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Pretty Little Liars

Review

Pretty Little Liars

Alison is perfect --- beautiful, witty, smart and popular. The girls want to be her, and the boys want to kiss her. Alison is a best friend, in more ways than one. But things are not always as they seem. Hanna is a nice person, just a little overweight. Steadily putting on the pounds since her parents divorced, Hanna is having her own time of coping with things. Emily is a swimmer, just like the rest of her family. Living the "blah" life, Emily is just blending in. Aria is different. Her likes and dislikes are borderline weird, at least to others. Aria just doesn't fit in. And Spencer has to deal with living in her sister's shadow. Sometimes, Spencer is just sick of the competition.

Things get really crazy when the girls have a sleepover at Spencer's and an argument gets out of hand. Alison disappears and they never hear from her again. Fast forward three years, and things have certainly changed. The remaining four girls don't even speak now. Aria's family moved away to Finland and just got back. Aria is used to hanging with older guys now and ends up wanting a relationship with her new teacher. Someone just bought Alison's old house with a teenager and bonds with Emily. The problem is, this new resident is helping Emily find out who she really is. Does Emily want to face the music? After many years, Hanna is no longer overweight and has a new set of friends and circumstances to deal with. Hanna finds out the hard way that wanting attention and being Barbie isn't all it's cracked up to be. Spencer is still living in her big sister's shadow but has her own agenda. It's not her fault that all her sister's boyfriends want her.

Soon, the creepiness begins. Someone is watching them all, with information on events that happened three years ago --- events that only each one of them knew...and Alison. But she's gone, right? Who else could twist their past and bring it into the future? Whoever it is, they know a little too much and are hell-bent on hurting them all, one way or another. As the girls are already spooked, things don't get any better when all their current secrets come tumbling out of the woodwork. Who's telling?

To make matters even stickier, the police finally find Alison's body...buried in her backyard. When they all come together again, it's at her memorial. No one is expecting the biggest secret to show up as well. It's no fun as the memorial ends and they all receive simultaneous text messages. From who? None other than Alison herself, letting them know she's still around, still watching and still exacting revenge.

Sara Shepard does an amazing job in this first installment of a four-book series. With mystery, intrigue and true-to-life characters, Shepard takes readers into a world of fake and fanciful spoiled brats. These are people who seemingly have it all, but when you delve a little deeper, they have just as many issues as the next kid. As PRETTY LITTLE LIARS expertly crafts just enough suspense to leave you waiting for the next book, one thing is for certain: high school will never be the same!

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Reviewed by Belinda Williams on October 18, 2011

Pretty Little Liars
by Sara Shepard

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Friendship, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0060887303
  • ISBN-13: 9780060887308