Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Teen Review: Liars!

“Oh my gosh, did you watch Pretty Little Liars last night?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t believe that she was A!”

“I know! And the ending!”

“I still can’t believe it!”

Right away, you know exactly what these two are talking about. More than half of the girls at my school, maybe even some of the guys, watch the show on ABC Family. However, not as many have read any of the books. The show is actually based on a book series by Sara Shepard. Both share the name Pretty Little Liars.

The series started in 2006 when Shepard published the first book of 16, Pretty Little Liars. This 304-page mystery takes place in Rosewood, Pennsylvania. The book has the perfect introduction, immediately taking you back to the night that Alison DiLaurentis, the blonde teen who pretty much ruled Rosewood by blackmailing people, disappeared. She ran off after a fight with a friend, Spencer Hastings, while at a sleepover with their other friends, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and Aria Montgomery. Alison disappeared and was declared missing, but was found three years later, dead. Although her body was taken to the grave, the secrets she knew about others were not. Someone known only as “A” somehow knew most of the secrets that Alison had kept, whether they were her own or others'. This person was now blackmailing the four girls who were Alison’s best friends when she was alive--Spencer, Hanna, Emily, and Aria--through text messages, signing each only as “A.”  Though the girls had drifted apart over the years, they were brought back together when A showed up. The story is told from the four girls’ points of view, allowing the reader to see into each girl’s thoughts.

I think that the reading level would be 8th grade up because of the language used and the discussion of murder, bullying, eating disorders, the desire to seem perfect, and underage drinking, although I started reading the series three years ago when I was in sixth grade.

I give this book a rating of 5, and recommend it to anyone because the story focuses on real problems that teenagers face today, while at the same time telling a fictional story of the impact of Alison DiLaurentis’ death on Rosewood, Pennsylvania. For example, the story doesn't only focus on Hanna Marin, the girl whose best friend was murdered, but also Hanna Marin, the girl with the eating disorder. In my eyes, this allows the reader to relate to any character on a more personal level, leaving the reader wanting more. I know I can’t wait to read the next book!

Reviewed by Anonymous, 9th grade

Editor's note: We have some of the books, and we also have Seasons 1-3 of the TV series available for checkout should you need to catch up!

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