I am SO SUCKED IN!!!!!!!! Ok, so ever since I saw the first ad for the Pretty Little Liars tv series based on Sara Shepard's books, I was hooked. It looked so juicy and mysterious, I couldn’t wait for the show—And I was totally right—TOTALLY juicy and mysterious!!!!!!
But I knew from the beginning that I was going to have a dilemma—Watch the show?/Read the series?/Both??????
Most of my friends think I’m strange, because whenever possible, I watch the movie before reading the book. Pretty much everyone I tell this to says it’s totally bass ackwords. But then they’re the ones who are always complaining about how the movie never lives up to the book—So now who’s bass ackwards?
I tried that a couple of times, reading the book first, but like my friends, I was unable to enjoy most of the movies because I was too busy agonizing over missing details, or missing characters, or wondering why they were unnecessarily adding things…But when I watched the movie first, I was able to enjoy both. I could fall in love with a movie, and then fall in love all over again with the book. Movies are so visceral and in the moment, there just isn’t enough time to capture everything in a book. But with the book, you can take the time and relish every little detail….
Back to Pretty Little Liars…I kept going back and forth—Did I want to risk ruining the tv show if it couldn’t live up to the book? Well, like I said, I kept going back and forth, but I figured that I should at least give myself the chance to enjoy the first episode.
By the end of the first episode, I wasn’t sure if I was patient enough to wait for the finale; I was dying to know everybody’s secrets and find out what happens. So I went from casually checking the Barnes&Noble website every day, to checking obsessively…which led to another dilemma…an eight book series is a little bit of a financial investment to say the least. Now that I have a Nook, I try to go digital as often as possible. But the REAL books came in boxed sets, which made them cheaper than trying to buy digital versions, with no bundle available :( ….Not that the boxed set was cheap, either—and if you open it and hate the first book, you’re kind of screwed. It’s a big commitment. I even checked used bookstores and wasn’t able to find the set any cheaper than the new prices. And I didn’t want to just buy the first book by itself, because if I totally LOVED the book, then I’d always regret not having bought the set together. Oh, and the closest bookstore is an hour drive in either direction.
So, after completely analyzing everything to death, I remembered the library. In general, I’m a book hoarder, which doesn’t go all that well with overall library lending policies, but on occasion, I do find libraries to be the most magical places on earth. So I went to the library, yes, but my quest for the series did not end there (ok, it kind of did end there, just not on that particular visit). Because, when I looked up Pretty Little Liars, my library didn’t have it….Pretty much all of their affiliate libraries carried the series, just not my branch, which meant that I would have to put in a request for the book. And although most of the other branches carried the books, they were all checked out, so I had to add myself to the end of a waiting list of about 30 people.
Well, that pretty much took care of my dilemma. I watched the entire season of the tv series, and was just starting to go through withdrawal, re-examining all my options for buying the series, when the long-awaited email came saying that my request had finally arrived.
So……..any of you who have watched the Pretty Little Liars tv series, but haven’t read Sara Shepard’s books—If you were as pulled into the tv series as much as I was, you are going to LOVE the books!!!!!!
The story is about a group of friends who aren’t friends. Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily all used to be friends. Before Alison DiLaurentis disappeared. Alison was the girl that brought everybody together; Alison was the secret keeper; and Alison was kind of a bitch. And when Alison went missing, the rest of the girls drifted their separate ways. Years later, all the secrets that the girls thought had disappeared with Alison are coming back to haunt them, making the girls wonder if Alison might be back, too.
After reading the first book, I really feel that the tv series did a great job of sticking with the story. The girls’ physical descriptions are a little different, but the characters are portrayed well. Both the show and the book tell the story from each girl’s perspective, quickly drawing you into the story. The one thing I will say about the show, though, is that while they kept a good pace with the first book, I don’t see any way that they can keep it up—It’s just math, one book to one year=eight years, and I just don’t know how believable it would be for the four tv actresses to still be in high school eight years from now…
Knowing that this was the first book of eight, I wasn’t sure how much closure I was going to get, but I ended up being very satisfied. I’m definitely lusting for more, but Sara Shepard was able to end it in a way that I didn’t feel cheated. I am absolutely IN LOVE with the story—it’s full of scandal and doesn’t hold anything back—drinking, driving, cheating, eating disorders, dysfunctional families—The works, all the juicy secrets you can think of, and it keeps getting juicier!!!!
I would ABSOLUTELY 100% recommend this as a fun, juicy, gossipy, edge-of-your-seat mystery—I can’t wait to dig into the next book (which I’m assured is Flawless)!!! ;)