____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not So Perfect

I shouldn’t say that, because I am IN LOVE with Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, and the third book in the series (after Pretty Little Liars and Flawless) is, well, Perfect.  And saying that Perfect is pretty perfect isn’t hard.

This a gossipy, juicy, mystery that has had me at the edge of my seat since the very first page.  I watched the tv series, before picking up the books.  As a fan of the series, I’ve been very happy to see how well they kept pace with the books.  I was actually a little worried after reading the first book, because I felt like the tv series would be ten years long if they kept up the same pace—And since the girls are supposed to be in high school, I didn’t see how that could work very well.  But after reading the first three books, I see how brilliantly they flow together.  And for those of you watched the tv series cliff-hanger—It coincides perfectly with the ending of Perfect.

I mentioned in a previous post that I LOVE mysteries.  But that I’m HORRIBLE at them.  So I’m not even positive that Ali is dead, or that Ali’s not A.  Yes there was a body, and there was a funeral—But I didn’t see it, and it sounded like it was a closed casket.  So I’m not counting her out yet.  Until I see a dead body, I’m not counting ANYBODY out—Even the girls.  In the beginning of the book, although this is the most unlikely, right before she disappeared, Ali was trying to hypnotize the girls—Did she really do it?  What kind of suggestions could she have implanted?

My best guess for the trigger factor is that when the new girl, Maya, moved into Ali’s old house, into Ali’s old room, somewhere amidst all of Ali’s old stuff, were all of Ali’s old secrets.  We know that Maya tossed out boxes of Ali’s stuff on the street, where anybody could have picked them up and dug through them.  But we have no way of knowing that Maya didn’t go through everything before she tossed it out.

There are just so many things going on in this series—everybody’s secrets seem to be repeating themselves, along with revealing themselves.  And above all, who is A?  What does s/he want with the girls?  And what really happened to Ali?

Pretty Little Liars is a series about a group of girl who used to be friends…before Alison DiLaurentis disappeared.  Alison was the glue-trap that held them together, the girl that the others told all their secrets to.  And when Ali was gone, it was like the girls were finally free, and they all went their separate ways.  Spencer is the preppy, straight A, overachiever who kissed her sister’s boyfriend years ago.  Hanna is the beautiful, popular, IT girl, who used to be overweight.  Before she got an eating disorder.  Aria is the free spirit of the group, smart and thoughtful, searching for her true self.  Aria’s family is the cornerstone of her world, until she catches her father having an affair.  And Emily is the jock; a swimmer.  But Emily might have loved Ali more than all the other girls; she’s afraid that she’s gay.  And Ali knew every single secret.

Now everybody’s secrets are not only replaying themselves, but they’re multiplying—Spencer’s not only in love with her sister’s new boyfriend, she also stole one of her sister’s papers.  Hanna is finally popular and has the boy of her dreams, but she still wasn’t perfect enough for him.  Hanna’s popularity is poised to topple, just as her eating disorder threatens to return.  Not to mention she’s an occasional shoplifter.  Aria catches her father cheating again.  Meanwhile, Aria’s fallen for her own teacher.  And her boyfriend is threatening to expose them.  And not only is Emily pretty sure she’s gay and that she loves Maya, but she’s pretty sure that her parents are racist and won’t love HER when they find out.

Right before she disappeared, Ali seemed constantly on the brink of spilling everyone’s secrets.  Years later, when someone moves into Ali’s old house—Ali’s body is discovered…And it seems like all of Ali’s secrets—all of THEIR secrets have been discovered, too.  The girls are living in an eggshell of perfect, and someone calling themselves “A” is sending the girls cryptic messages, threatening to expose all of their hidden cracks.

Who is A?  What is A’s agenda?  Shepard is a master at inserting doubt and mistrust.  In Flawless, Aria had an assignment on the topic of untrustworthy narrators…which basically reminds us that we don’t know any more than the narrator, or each character, tells us.  And to instill further mistrust, the paper Spencer plagiarized was on the topic of the “Invisible Hand,” a theory about people offering someone help for their own personal gain—As in, when A offers each of the girls some seemingly benevolent advice, in between menacing messages.  I know the girls should have known better than to trust A, but when they don’t trust each other, when they can’t turn to their parents, friends, or teachers, who can they trust?

Like I said, juicy, gossipy, good…And I can’t to find out what happens next!!!!!!




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1 comment:

Elena said...

I loved this series! One of my favorites! You'll love the ending! Great review!