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Then the girls start receiving threatening messages signed by someone named "A." Could "A" be Alison, the ultra-popular girl who disappeared three years earlier? Alison was their best friend. She knew everything about them. But if Alison isn't "A," who is? And how could anyone else know so much about the bad girls they were and the bad girls they've become? Suddenly, their secrets -- the big ones, the little ones, even the long-buried ones -- no longer seem so secret. Suddenly, nothing is safe in Rosewood.
How it all started
Imagine it's a couple of years ago, the summer between seventh and eighth grade. You're tan from lying out next to your rock-lined pool, you've got on your new Juicy sweats (remember when everybody wore those?), and your mind's on your crush, the boy who goes to that other prep school whose name we won't mention and who folds jeans at Abercrombie in the mall. You're eating your Cocoa Krispies just how you like 'em--doused in skim milk--and you see this girl's face on the side of the milk carton. missing. She's cute--probably cuter than you--and has a feisty look in her eyes. You think, Hmm, maybe she likes soggy Cocoa Krispies too. And you bet she'd think Abercrombie boy was a hottie as well. You wonder how someone so . . . well, so much like you went missing. You thought only girls who entered beauty pageants ended up on the sides of milk cartons. Well, think again.
Aria Montgomery burrowed her face in her best friend Alison DiLaurentis's lawn. "Delicious," she murmured.
"Are you smelling the grass?" Emily Fields called from behind her, pushing the door of her mom's Volvo wagon closed with her long, freckly arm.
"It smells good." Aria brushed away her pink-striped hair and breathed in the warm early-evening air. "Like summer."
Emily waved 'bye to her mom and pulled up the blah jeansthat were hanging on her skinny hips. Emily had been a competitive swimmer since Tadpole League, and even though she looked great in a Speedo, she never wore anything tight or remotely cute like the rest of the girls in her seventh-grade class. That was because Emily's parents insisted that one built character from the inside out. (Although Emily was pretty certain that being forced to hide her Irish Girls Do it Better baby tee at the back of her underwear drawer wasn't exactly character enhancing.)
"You guys!" Alison pirouetted through the front yard. Her hair was bunched up in a messy ponytail, and she was still wearing her rolled-up field hockey kilt from the team's end-of-the-year party that afternoon. Alison was the only seventh grader to make the JV team and got rides home with the older Rosewood Day School girls, who blasted Jay-Z from their Cherokees and sprayed Alison with perfume before dropping her off so that she wouldn't smell like the cigarettes they'd all been smoking.
"What am I missing?" called Spencer Hastings, sliding through a gap in Ali's hedges to join the others. Spencer lived next door. She flipped her long, sleek dark-blond ponytail over her shoulder and took a swig from her purple Nalgene bottle. Spencer hadn't made the JV cut with Ali in the fall, and had to play on the seventh-grade team. She'd been on a year-long field hockey binge to perfect her game, and the girls knew she'd been practicing dribbling in the backyard before they arrived. Spencer hated when anyone was better at anything than she was. Especially Alison.
"Wait for me!"
They turned to see Hanna Marin climbing out of her mom's Mercedes. She stumbled over her tote bag and waved her chubby arms wildly. Ever since Hanna's parents had gotten a divorce last year, she'd been steadily putting on weight and outgrowing her old clothes. Even though Ali rolled her eyes, the rest of the girls pretended not to notice. That's just what best friends do.
Alison, Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna bonded last year when their parents volunteered them to work Saturday afternoons at Rosewood Day School's charity drive--well, all except for Spencer, who volunteered herself. Whether or not Alison knew about the other four, the four knew about Alison. She was perfect. Beautiful, witty, smart. Popular. Boys wanted to kiss Alison, and girls--even older ones--wanted to be her. So the first time Ali laughed at one of Aria's jokes, asked Emily a question about swimming, told Hanna her shirt was adorable, or commented that Spencer's penmanship was way neater than her own, they couldn't help but be, well . . . dazzled. Before Ali, the girls had felt like pleated, high-waisted mom jeans--awkward and noticeable for all the wrong reasons--but then Ali made them feel like the most perfect-fitting Stella McCartneys that no one could afford.
