Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd

**Also published on Goodreads**

Dear Reader

After watching the series for so long, I was really excited for the books (I know, they came first, but I hadn’t gotten a hold of them until recently.) But now that I’ve read book one, I gotta say, seriously not impressed. The girls were completely unlikable (beyond moments of feeling bad for Spencer and a little on the Hanna self esteem thing). The sex, alcohol and drugs was just too much. And I kept thinking, these girls deserve more or less what they’re getting…

The characters were pretty unlikable which is always a strike in my book. Emily was probably the most likable, but even she was sort of… hard to get along with. She was too much of a pushover without enough redeeming individual characteristics that made her her own person. She just felt like some token lesbian character (which annoys me, especially since Jenna from Hex Hall was so epic, awesome, and just happened to be a lesbian, because lesbians are just normal people and are not just some stereotype thrown in for the sake of having a “diverse cast of characters” thank you very much). Allison was unlikable (which was the point), but honestly, I had less of a problem with her than the other characters. Aria was snobby and superior. Spencer was, quite frankly, a boyfriend stealing, judging, overly competitive jerk (with moments of sympathetic character development, which I appreciated). And Hanna? God, Hanna was awful. All of the depth that seeped into the show (which, okay, maybe took a few episodes to really happy) is obliterated in the books. She is Queen of the Unlikable. Yes, I felt bad for her at times, but it wasn’t enough to justify who she’d become.

The writing was okay, the events that take seemed very unrealistic, and I’ve already mentioned my disdain for the characters. Not to mention, the most interesting part was Ali’s death and they barely even dealt with that! This book felt like one long, annoying, mean girls prologue and I was really disappointed. All of this “poor little rich girls” stuff has become obnoxious. Is this really how the other half lives? Because if it is, I’ll deem myself lucky for not having money in my pocket. It hardly seems like a fair trade.

I have the next three in the series, so I suppose I’ll get to them, but I wouldn’t really recommend this series unfortunately.

Sincerely

E.C. Orr

P.S. There’s a chance that this series will get better, but honestly, the first book was so off putting that it’ll take me a minute to get to the others, which I’m only going to read because A) I have them and B) I want to see if they get to be anything even half as good as the series.

 

Book Information:

Pretty Little LiarsTitle: Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars #1)
Author: Sara Shepherd
ISBN: 006088732X
Language: English
Approximate Length: 286 pages
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
I have a 2006 publish date soft cover edition, not the TV-series tie in.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd

  1. You DEFINITELY should read a couple more of the books in the series. I can’t guarantee you’ll love them, but I promise that they’re much better than the first book. I also started reading the books after already watching a few seasons of the show. I felt like the first book was, more or less, just an over extensive rendition of the show’s pilot episode. Honestly though the books do get better. And after number one, the story deviates a bit more from the show but in an equally interesting but different way. Yes, some of the characters definitely still remain unlikable. But as the series progresses that is one of the aspects that helps create some of the most entertaining twists. Also, Sara Shepard actually wrote a prequel to the series that, unlike all the other books is fully narrated by Alison. If nothing else, I’d read that one. I think its probably my favorite.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who started with the series and then went back! I will definitely try out the next three in the series, since I already have them (I bought them as a bundle for cheap). I don’t have a problem with unlikable characters per se, but when they ALL seem unlikable, it’s hard for me to get into it. Hopefully, that’ll shift a little bit. And I get what you mean about book one. I thought the same thing, which made it really boring for me, you know? I didn’t realize there was a prequel, but I wouldn’t mind checking that one out. The thing that I loved about the series was that Alison was such a jerk, but an intricate kind of jerk, so I would love to see more from her side. Have you made it through the whole series now?

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  2. I know exactly what you mean! Honestly I had originally started the first book but didn’t really take the time to finish it until I learned a bit more about the crazy Alison twist from the books that differs from the show (I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t heard about it, but I’m sure you have some idea since it’s been questioned by fans and A theorists throughout the tv series). The prequel dives fully into this aspect which I found so interesting that I breezed straight through it. After reading the prequel, I decided to dive back into the series. Other than the prequel (entitled: “Ali’s Pretty Little Lies”), there are 16 books in the series, and I’m currently about 80 percent of the way through #9. The series is divided into arcs that each represent a new A, but still continue to build upon the main plot as well. After the first arc is when the story truly begins to deviate from the show, but it’s definitely worth the time, in my opinion.

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    1. Wow, that’s kind of crazy! I mean, usually prequels just aren’t as good, you know? But I could see how this one would be so much more interesting! I *have* heard spoilers for the Alison twist (thanks for not spoiling though! I hate it when people throw things out there carelessly like that as it really can ruin something for you, you know?) and it actually sounds really good. Maybe even better than the tv series twist. I will definitely check out the prequel then. I’m going to push through the next three (that’s as many as I have) and see if they start getting better. I’m intrigued about the arcs – I thought that was something that the show did on their own, so now I’m a little more interested! Lol. You should definitely keep me posted on how your reading is going though! Good luck! 🙂 Also, is the series officially finished now? Or are there new books still coming out?

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  3. I’ll definitely keep you updated! You should do the same for me! I’d love to hear what you think after getting further into the series and especially after reading the prequel! Lol. Unfortunately the book twist was already spoiled for me before I started the books when I was researching people’s A theories online during the first couple seasons. 😞 But on the bright side, knowing about the plot twist actually made the prequel much easier to understand while still keeping me surprised and interested. As far as I know I think the book series is finished, with the last book being #16. I think the show and the books each have their pros and cons. In my opinion, the first arc of the show was better than the books (but that might just be because I watched the show first lol). But then I feel like the later books in the series start to become more interesting than the later seasons of the show. But you’ll definitely have to let me know what you think. 😀

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    1. That sucks! It’s hard to shield yourself from not finding spoilers, especially if you’re participating with online stuff. I will definitely keep an eye out for the prequel (I’m not allowed to get books right now as I’m on a budget, but soon!). 16 is a LOT of books. Hope I get into them! I totally get liking the first one you read/see better. I’ve done that with movies before (though not a lot of them as the books are usually better, but sometimes) and it’s kind of weird to go back and be like, “hmmm, that’s not how the series went!” (I’m having that issue with Emily right now, because she looks NOTHING like she does in the TV series! Weird.)

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