Reviews for Pretty Little Liars
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Alison, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna are best friends. After Alison disappears just before eighth grade, the girls drift apart. Three years later, they start receiving anonymous e-mails and text messages alluding to a dangerous secret. In this first book in a planned series of four, the derivative plot is bolstered by the author's smart writing and keen ear for teen dialogue. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 October #3
After the queen bee of their clique mysteriously disappears during a slumber party on the last day of seventh grade, the remaining four girls drift apart. Now, three years later, the Rosewood, Pa., former pals are practically strangers, but still plagued by the secrets that they shared with Alison and new scandals they are trying to keep under wraps. Then they each start receiving cryptic messages from someone named "A" who seems to know everything, and makes them wonder, "Was she back?" The four girls are fairly standard types: there is free-spirited Aria, overachiever Spencer, good-girl Emily, a star swimmer, and glamorous Hanna. Their scandals, too, echo the over-the-top fare typical of guilty pleasure books: Aria is having an affair with her new AP English teacher, for example, while Emily finds that kissing a girl "felt a zillion times different than kissing" her boyfriend. Readers will certainly find enough drama to keep the pages turning (one girl battles bulimia, another steals her sister's boyfriend and then there's what's buried in Alison's old backyard), and they will no doubt have fun piecing together who and what could be behind those bizarre messages. This is clique lit with a mystery twist: the author has spun a plethora of possibilities sure to make readers reach for the next installment in this planned four-book series and beyond. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 November
Gr 9 Up Rosewood, PA, is filled with mansions, Mercedes, and fortunate girls like Alison, Spencer, Emily, Aria, and Hanna. These five friends are bound together by a horrible secret never fully revealed in the book until the summer after seventh grade, when Alison goes missing. Now high school juniors, each of the remaining girls is going through a trying time and has a new secret. Spencer is falling for her sister's boyfriend, Aria is involved in a relationship with her teacher, Emily has issues with her sexual identity, and Hanna has an eating disorder. They think that no one knows about these things, until all four of them begin to get mysterious notes, e-mails, and text messages from someone by the name of A. They are afraid that Alison is back, and the mocking tone of the messages makes them worry that she could be ready to divulge their hidden past. In the end, her body is found, but they still receive the messages, leaving readers to wonder what happens next. Shepard writes a suspenseful page-turner that will have teens thirsting for more. The plot is quick-moving and encapsulates the feelings of many teens. Kristen M. Todd, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY [Page 152]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 December
Secrets bond the friendships of four girls with Ali, the queen bee of the clique. After Ali mysteriously disappears at the end of seventh grade, Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily believe that their secrets are safe. As they begin eleventh grade in a privileged community, the girls have gone their separate ways. Each finds herself in a compromising situation when she starts receiving messages that are signed "A" about current life events and old seventh-grade secrets. The girls separately wonder if Ali is back. After Ali's body is found, the girls begin to reconnect and commiserate while the source of the threatening messages remains a mystery Shepard creates a story that centers on wealthy teens dealing with a wide range of issues, including family expectations, love relationships, and self-esteem. The narrative is heavily peppered with designer labels. The characters would not dare to be caught without Gucci sunglasses or the latest Kate Spade bag, making this work trendy today but possibly dating it soon. Readers are kept guessing-perhaps too much-about seemingly important aspects of the story. "The Jenna Thing" is frequently mentioned, although almost no information about the incident is ever offered despite the fact that it is alluded to as the big, terrible secret that changed everything between the girls. This first series volume will attract its share of chick-lit readers, and a planned television series may heighten demand. The unresolved mystery will leave readers clamoring for the next installment in the series.-Erin Wyatt PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-088731-5. 2Q 3P S Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.