Now, more than a year later, on the last day of seventh grade, they weren't just best friends, they were the girls of Rosewood Day. A lot had happened to make it that way. Every sleepover they had, every field trip, had been a new adventure. Even homeroom had been memorable when they were together. (Reading a steamy note from the varsity crew captain to his math tutor over the PA system was now a Rosewood Day legend.) But there were other things they all wanted to forget. And there was one secret they couldn't even bear to talk about. Ali said that secrets were what bonded their five-way best-friendship together for eternity. If that was true, they were going to be friends for life.
"I'm so glad this day is over." Alison moaned before gently pushing Spencer back through the gap in the hedges. "Your barn."
"I'm so glad seventh grade is over," Aria said as she, Emily, and Hanna followed Alison and Spencer toward the renovated barn-turned-guesthouse where Spencer's older sister, Melissa, had lived for her junior and senior years of high school. Fortunately, she'd just graduated and was headed to Prague this summer, so it was all theirs for the night.
Suddenly they heard a very squeaky voice. "Alison! Hey, Alison! Hey, Spencer!"
Alison turned to the street. "Not it," she whispered.
"Not it," Spencer, Emily, and Aria quickly followed.
Hanna frowned. "Shit."
It was this game Ali had stolen from her brother, Jason, who was a senior at Rosewood Day. Jason and his friends played it at inter-prep school field parties when scoping out girls. Being the last to call out "not it" meant you had to entertain . . .
Excerpted from Pretty Little Liars #1 by Sara Shepard Copyright © 2006 by Sara Shepard. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted June 7, 2010
Often described as a mix between I Know What You Did Last Summer and Desperate Housewives PRETTY LITTLE LIARS by Sara Shepard promised to be an exciting and suspenseful read. Sure enough, it met and exceeded all of my expectations.
The first thing that I will say about this book is that I was really expecting something a little more superficial and juvenile. I had never read anything by Ms. Shepard before, so I didn't know what to expect. What I received was a book that would be great for any teen and most adults I know. Ms. Shepard's writing is far from juvenile and made for a story that had me hooked from the first few lines.
Sounds good right? Girl goes missing and eventually her friends get on with their lives. Well, if this were the end of the story, the book would be about seven pages long. No, Ms. Shepard isn't going to let you off that easily. Tossed into the chaos right from the beginning of the book, the girls each separately start to receive mysterious text messages signed by "A". As they attempt to figure out who "A" is, the messages get more and more disturbing, some hinting at secrets that only the missing Allison knew.
Cue the suspenseful music!
So really though, if I could have had a suspense soundtrack playing while I read this book, I'm fairly certain that I would have jumped out of my seat in shock a few times. This was a beautifully crafted book with a well thought out plot line that easily hooks readers and then draws them in. The complexity of the story was what really made this a great read and I can't imagine the amount of time and planning that went into crafting the various plot twists and turns that pop up throughout the pages. Think you know something about someone? I can pretty much guarantee that by the next page you'll be proven wrong. When everyone is suspect, who can you trust? Ms. Shepard answers that one for us - nobody.
One part of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS that may trip a few people up are the varying points of view throughout the story. Each chapter is really told from a different girl's point of view although they all aren't necessarily labeled by girl. Still, I found it fairly easy to figure out who's chapter we were in and didn't really notice too much of a disconnect between the four stories when reading. Ms. Shepard does an amazing job with her consistency; although each girl's chapter takes place in different places and settings, they tie together well and occasionally we even see just a little bit of overlap.
The last part of the book that I briefly need to discuss is the character development. In a book like this, especially for the first in a series, character development is vital to a successful story. Ms. Shepard did this wonderfully. My proof is in the way that the characters, Spencer especially, still roam through my mind, picking at my brain when I have little else to do.
I highly recommend PRETTY LITTLE LIARS to any fans of drama or YA fiction out there. Looking for a good thriller? I would definitely point to this book. Although filled with topics that young adults can relate to, I don't see much here that would turn an adult off from the book. Indeed, I think adults too will very much appreciate the adrenaline rush this book provides.
123 out of 135 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Holy cow! These book covers are so misleading. When I first saw this book I thought it was some sort of rich-girl-i-wear-prada-and-get-my-nails-done-everyday kind of book. But like I said the covers are so misleading. The phrase "don't judge a book by it's cover" totally applies here. If you haven't read this book you need to. It is such a page turner. I finished this particular book in one night because i couldnt put it down. Well I can't make you read the book but i can make you want to so hopefully that convinced you. If not you are really missing out. Well anyways, I could NEVER put these books down while i was reading them so YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!
