Pretty Little Liars review -- Sara Shepard

Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Pages: 286
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1, 2006
Format I Read the Book In: paperback

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. 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, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling.


This book has officially been read by me 1.1 times. For further explanation, please keep reading. 

Pretty Little Liars has always been one of those series I was in doubt about everyone liking. I mean, seriously, the covers were garbage. Dolls, bright colors, fancy cursive script . . . I almost puked every time I walked by the extra-special PLL stand in the Barnes and Noble store.

And then when the media tie-in covers were released . . . blech. They were even worse than the first ones. I made sure I stayed at least ten feet from every PLL book at all times.

Then it hit me one day. What if there's actually something behind their massive sale and worldwide appeal?

So, on a rash decision, I bought the first boxed set. (This was about a year ago.) They sat there for a while. And another while. Every time I looked at them, I felt guilty about buying them. So, to make up for it, I bought the next four. I'm still confused about how that twisted logic was appealing at the time.

I owned all 8 PLL books. Now what?

While browsing Goodreads a few weeks/months later, I saw that the PLL series was expanded to 12 books! Yay! Rejoice!

But wait. Why was I excited about 4 more when I hadn't even read the first 8? I told myself at that moment that there was no way I was buying the next 4. Shepard was just totally milking the cash cow, and I definitely wasn't going to feed it.

This thing came to me one day: what if I just skimmed through the first 8 books? I could retain at least a little information! (That's where the 0.1 comes from.) So, I did.

And then I bought book 9. Don't ask me why I did it, because I don't know why I did. I guess I thought it was pretty. I don't know.

Here I am today, a quarter of the way through the second book and I still don't know why I even bought it.

Pretty Little Liars is a twelve-book series revolving around five girls: Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily. The fifth girl is, or was, Ali, but she disappeared three years ago during one of the girls’ sleepovers. Three years later, these four girls start receiving odd messages in the form of text messages, IMs, and paper notes, signed by someone who calls themselves “A.” The first book depicts the girls’ individual lives, and shows how each of them have dark and twisted secrets that A is sending cryptic messages about. The four girls went their own separate ways after Ali disappeared, and just now they’re realizing they have an odd and layered connection. The book’s premise is promising much drama and tension, and trust me, it delivers.

I can’t help but compare this book to The Lying Game, Shepard’s other series’ first installment. While there is lots of suspense in this book, it falls a tad bit flat compared to the other series. I’m sure it’ll get more intense in later installments (there are only 8 others on my shelf), but it was a little dull at first.

The girls have problems that everyone in life faces. Shepard knows how to make characters relatable, and she does. That, in my opinion, is one of the strongest strong points of the novel.

I’m currently reading the second book in the series, and I can’t wait to get farther into the series.

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