giant dick, and you got killed by terrorists a lot. Also you were constantly getting accidentally pregnant? Like, were you just straight up not on birth control or bad about taking it or what? You were just always suddenly realizing you were pregnant by the giant-dicked guy you were dating and I feel like in one of your reincarnations you would've gotten tired of this. Definitely worth picking up if the idea of a collection of short stories that's also a game appeals to you.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I REALLY REALLY wanted to like this book more than I did. I love the idea of a chose-your-own story for adults. I found the author made too many choices for you. And the story lines were pretty annoying. *sigh*
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Most of the time we spend money on a book we will read once and forget about. My copy of Pretty Little Mistakes has been used time and time again by myself and my girlfriends. I thoroughly enjoy the writing style Heather Mcelhatton uses. However, I was disappointed that there were so many options for bad decisions. It gave the book a dark atmosphere, with so many choices to be made in regards to sex, drugs, etc. While there were positive choices and positive endings, I feel like a majority of my endings were keeping true to this dark theme. But despite this I still continue to read. I can't help it, it's always fun to make the bad decisions that you'd never make in real life.Kudos to Mcelhatton for putting together such an incredible and complex book! I can't wait to read her next book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wasn't impressed with this book, don't think books like that are my kind of books!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting premise--being given a decision to make at the end of each short section, thus changing the story depending on what path you choose to take. I used to love books like this when I was a kid. The problem was that the writing was overly simple (though to a certain extent I can see how it would have to be to make the premise work), I really wasn't engaged by it, and the choices seemed rather judgemental (if you make what the author deems a morally questionable choice, you're sure to meet a bad end). It was an okay way to pass a slow afternoon, but I wouldn't have read it if I'd had anything else around.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel is more fun that a barrel of monkeys! Beginning after your high school graduation, you are asked to make a choice between going to school and travel. Based on that decision, you make another and another in this updated version of the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel. The possibilities are truly limitless, and the adventures extraordinary! You can read each "life" in about 20 or 30 minutes from start to finish, but you won't want to stop there. If you're like me, you'll read this book dozens of more times, trying out different decisions and getting outcomes that range from the hilarious to the heart-breaking.Each life you live ends in death - sometimes a natural death after living a long life, sometimes death by accident, and sometimes murder. After each life ends, McElhatton describes the afterlife of that person, ranging from textbook descriptions of heaven and hell, to a "choose your own afterlife" sort of thing, to re-incarnation as a fish! It's all just utterly fascinating.I couldn't stop myself from trying on new lives all week long! The funniest thing is that the life yielded by my first choices was the best one in my opinion. I ended up living in a stone cottage in the country with a husband, child, and grandchild that I loved. I died at a "ripe-old-age," after a life full of love, travel, adventure, and even a little fame - who wouldn't want to live such a life? Just like in real life, the safe, honest, and "right" choices didn't always yield the best results. I really did get my share of horrifying death scenes in my exploration of Pretty Little Mistakes, but it was still fun to make those decisions in my quest for the perfect life. Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel is an inspired idea, brilliantly conceived and expertly accomplished. It is one of those library books I wish I'd bought and not checked-out. After all, there are probably a hundred or more combinations that I didn't get to examine. I may need to run to the bookstore for this one...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Okay so this novel isn't for everyone, especially for those that like a novel to stick to a normal routine of telling a story from beginning to end. This does that, but with a handful or your own that you can choose instead. The reason for that is there are 150 endings to choose from in the book!Growing up I was into the Goosepbump books that let you choose your story. Not only was I totally into those covers (they were pretty awesome for Goosebump books!), but I loved changing the story into something more interesting. I was the kid that would mark my page if there were two choices and then go back to it if the one ended too quickly or was too insane for me.I still did that with this novel. It has some grown-up themes to it, so maybe this wouldn't be a good book for those under the age of 15 (i.e. - sex, drugs, and a few other descriptive things that most YA books don't have!).Anyway, the book starts off with you either choosing to go to college or off traveling. From there depending on which choice you make you can either go into an art program or science program or travel to europe and have your life changed. Along the way things get more complicated and life gets a little too real for the choices you make or just a little crazy, because let's face it, it's fiction, but still really interesting fiction.I've gotten to read about 20 or more different endings so far, but all of which have been really interesting. I've died a handful, been shot, grown old and happy, grown old and sad, fall in love, been cheated on by men, been discovered, became famous, made my parents proud or shamed them, lived out my dreams, made miserable choices, and still trying to get to every ending!No two endings are the same. And that's what I love the most. It makes you wonder, "what if I choose to fly to...?" or "should I have gone to that show with...?" or even "was that a really big mistake to...?"This book I think is for those that get frustrated when books don't go the way they like it and wish they could have chosen something else or are the types always wondering "what if...?" about their own life in general.