Title: Pretty Little Liars
Series: Pretty Little Liars #1
Author: Sara Shepard
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.
Pretty Little Liars is one of those books that once you pick it up, it's nearly impossible to put down. I easily lost most of my Sunday afternoon curled up, reading this book.
It's the kick off for the series, which shares it's namesake, and does an extremely excellent job pulling you in. We're introduced in the prologue to the five main characters of the series on the first night of the all important summer vacation between seventh and eighth grade. This is also the night that Alison disappears without a trace, leaving her four best friends to quickly fall apart from each other in the tragedies wake.
I include Alison as a main character because, despite not making another real appearance after the prologue, her character is just as important and fleshed out as Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna. Think Lily Kane of Veronica Mars. From there we flash forward to the girl's junior year of High School, when the four girls begin receiving messages from a mysterious '-A' who know secrets that they had only shared with Alison.
The focus of the book shifts between Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna. Normally I'm not a huge fan of this style but each girl has such a unique, distinctive quality to her personality that it's easy to tell them apart. This causes the shift in perspective to work in favor of the story, giving you a better overall feel of the events going on.
While each girl is enthralling in their own way, I'm particularly fond of Emily and Maya. It's not extremely common to find lgbt characters in YA literature so stumbling upon ones in this book was a pleasant surprise.
What I especially love about this book is it does an amazing job not giving anything away. It's one of the reasons this book is so difficult to put down, you get pulled into the girl's world and you need to know what happens next. I especially enjoyed the fact that the book did not try to wrap up any of the major mysteries at the end of the book.Pretty Little Liars is not a stand alone, on any level, but you aren't left with a lack of fulfillment at the end. Instead just a desire to learn what comes in the next.
The book isn't perfect, certain behaviors of the characters are unrealistic but I personally fond those easy to overlook. Seeing how I plan to make my way to the book store on my break tomorrow to pick up the second in this series, I think it more than earns the five star rating. I recommend this book to pretty much anyone.