Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flawless by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 2)
In the exclusive town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, where the sweetest smiles hide the darkest secrets, four pretty little liars – Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna – have been very bad girls…
Spencer stole her sister’s boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya…as much more than a friend. And Hanna’s obsession with looking flawless is literally making her sick. But the most horrible secret of all is something so scandalous it could destroy their perfect little lives.
And someone named “A” is threatening to do just that.
At first they thought A was Alison, their friend who vanished three years ago…but then Alison turned up dead. So could A be Melissa, Spencer’s ultracompetitive sister? Or Maya, who wants Emily all to herself? What about Toby, the mysterious guy who left town right after Alison went missing?
One thing’s for certain: A’s got the dirt to bury them all alive, and with every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message A sends, the girls get a little closer to losing it all.

Don’t get too comfortable. It’s not over until I say it is.” –A

Well, let’s catch up with the liars real quick, shall we? We’re picking up where we left off with Pretty Little Liars; it’s been three years since Alison went missing, but after receiving texts from “-A” that threatened to reveal secrets that only Alison knew about, Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily were beginning to wonder if maybe Ali was finally back. Well, that is until her body is found buried in her backyard. Now the girls are left wondering who killed Ali…and if Alison isn’t “-A”, then who else knows all their secrets and why are they hell bent on exposing the girls’ dirty laundry?

Alison’s funeral, along with the texts from the mysterious “-A”, has seemed to bring the four girls back together but they still find themselves unwilling to share their dirty little secrets with each other. Emily is dealing with the realization that she may have romantic feelings towards her new friend, Maya, but then begins to doubt herself when she meets hot, mysterious Toby Cavanaugh, who also happens to be Jenna’s stepbrother and has quite the reputation around Rosewood. Aria is trying to get over her English teacher, Ezra, after her broke it off with her thinking she was telling everyone about their relationship…all thanks to “-A”. Don’t worry though, Hanna’s ex-boyfriend has his eye on Aria and she doesn’t seem to be pushing him away. (Come on girl, you know better than to date your friend’s ex-boyfriend!) Spencer gets caught making out with her sister’s fiancĂ©, Wren, and as if her family telling her she was never allowed to see him wasn’t enough, they have completely shut her out. Does she listen? Of course not…but just how long can they make their secret relationship last? Now onto Hanna; I feel so bad for this freakin’ girl. She wrecked her boyfriend’s car drunk driving after he refused to have sex with her and now has to work at a burn clinic for her community service punishment. Her boyfriend, Sean, broke up with her and she later finds out he and Aria are somewhat of an item, and “-A” forces her to humiliate herself by admitting to people what really happened between her and Sean…and just how she really manages to stay so perfectly thin. As if all that wasn’t enough…her perfect soon-to-be stepsister gains her trust and uses it against her in f*cked up way. She just can’t catch a damn break!

While the girls all seem to be pointing the finger at the same person for Ali’s death and the “-A” text messages, their theory begins to crumble when another body turns up in the woods behind Emily’s house. Just when they thought they had it all figured out, they realize they aren’t even close to putting the pieces together, and they all start to see just how manipulative Alison really was…and Spencer reveals a secret that she's been keeping from the girls since the night of The Jenna Thing.

There is quite a bit to take in in this book, but I actually liked it better than the first book, Pretty Little Liars. “-A” is really starting to shake things up for the girls in Flawless, and they start to delve into the mystery of who killed Alison…and why? The “who-done-it” factor in these books will get you hooked, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll blaze through a book a day! One other reason I like these books (and the TV show) so much is because Sara Shepard weaves real issues in with the suspense and mystery; confused sexuality, eating disorders, divorce, drug abuse, etc. Those are the things that make you really attach to these characters because maybe you can relate to them and the issues they are going through…or have gone through in the past. That being said, there is one aspect that I didn’t like: the Toby storyline. I like his storyline in the TV show a thousand times more than in the book, but that’s all I’m going to say because I don’t to give anything away! (Hey…I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!) In short: if you liked Pretty Little Liars, you’ll dig Flawless.

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