Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Killer by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 6)
In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals. But pictures often lie – and so do Rosewood’s four prettiest girls. Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis. Ali made them do terrible things – things they had to keep secret for years. And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn’t die with her. Hanna’s on a mission to corrupt Rosewood’s youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria’s snooping into her boyfriend’s past. Spencer’s stealing – from her family. And pure little Emily’s abstaining from abstinence.
The girls should be careful, though. They thought they were safe when Ali’s killer was arrested and A’s true identity was finally revealed. But now there’s a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood is going to burn.

While this isn’t my least favorite book of the series so far, it’s not my favorite either. I found myself getting a little annoyed with the girls in this book, mainly because I feel like there is a lot of repetition. The main factors that kept this from plunging to a 2 star were…well, I’ll tell you later. Let’s start from the beginning.

Killer picks up with the girls finding Ian Thomas’s dead body in the woods behind Spencer’s house, only when they bring Officer Wilden to the scene of the crime…his body is gone. There is no trace that he was ever there. Was he not really dead? Was it a dummy? If he wasn’t dead, where did he go? The police are convinced the girls were simply crying wolf to get attention and a manhunt ensues to find Ian, who is still being charged with Alison’s murder. On top of the town of Rosewood branding them all liars, they are also dealing with their own issues.

Hanna is battling her conniving soon-to-be stepsister, Kate, for the role of “Queen Bee” at Rosewood Day…which is what she was doing basically the entire last book as well. Her whole attitude in this book was a little annoying, which sucks because Hanna is my favorite character. Now I feel like she doesn’t care about anyone else but herself, and if something doesn’t involve one-upping Kate, she isn’t interested. Lame. I do actually like her romantic interest in Mike, even though it’s once again just a competition with Kate to see who can win him over. I hope they stay together, but I’m not holding my breath.

Aria finally decides to do something about her crush on Ali’s older brother, Jason. Her storyline seems to get a little repetitive too; she is always dating/wanting to date the wrong guy. First it was Ezra, then Xavier, and now Jason. The issue of her living with her dad and his new fiancĂ©e wasn’t really brought up, and the Xavier/Aria awkwardness was barely touched on.

Spencer is now convinced she was adopted, and signed up for an online site where kids can find their biological parents. As expected, she finds someone claiming to be her birth mother who “just can’t wait to meet her!” This turn of events with the birth mother was extremely predictable, in my opinion. I didn’t necessarily foresee what issue would be presented, but I knew the whole situation was just too good to be true. Meanwhile, her parents are pretty much downright awful to her. I mean, they sold her car back to the dealership without even warning her…yeah…sold her freaking car and didn’t tell her. A-holes.

Emily and Isaac turned up the heat in their relationship, but it turns out someone has a fire extinguisher ready…his mother. I actually feel really bad for Emily, because his mom is a reeeeal piece of work.  

With Ian swearing he’s not the one who killed Ali, the girls begin to think that he just might be telling the truth and turn their attention to a couple of guys in Rosewood who have been acting a big out of the ordinary. Is it possible they had it wrong all along with Ian? Are the police really covering something up? There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book and holy shiitake mushrooms, the cliffhanger is something fierce!

The last three or four chapters and the crazy cliffhanger are what really saved the book from being a 2 star in my opinion. (See, I told you I’d tell you about it later!) The mystery aspect is great and it constantly keeps me on my toes, but I just wish it would lose some of the repetitiveness with the girls’ individual issues. Oh…and the whole thing with the Time Capsule flag? I’m over it. I think I have read the exact same scene with the girls in Ali’s backyard and Jason storming out of the house about 5 or 6 times within the past two books. (Once again, repetitiveness.) That being said, it’s still a good read and I’m ready to dive right into Heartless.

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