I’ve always been slightly intrigued by the Pretty Little Liars series. Numerous girls are obsessed with it and the TV show has been quite successful. I was in France when the series premiered on screens here, however, so I hadn’t checked any of it out myself until I came home and had been sent a copy of the first book. I knew only the absolute basics of the series so I was looking forward to giving it a read myself.
I was disappointed.
‘Pretty Little Liars’ follows the story of four best friends and how their lives change after their fifth best friend and ‘leader’ Ali goes missing in the summer after seventh grade. Of course they all change and when the story picks back up, it’s eleventh grade and they no longer speak to each other. They have all become completely different people with their friendship and times spent together merely distant memories. Until the messages from ‘A’, detailing secrets only Ali knew, begin.
As this is the first book in the series we don’t exactly get exceptionally far in the mystery of what happened to Ali/who ‘A’ is and we spend most of the time finding out the beginnings of the secrets and scandals the girls are dealing with (eating disorders/affairs with teachers/lesbian crushes/etc/etc). The point of the book is to get you interested in the series and to buy the rest of the books, and maybe it’s just me who feels like this (I guess the success of the series proves this), but I just really don’t care. I may have also googled the ending and then decided I don’t care, but whatever. The series goes on for five more books and as far as I can tell, to keep it going that long, they’re going to have to just throw in stupid and irrelevant twists and characters and it’s going to end up totally bizarre and pointless. If Sara Shepard had elongated the book by maybe two or three hundred extra pages and tied it all up there it would have been a perfect novel. True, she likely wouldn’t have made as much money or gotten a TV deal, but she would have had much more of a chance of winning me over as a fan.
If you see it in the library or can borrow it from a friend you’re not going to damage yourself by reading it, but I wouldn’t actually spend money on it (or the rest of the series). If you’re desperate, catch Pretty Little Liars the Television Series Monday Nights on Go! in Australia.
Published (my edition): January 2011 by Atom.
Author: Sara Shepard
frangipani princess xoxo