Perfect, the third Pretty Little Liars novel, picks up roughly a month after Toby's suicide at the end of the previous book, Flawless. The cryptic mesPerfect, the third Pretty Little Liars novel, picks up roughly a month after Toby's suicide at the end of the previous book, Flawless. The cryptic messages from "A" have stopped and the girl's are moving on with their lives.
Aria is trying to find a sense of normalcy by dating Sean, Spencer has thrown herself back into school despite her mom putting her into therapy, Hanna and Mona are back on normal bff terms and Emily has been dating Maya in secret. However "A" isn't done with them and starts outing the girls deep, dark secrets.
I finished this book several days ago but have been sitting on this review because for, the longest time, I wasn't sure how I was going to rate it. From my previous two reviews of the series, it's obvious that I am a huge fan of the Pretty Little Liars novels. That said, this book was...lacking in several ways.
Which is understandable because, in the notes at the end of the novel, Shepard comments that this was the hardest of the original arc (contained in the first four novels) to write due to so many clues and events having to fit together perfectly in it.
And it does show in the book, certain parts of it feel ridiculously rushed. On top of that, I found Aria (a character I have been more or less neutral about) annoying and hypocritical in this book. I ended up rushing through most of her chapters, which unfortunately make up a good percentage of the book.
However, whatever faults the novel has it made up for in the other three girls. Not much happens with Hanna except her friendship with Mona falling apart and a drastic loss of popularity. Despite this, it's a humanizing effect and I ended up having fond feelings for her at the end of the book. Her character development has been a nice surprise.
The story also starts exploring Spencer's blackouts and the recovery of a memory that occurred the night of Alison's murder. The way the memory was slowly revealed, piece by piece, was well done and created a nice twist. And, as always, Emily's storyline remained my favorite as we see her relationship with Maya being outed to the entire school and her family. The fall out of it and Emily's feelings over it is a part of the book that ends up a bit rushed, unfortunately. I would have liked to see a bit more time used on this storyline opposed to Aria's. But then again, I do have a bias when it comes to Emily.
We also learn more about the girl's relationship with Alison prior to her death. Continuing in it's normal fashion, the glamor and rose tinted glasses surrounding it are removed a bit more.
As always the rotating point of view works well. The twist and turns of the novel also get back on track. While not up to par with the first book, the foreshadowing is well down and not as obvious as it was in Flawless. I had a gut feeling about one of the major twists but wasn't positive about it till right before the secret was outed.
I ended up giving this book four stars, although it's on the lower end of the spectrum. Fans of the series will obviously enjoy this book and I still highly recommend it. It's just not the strongest in the series.
I sadly don't have the fourth book in my possession yet, but I really need to get on that....more
It's not a secret that I absolutely loved Pretty Little Liars, so much so that I picked up the second in the series the following day at my local librIt's not a secret that I absolutely loved Pretty Little Liars, so much so that I picked up the second in the series the following day at my local library.
With the discovery of Alison's body buried under the Gazebo in what use to be her backyard at the end of the previous book, the girl's are shaken with the realization that it couldn't have possibly been her sending them the cryptic messages. The four girls are desperate to figure out who "A" really is but are reluctant to work together because it would force them to reveal the truth about themselves to each other.
Meanwhile, the book finally flashback to the "The Jenna Accident" that the girls and "A" had been eluding to. In sixth grade, Alison had attempted to prank their neighbor Toby by launching a firework at treehouse to scare. It had gone horribly wrong and Jenna, who had been in the treehouse with him at the time, ended up blinded by it. Things are further complicated when Toby returns to town and begins to interact with the girls.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the continue use of flashbacks to sixth and seventh grade to expand on the four girl's friendships with Alison prior to her death. Alison remains a main character, despite her death, as they girl's re-examine their feelings about her.
The rotating view point between the Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer continues to work in favor of the book. The voices are still unique enough that it's easy to tell them apart. Another favorite part of this book, for me, was how the girl's viewed situations depending on the information they had. The way events or people were depicted depended, in a lot of ways, on whose point of view we were reading from. In the case of certain people, like Toby, the reactions had huge variations.
Some of the more outrageous behavior that was unbelievable in the previous book does not appear in this one and the girl's act a bit more like the high school girls that they are. Even the party they end up attending at the end of the book, that was being talked up as a huge high society events, turned out to be a standard party for teens acting like teens.
Which was a nice change of pace.
However, I'd be lying if I said this book was on par with first in the series. The mystery surrounding why Toby took the blame for the Jenna accident or what Alison had really seen that night where fairly obvious by some choice lines. Along with the resolution of the Toby storyline was lacking and equally transparent.
That said, I still had difficulty putting the book down. Especially considering the plot lines of the current secrets, most of which come to a head in a well written manner.
I will once again admit I have a bias towards the relationship between Emily and Maya, despite Maya only making two or three small appearances in the book. Despite the over-the-top feel to most of the situations in this book Emily's reluctance to accept her lesbianism, confusion over her feelings and fear of what people would think or say comes off as one of the more true to life depictions in the book.
I ended up going with a four stars for this book, although I still think it's worth reading and already have the third in the series in my possession. ...more
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 curlPretty 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....more