Friday, 12 November 2010
Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
Released: November 4th, 2010 (TV tie-in)
Grade rating: B+/A-
Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hanna and Alison have been best friends since the third grade. They go everywhere together, thinking no-one can come between them. If anyone is the ringleader of the group it is Alison, and the other girls cannot help but confide all their secrets to her. One night, during a sleepover, Alison goes missing. Her body is never found. The girls mourn her death but move apart after time, assuming their secrets have disappeared with Alison too. Three years later and Aria is having an affair with her teacher; Emily is questioning her sexuality; Hanna is a thief; and Spencer is flirting with her sister's fiance. They all think their secrets are safe, until they starting receiving messages from the mysterious A - who knows exactly what they are all up to, and is threatening to spill the beans...
Finally, I think I've found the answer to my It Girl series withdrawal - Pretty Little Liars! This was exactly my kind of book, thanks to its scheming, scandal and abundance of spoilt little rich girls. Plus, it's has a creepy element to it, in the form of the mysterious 'A' sending cryptic, all-knowing messages. What more could I ask for?!
I'll own up now: I read Pretty Little Liars after I'd seen the first 3 episodes of the show. I think this definitely helped me get straight into the book, though it's not the way I usually do things - usually I like to imagine the characters for myself, rather than see them as the chosen actors and actresses. It didn't make any difference here though, and I was actually more than happy to picture Ian Harding as Mr. Ezra Fitz. (If you've seen the show, you know what I'm talking about, right?! Sa-woon!)
So, here's the gist: Emily, Aria, Spencer, Alison and Hanna were all BFFs up until seventh grade, when Alison mysteriously disappeared. Fast forward 3 years, the girls are no longer friends and Alison is still missing. The girls are taking part in numerous scandalous affairs, and someone called 'A' knows all about all of them, as well as their deepest darkest secrets. Are you hooked yet? If no, you should be! Each girl has her own quirks and personality traits, and each is as different as you can get. From studious to slutty, everything is presented here. I do have a favourite, and that's Aria - I'm *totally* jealous of her fling with hot teacher Mr. Fitz!
To read and enjoy Pretty Little Liars, you have to suspend disbelief. There's no way these girls are 15/16 years old and getting up to the things they're getting up to; it's like Gossip Girl all over again, minus the glitz and glam of New York. The characters are way ahead of themselves, but that's what makes it so deliciously scandalous. The gossip and backstabbing bitch behaviour will have you turning pages quicker than Superman on a good day which, as we all know, is very, very fast!
Pretty Little Liars is addictive like you wouldn't believe, with so many plot twists and turns I'm surprised Sara Shepard manages to keep track of it all. The mysteries of Rosewood Day High School will no doubt keep me guessing for months to come, and I can't wait to read the next book. I have a feeling this series will get better with each instalment!