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Pretty Little Liars #5: Wicked


Pretty Little Liars #5: Wicked

WICKED is the fifth installment in the bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, inspired by Sara Shepard’s upbringing in Philadelphia’s Main Line. The novels center on Rosewood High School juniors Hanna, Spencer, Emily and Aria, and their former clique member Alison DiLaurentis, who disappeared and was later found dead. 

Passions ignite and the smell of blood is in the air as the citizens of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, await the verdict in the DiLaurentis murder trial. Ian Spencer, who once was romantically linked with Spencer’s older sister Melissa and who secretly kissed Spencer when she was in middle school, is accused of the murder. Ian claims he is being framed. As the trial approaches, Ian’s mother falls gravely ill, and a sympathetic judge temporarily releases him to visit her. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. DiLaurentis and their son Jason are back in town for the trial, at which Spencer is one of the key witnesses. 

Spencer is a competitive perfectionist who has become shamed after being caught plagiarizing. After her grandmother dies, she is shocked and overwhelmed at the reading of the will because she is not mentioned as one of the “natural-born grandchildren” who share part of her grandmother’s estate. Spencer suspects she is adopted and teams up with Andrew Campbell to discover the truth. As if Spencer doesn’t have enough stress in her life, Melissa confides in her that she has been contacted by Ian, who plants doubt about his guilt.

In the midst of all the chaos, Aria and her mother Ella try to mend their relationship but are on shaky ground because of Ella’s handsome and sneaky new artist boyfriend Xavier, who has eyes for both women. 

Hanna is feeling friendless and left out after her father’s girlfriend Isabel and daughter Kate move in. Kate, who is Hanna's age, becomes popular at school, but she is cunning and manipulative and has Hanna’s dad fooled with her sweet and innocent act.

Emily has a new love interest --- this time a boyfriend. She’s confused and conflicted about her feelings and past relationships with girls now that she’s back from Iowa, where her parents had sent her to “cure” her gayness.

As the girls brace themselves for the murder trial, they begin receiving messages from a mysterious “new A” threatening to expose their secrets. At the core of the novel are the mystery of who killed Alison and the identity of the wicked new A. 

WICKED is a breezy page-turner with a fair number of references to pop culture, red herrings and surprising twists. I recommend it to young adult readers who like a good mystery that will keep them guessing until the end --- and wanting more.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on November 25, 2008

Pretty Little Liars #5: Wicked
by Sara Shepard

  • Publication Date: June 2, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0061566101
  • ISBN-13: 9780061566103