Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanted [Shepard]

Book: Wanted [Pretty Little Liars book #8]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: The mystery is wrapped up in the final installment of the series. While I admit I did not expect everything that happened and the final plot twists were slightly ridiculous, for a young adult series, it was a satisfying ending (although I was hoping for Emily to perish..no such luck). There was character growth for most of the girls and overall, this was a fun, campy series that is perfect for summer reading.

Grade: B

Heartless [Shepard]

Book: Heartless [Pretty Little Liars book# 7]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: After a fire threatens the girls, my least favorite character of the series (Emily) tells the police she saw Ali.  While the other girls saw her as well, they believe she was a figment of their imagination from smoke inhalation. Emily's declaration puts the foursome under media scrutiny and they are dubbed 'Pretty Little Liars.' Meanwhile, "A" sends each girl messages that implicates someone they know while the girls end up revealing secrets with damaging results.

I enjoyed this installment...one character ends up in rehab, another reveals her father's infidelity to her unsuspecting mother and another begins a somewhat normal high school relationship. 

Grade: B

Killer [Shepard]

Book: Killer [Pretty Little Liars book #6]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna discover the person on trial for Ali's murder has been framed. Meanwhile, they try to decipher "A"'s messages-is "A" trying to help them figure out the mystery or sending them on a wild goose chase? As usual, the mystery surrounding "A" and Ali's murder is intertwined with drama in each girls life (step siblings, possible adoption, new boyfriends, etc.).

I enjoyed this book more than book #5 although anyone reading the series should not read them straight through. Like any series over a few books, it is easy to get sick of the main characters. Take a break and read something else in between! It is important to realize all 8 of the Pretty Little Liar books take place over the girls' junior year of high school. It is sometimes hard to remember that maturity level of 16/17 year old's. I enjoyed Spencer and Hanna's storylines, while I could have done without Emily.

Grade: B

Wicked [Shepard]

Book: Wicked [Pretty Little Liars book #5]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: After "A" is revealed in the previous book, the girls are ready to face the trial of Ali's accused murderer. Soon, a new "A" emerges and the girls begin to doubt the accused party's guilt.

This book was okay. I enjoyed Hanna's sections as well as Aria, but the continued poor decision making of Spencer was extremely frustrating and this book marked the beginning of my disdain for Emily. She was never my favorite character, but she seemed to become more annoying as this book went on (and even more so in the final 3 books).

Grade: B-

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unbelievable [Shepard]

Book: Unbelievable [Pretty Little Liars book #4]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: 'Unbelievable' follows our Rosewood quartet right where book 3 ended. Hanna survives the attack but head trauma leaves her with gaps in her memory..including remembering who "A" is. Meanwhile, Emily struggles to find acceptance within her family, Spencer suspects her sister is involved with Ali's murder and Aria's living situation becomes complicated.

Fast paced similar to book 3, I enjoyed this installment because the identity of "A" is finally revealed. Shepard did a good job introducing enough characters to keep readers guessing throughout the first four books. Although I found myself strongly disliking a few of the main characters during this book, I realize I'm reading about 16 yr old high school girls whose priorities are not the same as a 32 yr old mother.

Grade: B+

Perfect [Shepard]

Book: Perfect [Pretty Little Liars book #3]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: 'Perfect' follows the girls through trying times. Spencer remembers something that happened three years ago and worries she may be responsible for Ali's death, Hanna finds herself losing her social status at school resulting in an eating disorder, Aria struggles to keep parental secrets while Emily has a secret girlfriend. When the girls decide to ignore "A" warnings and their secrets are made public, they have a lot to deal with. When one of the girls figures out who "A" is, she is unable to reveal "A"'s identity due to an attack.

Written with the same quick, light dialogue of its predecessors, I enjoyed 'Perfect' more due to the faster pace and action. Once again, a fun read.

Grade: B+

Flawless [Shepard]

Book: Flawless [Pretty Little Liars book #2]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: Once again, Shepard succeeds in writing a light, fun, read that is easy to devour in one sitting. 'Flawless' picks up immediately where 'Pretty Little Liars' ends with Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Aria trying to find out who "A" is. While "A" taunts them with knowledge about a tragic event of their past (referred to as 'The Jenna Thing'), readers find out what really happened while "A" continues to threaten the girls with current exposing their current escapades.

Review: B

Pretty Little Liars [Shepard]

Book: Pretty Little Liars [Pretty Little Liars book #1]
Author: Sara Shepard

Review: When popular, manipulative and sometimes charming Alison DiLaurentis disappears from a sleepover in Rosewood, PA after 7th grade, her clique of friends lose touch with each other. Now, three years later, they start receiving mysterious text messages from someone called "A" who knows their past and present secrets. Readers are introduced to Spencer, an overachiever interested in her sister's boyfriend who was the only girl to ever stand up to Ali; Hanna, a previously fat girl who bent easily to Ali's will who has transformed herself into the most popular girl at school; Emily, a swimmer who was fiercely protective of Ali and has feelings for a new neighbor that her conservative family won't approve of; and Aria, an eccentric girl who just moved back to Rosewood after a few years in Iceland who begins an affair with a young teacher.

I decided to read this series after catching a few episodes of the new t.v. show on ABC Family. Although there are distinct differences between the books and show, the show encompassed the first few books in a handful of episodes so a lot of the book was somewhat repetitive. That being said, it was still a fun, easy, read that I devoured in a few hours. Each chapter is written from a different characters perspective and watching them struggle with high school, relationships, secrets and family are a nice reminder that I never have to go back to high school again!

A fun, summer series for anyone looking for something "light."

Grade: B