Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Date Released: October 3, 2006
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Description: Everyone has something to hide - especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna.
Spencer covets her sister's boyfriend. Aria's fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily's crushing on the new girl at school. And Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.
But they've all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were and the naughty girls they are now. And guess what? I'm telling.
Review: Everyone is obsessed with these books! At least most of my friends are. It's mostly the TV series actually - it's all I heard about the last weeks before it's season premiere! So, since I have a personal rule to always read the books before watching the movie/tv show, I checked this book out.
The books centers around the four girls' lives, switching narratives between chapters. This gave an interesting insight into each girl's life, along with their inner problems. On the outside, they're all spoiled, rich, and pretty. But they each have their own dark secrets and turmoils, along with the whisperings that they confided in their friend, Alison, who just disappeared...
Okay, so some aspects of the characters - well, pretty much all four main characters - are pretty ickily skanky. Each one of them has a secret about that. But then there's the inner turmoil from childhood past - self image, cheating parentals, perfection, being overshadowed, etc. that give the book a deeper meaning. And that was what made the novel more appropriately interesting for me.
However, what really fueled this novel on and gave it the juice was the mystery. What was the Jenna Thing? What exactly happened in the seventh grade that haunts each girl today? I liked how the author intersected sections of their past throughout the novel, without confusing the reader and keeping secrets so you wanted to know more - therefore spurring you to read more of the novel.
And then, most importantly, there's A. Leaving mysterious notes everywhere, creeping on all the girls, knowing things that no one should know....but WHO IS IT?! The dark mystery interwoven throughout the novel is pretty creepy. But it's also freaking GOOD. And in the end, the pain felt by all the girls is pretty dramatic and hits you hard. I think I feel worst for Aria though...though each of their situations really suck at one point.
Anyway, the ending is especially suspenseful, and I obsessed over wanting to keep on reading and grab the next book. Pretty Little Liars may seem shallow on the surface, but really is suspenseful, dark, and mysterious despite the pretty preppy girls on the cover. I'm definitely going to also check out the TV series - if it's anything compared to the books, it's bound to be uber addicting!
Cover Review: The covers of the series always interested me - the Barbie doll represents a character, who's real image is on the back cover. This one is Spencer I think. It's probably also a reference when the girls say they always felt Allison positioned them like dolls....
keep on reading fellow book geeks!