Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars #1) by Sara Shepard

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Synopsis from

In the exclusive Philadelphia suburb of Rosewood, Alison is the Queen Bee of her elite seventh grade hive. BFs Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily vie for her attention, even as each of them hides a hideous secret only Alison knows. So when Alison goes missing after a slumber party, never to be seen again, each girl is heartbroken, but also a little relieved. Now it is three years later, and though the four girls have grown apart, they are each still hiding something. Artsy Aria is carrying on an affair with one of her teachers, fashionista Hanna shoplifts to accessorize her trendy outfits, blue-blood Spencer is sleeping with her older sister’s boyfriend, while straight-A Emily is trying to ignore her attraction to a new female classmate. When the girls begin receiving threatening text messages and emails that from someone known only as "A," they must confront the fact that against all odds, it appears Alison is back. Could Alison still be alive? And if so, why is she so determined to uncover all their dirty little secrets?


I started reading Pretty Little Liars as part of I Heart Monster's Read Along. It was a really fun event where we read the book in a week and discussed certain chapters each day in preparation for the show that is going to be on ABC Family in June. (if you are interested, I Heart Monster is hosting another read along for Huge by Sasha Paley from June 20-26th. You can find more information here).

Ok, back to the review. I was extremely surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it would be about whiny, spoiled teenagers suffering through high school drama, but I was definitely wrong. Sure, it is about spoiled teenagers in high school, but the story was strangely addicting! The girls are crazy! I cannot believe some of the things they did at such a young age. The story is pretty much centered around the secrets these girls have from before their friend, Alison, vanished in 7th grade. For 7th graders, they have a lot more secrets than I have ever had. It was interesting to see that those secrets still control their lives three years later.

I loved how each chapter was in either Spencer's, Aria's, Hanna's or Emily's point of view. Spencer and Aria were by far my favorite characters. I found their lives more interesting and exciting than Hanna's or Emily's. I did not really like Hanna at times, and Emily was just forgettable to me. Even now, it was hard to remember her name.

The creepy messages that the girls receive from a person known only as 'A' reminded of the show Gossip Girl. Every time I read one of them, I could not help imagining them being said in the same voice as Gossip Girl.

Overall, Pretty Little Liars was fast-paced. It was extremely hard to put it down (I was only reading five chapters a day for the Read Along), and when I did put it down, I was thinking about it for the rest of the day. I wanted to know what happens next, and if I was not reading it as part of a Read Along, I would have finished it in a day. I would recommed this book to mature teenagers and up since there are many mature themes in this book such as drugs, alcohol, student-teacher affair, shoplifting, eating disorders, etc. In my opinion, it is more of a guilty-pleasure type of book, but I sure did enjoy it! I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 4/5

Books in the Pretty Little Liars series:

  1. Pretty Little Liars
  2. Flawless
  3. Perfect
  4. Unbelievable
  5. Wicked
  6. Killer
  7. Heartless
  8. Wanted
Swords are for fighting,


  1. Agreed, great review :o) And thanks for particiipating in our read along, and promoting the HUGE one too :o)...

    I'm still working on my review of PLL, but I'm glad you liked it! I also agree that it's a guilty-pleasure type of book!! Though, I am not going to read the rest of the series.

  2. I've got to start this series ASAP. I've had the books for ages! Great review - thanks :)