Pretty Little Liars (by Sara Shepard) c. 2006

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
c. 2006
[Teen Fiction]
[Electronic Resource (My Media Mall eBook)]

Rosewood, Pennsylvania is the sort of town where popularity matters. Reputations are made and unmade by the kind of car you drive and what you wear on the first day of school. So it is nothing short of a miracle when Alison DiLaurentis, the most popular girl in school, chooses Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna as her new best friends, whisking them from social obscurity to overnight “it girl” status. But being Ali’s friend comes with a price: the girls’ darkest secrets. And despite its obsession with appearances, Rosewood has many secrets of its own, one of which causes Ali to mysteriously vanish on a sleepover during the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Devastated by Ali’s disappearance, the girls drift apart. Four years later during their junior year in high school, they are forced to face Ali’s disappearance and their own darkest secrets when they begin to receive threatening notes from a mysterious ‘A’. Is A Ali, returned to Rosewood at last? Or is it someone with a more sinister purpose, someone who wants Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna dead?

The Pretty Little Liars series was originally developed as a television series before the concept was handed over to author Sara Shepard. Its roots as a television series are often glaringly apparent in the novel itself. Shepard’s prose is not particularly elegant or well-crafted, but she makes up for this lack of depth in her ability to successfully build and maintain suspense. The main characters are not particularly well-rendered, but they are relatable in a general sort of way. Readers looking for a chilling—but not particularly deep—thriller will enjoy this book.

Like Pretty Little Liars? The Lake Bluff Library owns the whole series—check out Flawless next.

Pros: Very suspenseful, quick read.

Cons: Little character development, at times contrived.

Review by Martha

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