Series: Pretty Little Liars # 1
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Publication date: June 8, 2010
Format: audiobook, 7 hours and 5 minutes
How I got it: My public library
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
My rating: 3/5
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? A strong launch for a suspenseful series.
This is my first Sara Shepard book that I listened too. I have never seen the Pretty Little Liars show, but did enjoy watching the preview when it came out I just never got around to watching the show.
This book is the first in the Pretty Little Liars series that follows the four girls who used to be best friends with Allison who disappeared three years ago from a slumber party. The four girls drifted apart from one another and now live their own lives.
Each of the four girls begin receiving text messages from someone calling themselves “A” who knows all their secrets. The big issue is that the only person who knew the secrets was Allison who went missing. The girls don’t want to divulge the secrets to each other because they only shared them with Allison. It doesn’t appear that the girls were all friends together, but rather each a friend to Allison and acquaintances to each other.
The author does a great job creating the four different personalities of the girls Emily, Aria, Spencer and Hanna. Each girl is going through their own drama related to the secrets as well as new developments. It also seems though that “A” is watching them currently leading them to believe she might be alive.
The story is very fast paced and an easy listen. We get details of each of the girl’s lives, secrets, struggles and then we get to piece together the little mystery. Aria just got back from overseas with her parents and is hiding a secret about her dad’s infidelity. Emily is the star of the swim team and hiding that she is gay. Spencer is almost valedictorian and hiding that she tries to steal her sister’s boyfriends. Lastly, we have Hanna who feels her father abandoned her for a new family. They all develop new secrets that “A” is also trying to bring to light. I enjoyed learning about the girls and watching them each struggle with what is going on. I did want them to come together in this book, but it is a longer series so we will see what happens.
My one biggest issue was in the audio it took me a few chapters to figure out exactly what girl is what. They had the same narrator for all the girls so it was challenging to figure out who was who. I think reading the book might have helped with this issue as you could have easily looked back to see who was narrating the chapter.
I would suggest this as a perfect nighttime read. It was easy to stop in between the chapters since the narrator was changing. I found the book had natural stopping parts that helped me to stop and start the book without missing the storyline. I can’t wait to see where the author takes the series.
For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.
She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.
Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.