Saturday, August 18, 2012

Heartless by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 7)
Four gorgeous girls are telling very ugly stories. First Emily, Aria, Hanna, and Spencer claimed they found a dead body in the woods behind Spencer’s house, only to have it vanish without a trace. Then, when the same woods went up in flames, they swore they saw someone who’s supposed to be dead rise from the ashes. And even after all that, the pretty little liars are still playing with fire. Call me heartless, but it’s about time someone shut these liars up for good. After all, nobody likes a girl who cries wolf – least of all me…

I was torn between how many stars I should give this installment in the Pretty Little Liars series, but ultimately I just couldn't pull the trigger on the 4 star rating. Why? A couple of the girls' storylines just plain bored me. And man oh man, I had such high hopes for this book!! Keep in mind, I was still reeling from the cliffhanger in Killer and was hoping that there would be some explanation of it in Heartless. Well…there wasn’t so that was disappointing. I get that it’s adding to the mystery and everything but really?!? You’re going to drop a bomb like that and then not have it resolved in the next book?? I get impatient when I don’t get some answers about a cliffhanger within the first chapter of the next book. Here’s the cliffhanger from Killer, which is where Heartless picks up…

The girls barely escape the woods behind Spencer’s house after they were set on fire, and while they are trying to find their bearings, they realize there aren’t just four girls there; there are five. Aria rescued a girl from the burning woods without ever seeing her face and when the girls finally get a good look at her, they are certain of one thing…the girl standing in front of them is Alison. Yeah, that’s right; their BFF Alison who was supposedly killed four years ago. Crazy shit. (Well, don’t get too excited because you won’t find out what’s really going on with that whole storyline until the next book, Wanted.) Now, the girls already earned a reputation for lying when they said they found Ian Thomas’s body in the woods and then the body magically disappeared so when Emily tells police they just saw Alison…well…let’s just say it doesn’t go over well. 

So what else do the girls get into? Well, “-A” sends Emily to an Amish community in Lancaster, which seemed pretty dumb to me. I really didn’t see any point to this story until the day that she was leaving and finds out some juicy background gossip on one of the guys currently living in Rosewood. I was actually anxious to see where that plotline went, but it pretty much just fizzled a little and then died. 

Hanna’s dad sends her to The Preserve, a mental health facility, with the hopes that it will help her get her shit together and make her stop lying, I guess? It seems a bit extreme, but whatever. This place seems like the most plush mental health facility on the planet. The amount of times Hanna talks about getting a facial or a mani/pedi, you would think she’s on vacation at a fucking spa. Oh, and her roommate Iris adds a nice little twist to the story. I’m hoping we haven’t seen the last of her! 

Aria really isn’t doing anything. Besides her new romance with Noel Kahn, the only significant thing she did in this book was call a medium to the spot where Ali was buried in an attempt to talk to her ghost. For real, that’s it. 

Spencer’s chapters were absolutely the best. Her parents finally come clean about whether or not she’s adopted but that’s not even the best part. She finds out shocking information about her dad, which leads her to a new revelation: she has a closer relationship with one of her friends than she thought. That’s all I can say without giving too much away. Spence’s chapters always seem to have the most depth, and are the most realistic storylines in my opinion. 

Beyond that, we find out who the new “-A” is, get a new suspect for Alison’s murder, and another young girl turns up dead. I wasn’t happy with who the new “-A” was…at all. It just seemed too random. Maybe there’s another twist coming?! All in all, it was good but not great, which seems to be my opinion on all of the books so far. This is a first, but I actually prefer the TV show over the books. This has never happened, people! I just love the dark, creepy shit on the show and the books just aren’t giving me that. Not to mention, the relationships on the show are fucking phenomenal! I mean, I got legitimately mad when Caleb and Hanna broke up, and when Spencer was constantly lying to Toby I just kept thinking “please don’t break up with her, please don’t break up with her! She’ll explain everything later, homie!” I don’t get that kind of emotion for any of the relationships in the books…I wish I did. 

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