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Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless

Review

Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless

It’s the middle of January, but heat from a fire in the woods behind Spencer Hastings’s house is so intense that it feels like the middle of July. After Spencer, Emily, Aria and Hanna are rescued from the violent blaze, they struggle to make sense of what they saw before the fire erupted. Was it someone with a cruel sense of humor? Was it Alison’s ghost, a doppelganger or a mass hallucination brought on by smoke inhalation?

When word leaks out that the girls believe they saw Ali, family members are skeptical and schoolmates openly make fun of them. Even worse, after the media dubs them “Pretty Little Liars,” their credibility, sanity and even their lives are at stake. Each handles the dreadful experience differently. Then, shortly after the fire, they all begin receiving cryptic notes. The “new A” instant messages them with clues, hints and instructions before sending them off in different directions.

Emily, who would do anything to find Ali, assumes a new identity and travels to a remote location away from home. Shut off from the modern world, she discovers clues to the identity of Ali’s killer. During her journey, she finds something much greater than the truth about what happened to her friend.

Tired of being laughed at, Aria embraces the supernatural to make sense of what she saw in the woods. She is joined by an unlikely friend who harbors a painful secret and comes to aid her in her quest for what lies beyond. Will dabbling in the occult subject her to even more ridicule and danger?

While trying to find out who murdered Ali, Spencer uncovers the truth about the circumstances of her birth. She also discovers deep, dark secrets, lies and betrayals that might destroy her family. Could the truth about Ali hit close to home?

After suffering a major meltdown, Hanna is sent away by her father to an exclusive “facility” to rest and recover from her trauma. Her recovery takes a nasty turn when she is betrayed and subjected to even more cruelty and scorn. She wants to escape, but will she trade one prison for another?

Sara Shepard’s seventh novel in the Pretty Little Liars series is an engaging and entertaining story of murder, secrets, betrayal --- and some not-so-pretty little lies. In HEARTLESS, Shepard deftly displays her familiarity with modern culture, social media and haute couture. While telling the story of the Pretty Little Liars, she doesn’t shy away from such controversial issues as mental illness, eating disorders, underage drinking, teenage sex and dysfunctional families. But at the core of this series is a haunting mystery that --- like a favorite pair of jeans --- is not easy to let go of and is the reason why these books are so popular.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on January 19, 2010

Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless
by Sara Shepard

  • Publication Date: June 8, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0061566160
  • ISBN-13: 9780061566165