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm not done with the Choose-your-own-adventure stories. This one is called a "Do-over novel".This one is written from the perspective of a woman. I suppose it could be a gay man, but "you" bear children in some of the scenarios...so, maybe, someday? Miracle of science?You start out on the day of High School Graduation. You get a healthy chunk of money from Grandpa - do you go directly to college, or do you travel? If you go to college, do you study art or science? If you travel, do you go to California or Europe? And so on, and so on. Each scenario only lasts about 5-6 jumps before you've settled in for life and eventually die.It's fun, I guess. I got a bit depressed while reading it. Most of the lives sounded much better than the one I'm currently living, making me feel like my end-scenario would have been one of those that made the reader go quickly back to the beginning and try again. The back of the book states (as polar opposites): "You may end up in an opulent mansion or homeless down by the river; happily married with your own corporation or alone and pecked to death by ducks in London [I got that ending once]; a Zen master in Japan or morbidly obese in a trailer park." Well, I don't like how obesity wound up in the same pole as "homeless by the river" and "being pecked to death by ducks"...but it's just a book, hmm?I wonder if the author is particularly morbid in real life. The most interesting, poignant, beautiful, and disturbing sections of the stories seemed to revolve around "my" eventual death. "My" exits from the corporeal plane were varied (there is a God, there isn't a God, reincarnated as a human, reincarnated as a squid, etc.) and some were beautifully described. Once I wound up sailing away on a sea of pinks and reds. Once, I wound up meeting a bizarro St. Peter and being sent directly to the Skinning Room. Yeesh!There seems to be a disproportionate number of endings in exotic locations (although some of them had "me" at Betty's Pies!), and a disproportionate number of death-by-car-accident. Also, "I" was quite...erm...promiscuous at the beginning of the book (not my choice, my character was written that way). Not that there's anything wrong with a healthy appetite, but screwing a mechanic for parts and labor...when I've GOT money in the bank...yeah.Anyway! Reading this book at this particular point wasn't a great idea for me. I didn't need to see all of the paths that I could have taken (even though I know it's fiction...the world WAS that open at one point), and have my current path treated like something I'd better do-over.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It's fun to pick your own ending, but the use of 2nd person POV is really annoying!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, though, as many of the reviewers have mentioned, many of the scenarios are more negative than I would have liked. A fun choose your own adventure for adults, I'd recommend it to people who like fast paced, entertaining books, though there isn't a lot of substance to it for people who like meatier reads. I'll probably loan it to friends who used to read the kid versions of coose your own adventure back during their heyday in the nineties
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a "Choose your own adventure" book for grown-ups. It was fun and interesting, but the choices available were not always what I would do, and I kept reaching dead ends...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Unlike the other reviewer, I would go so far as to say buying this book was a "Pretty Little Mistake." This book is nothing but shallow and disappointing with very little adventure.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'd like to refer to this book as a "choose your own adventure" for adults. The first page starts with high school graduation and from here, you decide whether you want to go to college or travel to California or Europe. Where your life leads is completely up to you.I loved that the book lets the reader go down various paths but I hated that all my paths ended with me dying.Overall, it was a fun and interesting book that I'd definitely read again.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Odd format. Kind of like choose your own adventure for somewhat stoned adults...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Pretty Little Mistakes is unique in the premise of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for adults. However, I found that many of the endings were too extreme and/or unbelievable to keep my interest. Also, too little thought is invested in plot and character development to make the various endings worthwhile. The choices are also limited - often when I wanted to make a choice, I couldn't; other times there were not enough options to choose from. However, the concept is very good. Allowing the reader to interact with the text by providing a variety of endings is intriguing. I would like to see another book like this with more of a potpourri of bland and spicy endings based on the reader's choices, rather than pure sensationalism.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book works best as an aid for nostalgia. It's a quick experience - it takes less than twenty minutes to get from the first page to the end of a story line - but it's fun. The stories are absurd and while not particularly well-written, they're not dreadful either. However, if you liked the choose your own adventure books when you were a kid, this is a fun way to bring that experience into adulthood.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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