The grade 6-highschool life portrayed in Pretty Little Liars is drastically different from my own experience. If you want more money, scandals, sex (mentioned a lot but not actually described) and crime then you would actually see in a year crammed into a few days this is the book for you. I like the mystery part, but I’ve never cared much for brand names and gossip.
Four rich, beautiful girls who share secrets from when they were BFFs in gr. 6 have trouble getting past the disappearance of their friend Alison. They seem to be known as “that missing girl’s friends” despite the fact that each of them has worked hard to carve out new identities separate from the old group. Whenever the girls get into trouble, which is constantly they receive mysterious text messages, e-mails or notes from A (Alison?) warning and threatening them.
I watched the show first, and enjoyed it because while it has the over-dramatic, constant crisis soap opera quality it’s fast-paced (unlike soaps) and kinda quirky (I love almost anything strange). Since I’ve been watching the show I knew almost everything that would happen in the book, and that diminished the excitement. I still read it in three days, and I would recommend it if you want a quick enjoyable read.
What Shepard does well is deal with identity struggles. Keeping up appearances, grades, athletics and lies is hard work, and the problems of eating disorders, stress, and confusion about sexuality are seamlessly incorporated into the drama. I just hope that the fact that Hanna looks so awesome doesn’t make teens reading the book think bulimia is a good idea, I’m not sure Shepard focussed enough on the negative consequences instead of going on about how she was a beautiful size 2.