Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unbelievable Serves as a Turning Point for the Pretty Little Liars Series

I became a fan of Sara Shepard's YA books after reading an ARC of her first book in a new series, The Lying Game. Since then I've read the first four books in her bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, and started the fifth. They are shallow -- but addicting -- quick reads that focus on a group of elite girls living in suburban Pennsylvania.

In Unbelievable, the girls -- Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer -- are still reeling from the discovery of their friend Ali's body, years after her disappearance the summer before high school. They all continued to harbor hope that Ali would reappear alive, especially after their torture at the hands of someone calling herself only "A." This so-called A knows secrets only Ali knew, leading them all to think she must be back.

While they deal with Ali's body being found, then her funeral, the girls also have problems of their own -- many caused by A. Hanna lies in a hospital bed after figuring out A's identity, then promptly being struck by a car before she could share her newfound knowledge; Spencer is receiving praise for a school paper, but stressed because she plagiarized it; Aria is estranged from her mother after it's revealed that Aria knew about her father's affair; and Emily is shipped off to Iowa to learn some lessons from the conservative side of her family.

But, as always, A continues to push the problems to a whole new level. When things continue to heat up, the girls are forced to face the fact that Ali cannot be A. Yet A continues to torture them. So who is A? Perhaps in this installment of the PLL books readers will finally find out...

Unbelievable is the fourth book in the PLL series. That means that, including Wicked (which I started but haven't finished), I still have four books left to enjoy. They are going to make perfect beach & poolside books for this summer! (Not to mention, rumor has it that a new PLL book, Twisted, will hit store shelves in July, then a second for the year, Ruthless, in December.)

Pretty Little Liars is also, of course, a hit television series on ABC Family. The season finale was last night, but you can play catch-up by viewing episodes from this past season at Shepard's website.

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