Author: Sara Shepard
Published: HarperTeen, 2006
Genre: Mystery/Chick lit/Thriller
Cover Score: A (love the dolls!)
Overall Grade: A
In 7th grade, Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hanna and queen bee Alison were best friends. They did everything together. They were inseparable. And Alison knew all of their secrets. That year, Alison went missing and the 4 girls drifted apart--and now in their junior year of high school, they're reunited, each with a dangerous secret that no one can ever know. Spencer's coveting her sister's boyfriend, Aria likes her new teacher a bit too much, Emily's friendship with the new girl is complicated, and previously-chubby and awkward Hanna is using dangerous methods to stay gorgeous. But when the girls start receiving mysterious texts, emails, and IMs from an anonymous "A" (containing secrets that only Alison knew about), they're together in their suspicion. After all, Alison is dead. Right?
My thoughts: I'm totally hooked on this storyline. After I started watching the TV show on ABC Family, I couldn't get the addictive, suspenseful plot out of my mind. I knew that I needed to read the books, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would they be trashy? Different from the show? Light and fluffy, or serious and dark?
Ms. Shepard's writing is natural and intoxicating: I got pulled into the plotline and couldn't put it down until I'd finished it (and then went straight to the bookstore to buy the 2nd book, Flawless). It's so unique, and Ms. Shepard writes a well thought-out, creative mystery that has chick-lit appeal with an underlying darkness. Her descriptions were vivid, and each character was well-developed and had an interesting background.
Although the book isn't short, it was a quick page turner for me. With a major cliffhanging ending, you'll definitely want to have a copy of Flawless on hand. I can't wait to find out what's next for the Pretty Little Liars--this series is a must-read!