Virginia's Reviews > Pretty Little Secrets: A Pretty Little Liars Collection

Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 10 to 17, 2012

This "collection" of Liars stories takes place between two of the previous novels and explains the shenanigans the girls got up to over one eventful winter break. Each Liar gets her own separate section of the novel, which has the effect of intriguingly isolating the types of stories which are usually interspersed amongst each other in the regular PLL books. While the first two stories, which are by far superior to the latter two, benefit from this method, the predictability of the second half of the book stands out more than it would if mixed in with other, more interesting tales.

Hanna's story, which kicks off the proceedings, is an often downright harrowing account of her insecurities mounting after Isabel and Kate move in and start taking over. As usual, Hanna's dad's tiny moments of redemption do little to excuse his often callous neglect of his daughter. This plotline is combined with an often hilarious gym adventure wherein Hanna tries to win the heart of a personal trainer.

Emily actually gets a lighthearted story this time out, which I'm fairly sure has never happened before, and it suits her beautifully. Her attempts to infiltrate a crew of "naughty elves" while working at the mall is cute and even suspenseful.

Aria's section of the book feels like filler, and is the weakest of the four. Her ex-boyfriend from Iceland is so obviously sketchy and lacking in charm that - even though we can buy her emotional desperation and romantic neediness - it's frustrating and fruitless to witness her attempts to make something out of nothing. Elements of this story that are supposed to be funny are just goofy and sometimes even annoying. The panther adventure is actually funnier when fleetingly referred to in the other parts of the book, though not as funny as the Aminowater references.

Spencer enjoys a fun, if by-the-numbers, little romp on vacation in Florida, once again competing with Melissa for a guy who clearly doesn't deserve either one of them. This section reminded me of a quick little Sweet Valley High story, tightly plotted and very readable, but paling in comparison to the earlier parts of Pretty Little Secrets.

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