I thought this series had been concluded when I stumbled upon this new instalment in the library. Twisty turny fun once again with the Pretty Little L...moreI thought this series had been concluded when I stumbled upon this new instalment in the library. Twisty turny fun once again with the Pretty Little Liars girls. I can't believe how much trouble they seem to get into! (less)
The 'Pretty Little Liars' series is one that I've been meaning to read for a while now. With the launch of the TV series in the UK, I thought that it...moreThe 'Pretty Little Liars' series is one that I've been meaning to read for a while now. With the launch of the TV series in the UK, I thought that it was about time I caught up with the books. The story is basically about five best-friends who do everything together until one of them disappears and the friendship between the other girls falls apart. An investigation is launched into what happened to Alison but no one knows how or why she disappeared. Fast-forward three years and the girls are reunited in Rosewood. When they start receiving mysterious text messages, emails and letters from someone calling themselves 'A', they begin to wonder if someone knows what really happened to Alison after all.
This was a fantastic start to what I suspect is going to be an addictive series. The story is fast-paced and exciting and although on the surface it may first appear to be no more than a shallow story about a group of glamorous girls, it's actually pretty gritty, with everything from eating disorders to shoplifting to issues about sexual identity being discussed. It's also really creepy and puzzling as the identity of 'A' remains a secret both to the girls and to the reader. I tried puzzling it out but frankly I don't have a clue who it is yet!
Each chapter presents an alternative viewpoint from each of the girls and this helps to establish their very unique characters, feelings and motivations. My favourite characters were Spencer and Aria and I'm loving both of their story lines so far. All of the girls present very particular images, from fun-loving party girl, to school swot, to sports star, to arty culture fan but underneath they seem to be another person entirely with deep, dark hidden secrets which they'd go to any lengths to protect.
This book reminded me a little bit of Kate Brian's Private series and if you love gossipy, back-stabbing, scheming fun then you'll definitely enjoy 'Pretty Little Liars'. The ending is absolutely tantalising and has left me desperate for more. Sara Shepard is giving very few clues away which only makes me want to read the next book even more.
I'm looking forward to the scandal and intrigue unravelling further in future installments of the series which I have lined up and waiting for me to read next. Now, I just need to resist peeking at the end to see 'who did it'!
All you Gleeks out there (of which, yes, I am one!) will love this book which is a prequel to the phenomenal smash-hit TV show. There's a danger with...moreAll you Gleeks out there (of which, yes, I am one!) will love this book which is a prequel to the phenomenal smash-hit TV show. There's a danger with TV tie-ins that they won't capture the spirit and enjoyment of the show itself but there's no need to worry about that here because Sophia Lowell has done a tremendous job of transferring the essence of Glee into the written word.
I had fun finding out about all my favourite characters before they formed 'New Directions' with Mr Schuester, their Spanish teacher at McKinley High. We get to see Rachel joining Glee Club and determining to become a big star; the beginning of the love triangle between Finn, Quinn and Puck (which was touched upon in the TV series but never gone into in any depth); Tina and Artie's blossoming relationship and the close friendship between Mercedes and Kurt. I loved the story and I liked the fact that it actually added a lot of insight into all the characters. I got to understand more about Rachel's fear of being stuck in a small town which fails to recognise her talents and Tina's lack of social skills which have left her always sitting on the sidelines and the Glee kids desire just to try and fit in somewhere during the rocky ride which is high school.
This is a fun and fabulous read which left me with a big smile on my face when I'd finished. Although, as others have pointed out, there were a couple of things which didn't match up with the TV show, I really didn't care and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of a fantastic book.
Even if you've never watched Glee before (and if you haven't then you really should!), I guarantee that you'll enjoy this book. The second book in the series, 'Glee: Foreign Exchange', is published by Headline in February 2011. (less)