Book Review: Pretty Little Liars

Nancy's Review of Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars explores the lives of four high school girls in Rosewood, Pennsylvania. Their story begins in the seventh grade when Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna (the Liars) were friends with Alison who was considered the "queen bee" of their group. They shared everything with Alison. When she vanishes at the end of seventh grade, they assume that the secrets they shared with her have vanished as well. The Liars cut ties with each other shortly after Alison goes missing. Three years later, they all start receiving mysterious notes, emails, instant messages, and text messages from someone anonymously called "A." The messages taunt the girls with secrets that only Alison knew, but she is still missing. They all wonder if she is back and is playing some sort of trick on them.

This is the first book in a series of eight books that was recently extended to twelve books due to the success of the TV show that is based on the book series. In this initial installment, the Liars are introduced, varying by chapter, to give the readers background information about them and their lives. Spencer works hard in school but stealing her sister's boyfriends causes her family to think much less of her, despite her academic pursuits. Aria just moved back to Rosewood from Iceland where she went with her family for her dad's sabbatical. She gets romantically involved with a man who turns out to be her English teacher. Emily is questioning her sexuality when a new girl at school catches her eye. Hanna gets herself into trouble when she shoplifts and steals her boyfriend's car. She worked so hard to transform herself from an overweight nerd to a thin popular girl and she's desperate to stay that way. 

Pretty Little Liars is a captivating story full of mystery and intrigue. It is a page turner that will keep readers guessing and wanting to find out more about the Liars and all of their secrets. The Liars' stories are exquisitely intertwined. This first book in the series slowly brings the Liars back together as the troubling messages from "A" get more and more detailed. The Liars' realize that they need each other because even though Alison is gone, they are still connected because of her. The book has important messages about friendship, love, morality, sexuality, and body image. Pretty Little Liars is an exploration of adolescence, the ups and downs and definite gray areas. This book is only the beginning.

Sara Shepard is the author of eight books in the Pretty Little Liars series with four more coming soon. Pretty Little Liars, Flawless, Perfect, Unbelievable, Wicked, Killer, Heartless, and Wanted are available now. Twisted will be released in July. Shepard is also the author of the young adult series The Lying Game, which was just picked up as a new ABC Family TV series. The Lying Game is available now and the second book in the series Never Have I Ever will be released in August. Additionally, Shepard has written one novel for adults called The Visibles. For more information about Shepard and her books, please visit and
Have you read any of the Pretty Little Liars books? Have you watched the TV show? Have you read Sara Shepard's other books? Are they on your list of books to read? Leave a comment to let us know. Thanks!