Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pretty Little Mistakes

I started reading Pretty Little Mistakes this week. The book is written by Heather McElhatton, a producer for Minnesota Public Radio and a frequent contributor to NPR's This American Life. Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books from when you were younger? Pretty Little Mistakes is like that, but for adults.

Definitely for adults.

You start at high school graduation. Should you go to college, or travel? After you make that choice, 150 possible endings exist. So far, I'm enjoying it. It's a quicker read then I expected. I can get through one "life" in less than 20 minutes, which is nice for bus rides or reading before bed. Once you get through one life, you start over again. It's humorous, too. The one thing I find interesting is that so far I've tried to make the responsible choices: going to college, not dropping out, etc., and it ends up not working out so well for me. (These are just three examples, and out of 150 possible endings, I don't think it's spoiling things too much.)

Story 1:
I choose to go to college. I major in art. I form an artists' club. Other members decide to make a statement by streaking at the next football game. I choose to stay behind at club headquarters. While alone there, I'm sexually assaulted. The police never find the guy. Since I don't feel safe, I buy a gun. I see my attacker, but choose not to kill him. I choose to testify. The stress kills me and I die on the witness stand. I'm curious to find out what would happen if I killed him (or chose not to testify)?

Story 2:
I choose a science major, which is very stressful, but I choose not to drop out from the stress. Instead, I get addicted to meth. I graduate and become a pharmaceutical rep. I choose not to give doctors incentives to buy my product. I get fired. I get cancer from all the meth-taking. This story does end better, as I survive the cancer and make a difference in the end.

Story 3:
I choose to travel. I go to England. I meet an Indian transvestite and travel with her to her home country. I eat an apple there. I get hepatitis and die.

These ones just cracked me up, and as my first three trips through the book, made me wonder if any of my "lives" would end up happy. But, I've had some good stories, too. I'll keep you posted.


Sarah said...

This sounds fabulous, although I fear I may be too OCD for choose your own adventure. It's very important that I read everything.

A. said...


I totally understand what you mean. Part of me wants to read it in order cover-to-cover, even though I know it wouldn't make sense. I don't want to miss anything.

willikat said...

i totally want to read this book.

Victoria Winters said...

Oh, I need to try this! I used to LOVE choose your own adventure books in elementary school! :)