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Saturday, 29-Apr-2017 19:12:29 EDT
your teen on books: pretty little liars (book 1)
review by MACKENZIE HENDRY, age 14

Pretty Little Liars (book 1) | Sara Shepard

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series by Sara Shepard is a must for teenaged girls everywhere! The series itself consists of eleven books and two companion novels. The series is continually expanding and further novels are to be released at a future date.

The first book, which happens to be called Pretty Little Liars, features one of the main characters – Spencer – on the cover. The main characters are made up of four eleventh grade girls: Spencer (yes, she's a girl too), Aria, Emily, and Hanna who live in Rosewood, Pennsylvania.

Spencer Hastings, the overachiever of the group, strives to be perfect in every way. She has always yearned for a place in her parents’ hearts that her absolutely flawless older sister, Melissa, has already taken up. Spencer has always been jealous of her... Maybe because she’s always been second best or maybe because Melissa is all Spencer has ever wanted to be. Needless to say, they don’t get along. But after Spencer goes after her sister's boyfriend and ends up stealing him from her, she’s far beyond the Hastings’ demeanor of perfect.

Aria Montgomery is not your typical Rosewood girl. In fact, she’s more what people would call 'kooky'. What she wears, how she acts, and the fact that she’s spent the last three years in Iceland with her parents and brother don't help. Aria felt as though she could really be herself in Iceland and people liked her and accepted her for who, well, who she portrayed to be at the time. When she moved back to Rosewood at the beginning of her junior year and gets together with the guy of her dreams, it seemed as though luck could be on her side once more. That is until she walked into her first period class to discover that the guy of her dreams… is her teacher.

Ummmmm – like father, like daughter. Such teenaged drama...

Don't you just love it??

Emily Fields has been pushed to excel in swimming by her overprotective parents all her life like her three older siblings to get that scholarship to college. Being the good girl, Emily has had to put up with her parents with a smile on her face and accept everything as it has alwlays been. Even though she has a boyfriend, she finds she’s falling more and more for the new girl, Maya St. Germain who just moved into town. Being the good girl all the time has its setbacks and Emily is tired of not having a voice.

Hanna Marin is a reborn loser – who is now at the top of the school! But even though she looks good, she makes herself throw up to stay thin so she doesn’t go back to 'Fat-Ugly-Hanna' of the seventh grade. Part of the reason why she has a need to stay beautiful – in a rather, ahem, unhealthy way – is because her father is back in town with his girlfriend Isabel and her immaculate daughter, Kate. Hanna is clearly second best and the first and last time they met, Hanna was resorted to a fraction of herself – that loser she desperately does not want to be.

Alison DiLaurentis was the Queen Bee of the school and when she started hanging out with Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna in sixth grade, all five of them were instantly popular. Sadly in the summer between seventh and eighth grade, Alison goes missing without a trace and the girls part ways. Although they miss Alison and their lost popularity, the girls secretly don’t mind that she’s gone. Alison had made them do many horrible things including something they refer to as 'The Jenna Thing'. She had threatened to expose their secrets to the world back then but now that Alison is gone, their secrets are buried, right?


The girls begin receiving blackmail from an unknown source that signs every message to them with 'A'. The girls can't help but hope that all of this is a typical Alison stunt. The messages, however, threaten to expose the girls' secrets – past and present – unless they change their naughty ways. Only Alison knew about their past deeds. Could Alison be back?

Only one question remains: who could possibly know all about their more current backstabbing misdeeds...? Is it really Alison? Or somebody else...


14yr-old Mackenzie Hendry has been writing reviews for SayItCornell.com and SayItCanada.ca since she was 8yrs old. Always a passionate reader, she aspires to study Family Law in the future.

Mackenzie Hendry, age 14
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