Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard is a story of four high school girls as they progress through their junior year of high school. Once best friends, they have now grown apart and have gone separate directions. Their friendship started to dissolve when the "queen bee" of their friendship, Ali, disappeared the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Ali knew everyone's deepest, darkest secrets, including one that ties them all together. The story is told basically in 4 separate stories, following each girl through the school year. The one thread that ties them all together though, is the fact that they are all receiving messages, either by text messages or email, eluding to the fact that Ali may still be alive and watching their every move. All the girls become paranoid, but can't confide in each other since their friendship has long been dead. Each girl is, on top of dealing with Ali's possible return, stressing over their own problems. Hanna, once over-weight and self-conscious in seventh grade, is now one of the most beautiful girls in the school. Even though she has gotten rid of her unwanted weight, she still battles food on a daily basis, especially when she is stressed. She puts herself in several dangerous situations. Her unattached and uninvolved mother fixes everything, thus teaching Hanna nothing. By the end of the book, Hanna is over eating again while at the same time obsessing about reverting back to her prior dorky self. Spencer, the perfect, over-achieving daughter/student constantly has to compete with an older sister. Nothing Spencer does is every quite as good as what Melissa has already accomplished. When she scores almost perfectly on the PSAT, for a brief moment that changes. Her life really becomes complicated when she meets her sister's new boyfriend and feels an instant, mutual attraction. Emily, a swimmer [b:on the road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy||3355573] to a full-ride scholarship, was probably closest with Ali before she disappeared. When she hears that a new family has moved into Ali's old house she dreads going over there to deliver the welcome basket her mother made. Once she gets there she is greeted by girl that is carefree and totally different from herself. They strike up an immediate friendship leading Emily down a path that she never expected. Aria's family moved to Iceland shortly after Ali's disappearance because of her father's job. (There is a deep secret here that haunts Aria.) They move back into their old house right before junior year starts. Aria is different though. She is confident in who she is, not worried about fitting in to any particular crowd. Their first day back her younger brother is all gung ho because he is heading out for Lacrosse practice. Aria has to drive him, but instead of staying there to watch, she heads to a local bar. There she meets Ezra. She falls head over heels for Ezra and hopes to see him again. Little does she know that she'll see him sooner than she thinks, in her English classroom. He turns out to be her teacher. Although Ezra attempts to keep the relationship at an appropriate level, he realizes he can't resist Aria and they see each other socially. However, as the mysterious messages from –A has been messing with everyone's lives, it ruins Aria's time with Ezra as well. My favorite story lines were Spencer's and Aria's, but the author does a great job of pulling the reader into the story to where you have to keep reading to find out what happens to the girls. You will also be trying to guess along the way who it is that is sending the messages. However, unfortunately we don't find out. There is a sequel called Flawless coming out in April of 2007. I can't wait to read it.