Book Reviews

Review: “Pretty Little Liars,” Sara Shepard

December 24, 2010

I received this book for free from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Pretty Little Liars,” Sara ShepardPretty Little Liarsby Sara Shepard
Series: Pretty Little Liars #1
Published by HarperTeen on October, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 286
Source: Hachette Australia

Everyone has something to hide—especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna. Spencer covets her sister’s boyfriend. Aria’s fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily’s crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.

But they’ve all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.

How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they’ve kept. And guess what? I’m telling.

This one surprised me by arriving in the mail! It was released back in 2002 but here in Australia they’ve just re-released the first book with the tv show tie-in cover. Having seen only one episode of the show, I was hesitant to read at first, but once I did, I was very pleased with what I found inside!

As I mentioned above, I’ve seen an episode of the television show and it didn’t really grab my interest. The ‘drama’ of high school teenagers portrayed these days in tv just grates on my nerves and I find the characters to be so superficial and unlikable. However, I was interested in finding out some of the mysteries in the show so I decided to give this book a go.

Yes, some of the stuff in here I simply shake my head at, BUT, it’s also really fun! Who knew?

The book is told from four different perspectives; Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily. I usually dislike when the narrative switches so much and I find that I prefer reading one persons POV more than someone elses. This was the case here; I especially liked the stories of Spencer and Aria. Emily was alright and I’d have to say I liked Hanna the least. I even stopped reading for the night when I saw that the next chapter I had to get through was Hanna’s.

However, I quickly picked it up the next day again and finished the second half.

It’s a blend of Gossip Girl and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. The girls aren’t exactly likable – they all do awful things, except, perhaps for Emily – but somehow you keep reading. I really adore how it’s tied up with a mystery as well, it definitely strings you along until you’re dying to find out what it is they’re hiding.

After reading the first book, I went and watched the first episode of the tv show. Although the characters are changed a little and very different from how they appear in the books, the basis of the plot is still there and I was surprised to see how much of the first novel they fit into the very first episode! I will definitely be picking up Flawless, the next book in the series, when I can!

Recommended to: Fans of the Gossip Girl series.

About Sara Shepard

For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs.


  • Reply Vic February 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I just finished all eight books! And wow, it’s a great story. I can’t wait for the 4 more books to come. Too bad, the 9th won’t be out until July. I say the story has a great plot but there are some inconsistencies, maybe they will be exposed on the upcoming books. But all in all, I really loved it, I love the characters!

  • Reply Mrs. Q: Book Addict January 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I recently started the series as well, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’m up to book 4 now. Great review!

  • Reply In My Mailbox #6 @ Nice Girls Read Books January 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    […] Pretty Little Liars Sara Shepard (Hachette AU) | My Review […]

  • Reply Ambur January 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Awesome review :D I love the TV show, but I haven’t read the books. I might just have to pick them up now. :)

    I also wanted to let you know that I love your blog, so I’ve passed on a blog award to you at my blog here.

    I’m sorry if you don’t accept awards, but I still wanted to pass it on and spread the word about your awesome blog. :)


    • Reply Brittany January 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you!

      Aw, thank you so much, Ambur! I’m honoured!

  • Reply Kelly January 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Oh great review!
    I have watched the series and I really wanted to start the Book Series as well!

  • Reply Miss Bookiverse December 29, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I used to love Gossip Girl when I was younger but I was never sure whether I would like Pretty Little Liars. I assumed I might be too old for those books by now but now you wrote this review and a fellow blogger friend also just read and recommended the first book, so I guess I’ll eventually give this a try :)

  • Reply Small Review December 26, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for your review! I was surprised at how much I liked this one too. The girls are pretty horrible and I was probably shaking my head along with you, but there’s something about the series that is just addicting! This series is my new guilty pleasure.

  • Reply Cass December 24, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I really enjoyed the first four books. I also received a copy of PLL to review, so hopefully I get to doing that soon enough. Can’t wait to re-visit the characters again.

  • Reply Namine December 24, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I have been debating reading this one!! Thanks for the review!! Now I’ll have to find it

  • Reply Alice December 24, 2010 at 5:12 am

    I bought the first four books a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to start reading. They look like a lot of fun and I love the mystery element. Great review !

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