Pretty Little Liars Book Review
ENG2D1-03 22 April 2013 Pretty Little Liars The book I have chosen to do a review on will be on the New York Times best-seller novel written by Sara Shepard Pretty Little Liars. Pretty Little Liars is a drama/mystery book that was released in 2006 and has since then had rave reviews and been produced into a television series that is ongoing. The theme of the book is all about your secrets and how they can come back to haunt you and how they play an important role in your life.
I choose to do this book because after watching the spin-off into a television series I was intrigued and curious on how it would differ from the television show. My first impression was “Wow! This is way better than the TV show” because of the little details added and the mesmerizing words I was baffled and fascinated on how the book would end. In the book Pretty Little Liars there are four main protagonists which are Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and Spencer Hastings and an antagonist “A”. This book all revolves around their struggles, love life, and primarily the secrets they have.
To begin, I will talk about Aria Montgomery a bohemian hipster that likes vintage clothing and has an artsy personality. Montgomery is a resilient teenage girl because she has gone through the affair of her father and her family issues at home. The author states, “Before he could answer, Aria shot out of the car, blood rushing in her eyes. How was she supposed to be Icelandic Aria, who left the past behind, if one of her worst memories of Rosewood kept bubbling to the surface. ” (Shepard, 100) Indeed, this quote reflects Aria’s hardship but also fitting in did not come easy for her.
For example, Aria was constantly looked at as an unordinary person for her pink highlights and stuffed pig named Pigtunia when she was on adolescent. The author states, “Not only was she talking to a cute, smart guy about Europe but, this might be the only guy in Rosewood who didn’t know her as Aria – the weird friend of the pretty girl who vanished. ” (Shepard, 39) Obviously, this quote reflects Aria’s life before she went to Finland and how she’s been forgotten. The second protagonist I will be talking about is Hanna Marin a confident girl that trives to be popular and never go back to how she used to be. Hannah is very insecure about her appearance and struggles with both bulimia and anorexia. For instance, whenever Hanna eats out of impulse she soon regrets it and makes herself feel as if she’s going to morph into her seventh-grade overweight self again. The author states, “Hanna was amazed how, even though it had been years since she’d done this, everything felt the exact same. Her stomach ached, her pants felt tight, and all she wanted was to be rid of what was inside her. (Shepard, 122) This quote proves Hanna’s struggle with her appearance is real but it did not come from herself it came from Alison’s constant teasing and always wanting to make her proud. For example, Hanna often wishes Alison could have seen how popular and how she’s transformed to today just for self-satisfaction. The author proclaims, “But the biggest thing Ali missed? Hanna’s makeover, of course – and it was such a bummer she had. ” (Shepard, 46) This evidently confirms Hanna’s ambition to make Alison proud as she tries to appear how Alison used to look like.
The next protagonist I will be talking about is Spencer Hastings the ambitious, extremely intelligent girl that has a rivalry with her perfect older sister. Spencer is an extremely competitive girl that is willing to do whatever it takes to win. For example, sometimes she will flirt with her sister’s boyfriend and even kiss them just to get back at her sister. The author states, “She’d merely wanted to flirt – Ian was wasting all his hotness on her plain vanilla, goody-two-shoes sister-so she gave Ian a peck goodbye on the cheek.
But when he pressed her up against his passenger door, she didn’t try to run away. ” (Shepard, 57) Another thing is Spencer is often quick to jump to conclusion For example, when Andrew Campbell asked her about how she’s doing since Melissa’s home she automatically thought he was the person who wrote her the email “A”. The author proclaims, “What if… what if Andrew was the one skulking around spying on her? What if Andrew wrote the creepy “covet” email? Andrew was so competitive it seemed possible. ” (Shepard, 144) Thus proving Spencer usually assumes something without looking at the big picture.
The last protagonist is Emily Fields a dedicated swimmer that has a kind personality. The author states, “She was nearly a straight-A, four-time state champion butterflyer and a hyper-obedient daughter. ” (Shepard, 100) Emily also tends to want things she cannot have (i. e. Maya) her being bisexual was forbidden so they kept quiet and did not say anything. The disappearance and later announced death of Alison impacted her greatly as she found it hard to love again and share her feelings this is Emily’s character.
The antagonist of the novel is “A” an unknown identity that knows all the girls secrets and manipulates them to do whatever they want. With “A” not only does this person know secrets about the past that only Alison knew but also the present as well. I believe “A” is very smart because they never leave a trace or clue behind making them very sneaky. For example, when Hanna had got arrested for stealing and also the time she crashed Sean’s car the only person else who knew and was with her was Mona so how did “A” get a hold of the information.
The author states, “She checked the note’s address again, but it was just a mess of letters and numbers. ” (Shepard, 96) This proves that “A” is highly intelligent because she makes sure when sending the ‘liars’ a text her name/addressed cannot be traced. These are the characters in the novel Pretty Little Liars. This book takes place in numerous settings in Rosewood Pennsylvania. There is Maya’s former Alison DiLaurentis’ house, the Kahn’s annual party and the AP English class that they are all in. With Alison’s old house Emily reminisces a lot and feels her presence in a way.
The author states, “The first thing she saw when she pulled up to Alison’s old Victorian Home at the top of the leafy street was a huge pile of trash on the curb and a big sign marked, FREE! ” This gives us an understanding on how Alison’s old home looked like. *** The main setting is AP English class with Mr. Fitz (Ezra). In here we get a sense of forbidden love between the both of them. For example, even though they cannot be together Aria still tries. The author states, “But this isn’t meant to be, you know? ‘Cause, well, you’re my student. I could get in a lot of trouble.
You don’t want me to get in trouble, do you? ” (Shepard, 103) I think it was an excellent and professional way of Ezra showing Aria they cannot be together. Although there is tender awkwardness in the atmosphere between her and the class because of “the fly” incident I think the student –teacher barrier should not go any further. These are the settings in the book and how they affect the characters. Pretty Little Liars is a book that talks about forbidden love but primarily secrecy. It seems like everyone in Rosewood is in love with someone they cannot have. There is Aria and her English teacher Mr.
Fitz, Spencer and her sister’s boyfriend Wren, Emily and her bisexual friend Maya, and lastly Hanna and the guy of her dreams Sean who always rejects her. In the beginning of the book it starts off with Alison’s disappearance during a sleepover the summer before eighth grade and jumps three years later to a time where the girls have grown apart and live their separate lives. Alison was friends with the exclusive group of girls she was vindictive, manipulative and what you would call the “queen-bee” of the pack. Before the disappearance, of their beloved friend the ‘liars’ lives were oh so different.
Aria was known as the “odd-ball” of Rosewood, Emily was still a passionate swimmer but had at the time secret feelings for Alison, Hanna was an overweight nerd that strived to be like Alison, and Spencer was still the over-achieve but was the only brave enough to stand up to Alison. The ‘liars’ are a junior in high school now and the disappearance of their old friend has been forgotten about. Suddenly all of the ‘liars’ begin receiving text messages from “A” an anonymous person that knows all of their secrets and stuff from the past.