I don't have much love to give to this book though, even though its themes are something I ordinarily would go for. It feels like ordering your favorite dish in a restaurant and then finding out that the chef scrimped on the ingredients.
Shepard's characters are all stereotypes. The overachiever who's jealous of her overachieving sister falls for her sister's boyfriend. The high school swimming star turns out to be a lesbian. The girl who just arrived from Europe has an affair with her English teacher. The formerly obese girl becomes the school slut who has kleptomania and an eating disorder.
The mystery angle feels watered down too. All 4 of these girls were once friends back in the seventh grade who pay homage to their queen bee. But QB disappears one day during a sleepover and hasn't been found for the last 3 years. But Shepard hints that QB might still be alive, for she sends threatening emails and text messages to the 4 girls. And these correspondences are filled with secrets that QB and the girls only know.
The premise does indeed look promising but the story doesn't deliver. There's no closure with any of the 4 girls. In fact, QB might have even played a role in letting them realize their mistakes. For example, the teacher discovers the text messages and calls off the affair.
Maybe it's the fact that Pretty Little Liars is just the 1st novel in a series, that it's not satisfying at all. It's "I Know What You Did Last Summer" without the blood and gore unfortunately. What we have are just high school girls who have too much money, too many issues, too many boys, and not enough brain cells. It's frustrating.
Read this book if:
- You love the TV series.
- You want to relive your high school days and then thank yourself that you had an uninteresting, albeit normal, high school life.
- You like books with dolls on their covers.