Book Review: Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
HarperTeen | 2007 | ISBN-13 978-0060887322 | $11.25 Cdn. (paperback) | 304 pages
Publisher’s blub: 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.”
My Review: I read the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard online at the HarperTeen website. I’d heard of the series when it was first launched, but was never inspired to pick it up, in part because of the horrible, horrible covers. The books popped back up on my radar recently when I learned that it had been turned into a prime time television show. I watched a few episodes of the TV show, and my curiosity was piqued.
I enjoyed this book in a guilty pleasure kind of way. It was a quick, entertaining read with plenty of scandalous content. To quote The Infinite Shelf: “It’s 90210 meets Desperate Housewives meets paper.”
I did have a few quibbles with it, however. At times, I thought the girls’ behaviour was somewhat unrealistic for 15-16 year-olds. Also, the constant high-end designer name-dropping was tiresome.
I really liked the book’s emphasis on the friendship that the four girls shared previously, and the fading of that friendship after their friend’s disappearance. The author does an excellent job of depicting the awkwardness that exists between them. This was one of few aspects of the book that felt “real” to me.
The suspense was also well-crafted, and the cliffhanger ending left me wanting more.
I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the rest of the books in the series (there are 8 altogether) but I can certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, entertaining read with titillating mystery.