Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

If you know me, then you know how I feel about movies made into books. To save time, I won’t bother stepping on that soapbox today. However, I have found that the small screen does a much better job of translating a book to the screen.

I just finished the last book in The Pretty Little Liars series which is now a summer series on ABC Family. I recently read an internet article that claims Pretty Little Liars was originally developed as television series by book packaging company Alloy Entertainment who gave it to Sara Shepard to develop into a book series. I’ve not found an authoritative source to corroborate this. The books were published before the pilot of the series aired. Truth be told, I don’t really care which came first. Both are excellent entertainment on their own.

Pretty Little Liars has been described as a cross between a teenage Desperate Housewives and I Know What You Did Last Summer. The last book, Wanted keeps the reader on the edge of their seat as it wraps up the story with some unexpected twists.

The series revolves around four privileged students at Rosewood Day. There used to be five of them, but one of them, Ali, disappeared mysteriously. After Ali’s disappearance, Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily drift apart. Just as they think they have all moved on, the discovery of Ali’s body in the first book, throws them all back together. Throughout the remainder of the books, the girls are tormented by the mysterious “A” who seems to know their deepest, darkest secrets. Various characters come under suspicion until finally in the last book Wanted, the girls themselves are suspected of killing Ali. There are more twists and turns in this series than a Missouri back road. Shepard has created a fast paced thriller that keeps the reader coming back for more. Shepard is also crafty enough to finally reveal the solution before the reader gets frustrated and gives up altogether (something that Lemony Snicket failed to do with A Series of Unfortunate Events.)

Though targeted to teens, this series will appeal to adults who enjoy a good thriller. Just remember that teen years do not always bring out the best in young adults.

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