Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard

Since the new TV show based on Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard is premiering tonight on ABC Family, I thought I would post my review of the book today. The TV show looks pretty good, and I’m excited to see how they interpret the book!


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 (Source:Goodreads).

Most of my thoughts about the books are about the characters themselves…so I thought I’d try something a little different for this review and just talk about each of the four girls.

I feel sorry for Hanna. Her character goes through what a lot of YA characters do. She is insecure when the book starts off and the girls are just finishing seventh grade. She is overweight, and her friends and family aren’t very supportive. In fact, her dad is dating someone new with a daughter her age that is beautiful and he clearly favors her over Hanna! I’m not at all surprised that, because of these factors (as well as the stress caused by Alison’s disappearance) she ends up with an eating disorder. She does turn out to be one of the most popular and beautiful girls in high school, but she is still miserable. I hope she grows to love herself as the series goes on, but I have my doubts that it will happen anytime soon.

This poor girl…she is confused. She has a boyfriend, but are he and the swim team enough to keep her distracted from thoughts of the new girl at school, Mia? The fact that Mia moves into Alison’s old house -and her old room-probably don’t help her confusion. Will the threats from the mysterious “A” be enough to keep her from finding out what she really wants?

Fresh off the plane from Iceland, she wastes no time in falling for a man she meets in a bar. When he turns out to be her English teacher…many complications and devious maneuvers come into play. Will she convince him that they should still see each other, even though she fibbed just a bit about her age and he is her teacher? Will the weird messages from “A” ruin things before she even has a chance?

Of all four girls, I relate to Spencer the most and I also feel the sorriest for her. I relate to her over-achiever side. She works so hard to live up to her older sister, but still always feels like she is falling short. When she does finally accomplish something she and her whole family can be proud of, they all turn against her. Her parents actually tell her they can’t stand the sight of her. That was hard to read. I would feel so horrible in that situation, it would be a nightmare.

So, I really liked this book. It is very addicting! Full of teenage drama. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a read like that. You certainly aren’t cracking open a philosophy textbook here, just picking up a quick, mostly mindless, read. My one complaint, though, is that I’m not a fan of holding off explanations for everything just to rope readers into having to get the next book. I hope at least some things are answered in Flawless. I hope everyone else plans on watching the show tonight! If you do, make sure and tell me what you think.
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