68 out of 71 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Okay, I'm hooked. I started watching the TV show when it first came out, and likes it well enough. So I decided to see how the book series would compare.
This book follows a former group of friends three years after their leader, Alison, went missing. Now they are getting mysterious text messages from a person known only as "A". "A" knows secrets only Alison knew and trust me, these girls have plenty of them. Despite being only 16, these girls have more skeletons in their than the cast of "Desperate Housewives". The girls have to comfront secrets from their past while dealing with their issues of the present.
I liked this book perhaps more than I'm willing to admit. Its a guilty pleasure read for sure. The girls are each different and have their own personalities. Aria is the "free spirit" who holds the secret of her dads affair, while trying to hide a tryst of her own. Emily is the chaste jock who is questioning her sexuality and overall personality. Hanna is the new queen bee desperate to stay ahead. And Spencer is the competive over-achiever who is fruitlessly trying to please her parents.
I liked all of the girls, despite their faults. But I did remain unattached from them through out the book. The plot is full of twists and turns and I have absolutely no idea what will happen next.
I'm not sure whether or not I like the TV show or book series more. While they obviously have similarities, they have their fair share of differences, and I think they might be going in different directions. So as of now, I like them both.
Next installment please!
35 out of 37 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2008
I Also Recommend:
I love love love this book. You should be a tad over 13 or 14 to read but I was rather young when I started the series and still am. I love this book the had me really falling off my sit and screaming in class while sneaking a read. I didn't even let my friends touch it till I was done.
28 out of 40 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2012
If you ask me, I would reccommend Pretty Little Liars to ANYONE, as long as you're at LEAST 12 or 13. I'm 11, (and I'm already book 4) so, yes, some of the....material....WAS a tad bit too mature for me. But Pretty Little Liars is a series so engaging, and it'll have you HOOKED.....Pretty Litttle Liars grabs you by the throat and makes you want nothing but MORE.
How A takes such advantage of these four girls is horrible, yet amazing, how she can scare them out of telling anyone at all about her (or him....who knows?) and threatens to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets to the world. Sara Shepard has definitely mastered the idea of cliffhangers, and on-your-toes suspense that will keep you begging for more.
And so, I present, and highly reccommend, to you, the Pretty Little Liars series, the most hooking, engaging book series since Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.
Yes. It's THAT good.
So maybe you should read it....the consequinces might be a DEADLY boring summer if you don't.
So take my word for it, and read. After all—I'm the expert.
17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2010
This book is an amazing series because it is exciting and thrilling. I honestly love this book and this author. This is my favorite series, show, book, and Sara Shepard is my FAVORITE author none demand. I recommend this book to ANYONE!!!!
17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2012
I really enjoyed this book! It was a little boring at the beginning, but the drama began to build and finished this in a couple hours. The stories were so interesting and I loved them! My favorite character is Spencer though I connected the most with Aria. I was a little creeped out by Ezra (esp. the scene of his Lays-covered bed. Gross!). The only negative of this book was that the ages were all wrong. The characters were smoking in the seventh grade. And do serious drugs quite often (since like, 6th grade). It just shows that this book is kinda out-of-date because really, no one does that stuff anymore. Overall, I will finish this series (hopefully before May 8th) so I can watch the TV show.
13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2011
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in mysterious and suspenseful books that keep you on your toes. When reading this book, you will NOT want to put the novel down. After every page it makes you wonder what will happen next. If you watch the series on television, it's definitely not the same as the book. Sometimes books can be very misleading to their movie, so I would highly suggest to read the books first. Another flaw is that it is not a book for all ages. It involves drugs, alcohol, dating, and cursing. So if you are looking for a good teen, adult book that you will enjoy and want to keep reading the other books to the series, go out and buy Pretty Little Liars.
12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2011
Holy smokes, this is one AMAZING series! I was hooked from the immediate beginning!
I had been asking for Barnes & Noble giftcards for years for my birthday, and I burned my whole stash of them buying all of these books, lol!
Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily are all different (VERY DIFFERENT) people, their personalities change throughout the book, but I find that I am probably closer to Aria or Spencer (not like Hanna, and soo not like Emily) Although the girls frequently drink, smoke, and many other things, it's actually an accurate depiction of people...Many teenagers do this, but alot of people are ignorant and don't pay attention...It's pretty amazing that Sara Shepard included designer brands such as Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenburg and other designers in her books! And iPhones, and ah everything! I'm just so happy to see that a series is FINALLY modern enough for me! They use cell phones, text people, IM people, and get TYPED notes from the mysterious -A!!!
You will LOVE this book if you PAY ATTENTION! If not, the whole series will just be a jumble of confusing words, so seriously pay attention - read the paragraphs twice if you have to.
READ THIS THOUGH! This series is so good, I am thinking about re-reading it, although I just finished Wanted probably an hour ago!
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2012
Ooo my goodness i absoulty LOVE this book it is the best book ever. I hope you like this book just as much as I did. I know you have probably herd of the series Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family and I watch it EVERY day that its on. Please coment if you like it or dont like it whatever you think.
8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Pretty Little Liars opens with a flashback to the four girl's Aria, Emily, Hannah, and Spencer seventh grade end of the year sleepover at their best friend Allison's house. Allison was the girl that everyone wanted to be popular, beautiful, and rich. Even her best friends wanted to be just like her if they had the chance.
But that same night that was supposed to be full of fun and partying was soon replaced with the mysterious death of Allison after Spencer and Allison had got in a fight.
The four girls who have split up since Allison's death really hadn't talked to each other since Allison had died. The old chubby and ugly Hannah has turned into the beautiful and skinny popular girl who was best friends with another old loser Monna but she has to make some scrafices to keep her dream life. Emily is still her slightly awkward swimming self with some strange feelings for the new girl Maya. Aria has just came back after spending a few years in Iceland only to find that the past that she had tried to escape has come right back to her. And Spencer is still her overachiving self batteling constantly with herself and her sister.
But the four girls are forced to begin to talk when they begin to get strange text messages from a stalker that goes by the name "A". When the text messages begin to get a bit more personal and even revealing some of their darkest secrets that only their dead friend Allison knew the girls begin to question if maybe A is Allison. Could she still be alive?
I was a bit skeptic before reading this book but the thing that immeaditly caught my eye was the cover of the book. I thought that it was clever and a cute idea so I began to read the back of the book and eventually purchased it. This honestly has to be one of the best series that I have gotten into. Sara Shepard brings you down into a world of mystery and suspision in the small town of Rosewood, Philadelphia with all of her characters bring their own new and individual story.
I would highly recomend this book to anyone who enjoys a mix of mystery and Gossip Girl like books. The rest of the series is equally intriguing and you will almost run to the nearest book store to pick up the next novel in the series.
7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2013
Posted July 18, 2012
It's a good drama book for children in middle school, but the t.v. show should probably not be watched until 8th grade. it's a good book. a quick read. :)
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2010
I bought the book after the series started and I began to read the book and noticed it was different when compared to the show but I still loved reading every page of the book. I love the series and the book and this is my new favorite book. This book has all types of drama in it that makes you wanna keep reading until you are done with all 9 books. These books are amazing and i think every teenage girl should read it.
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2009
this book is amazing!!! it had my eyes practically glued to the pages!!! once u start reading i guarantee you, you wont be able to put it down! I thought i knew who hurt alison...but i was wrong...then i thought i knew again...but i was wrong...again!!! The point is......THIS BOOK IS AMAZING AND U SHOULD TOTALLY READ IT AND I THANK SARA SHEPHARD FOR WRITING IT!!! I LOVE PRETTY LITTLE LIARS!!!
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2013
Message to all people:
Stop writing reviews on:
- a description if the show (it is too different from the book so you are NOT HELPING(
- the sample (just go to the book store yourself to read some or, better yet, GO TO THE LIBRARY AND READ THE WHOLE THING FOR FREE!!!!!)
I actually liked the book but put one star to get peoples attention.
THANK YOU ALL!!!!
5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2012
I must say, Mrs Shepard, you have done a fine job creaating a suspense thriller that could make the strongest, most unfearing man shiver and fear like a five- year old girl. I loved the books twists and turns, and all of the romances. And even though it isnt age aproppriate for 12 year olds, it is still a satisfying book, and marvelous series.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.