Monday, August 20, 2012

Twisted by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 9)
It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The pretty little liars have more secrets than ever – twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild.
Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little “too” cozy with her soon-to-be stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do “anything” to get a swim scholarship.
Worst of all: last spring break in Jamaica, they did something “unforgivable.” The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore…eventually.

The only major unanswered question at the end of Wanted was whether or not Alison survived the fire in the Poconos. All the other major loose ends were tied up in a nice, little bow; the four girls were all friends again, they had their lives back, we finally figured out who “A” really was and learned the real reason why she tortured the girls for so long. I would have been fine with the series ending after the chilling last line in Wanted. THAT BEING SAID…I was just too curious! I couldn’t just blow off the last four books; I just needed to know what could possibly happen after all this shit went down in Wanted.

Sadly, I was a little disappointed in Twisted. Now let me explain before you start send threatening messages to me signed with “-A.” (Yep, that was cheesy and I don’t even give a crap.) I just feel like the story has taken a ridiculous turn. Sure, there were plotlines that weren’t exactly believable in the prior 8 books but this one is a little too much. After we finally figure out the whole “Ali-Courtney-Real Ali” situation in Wanted, the “Real Ali” tries to kill the girls…once again…by burning down her family’s house in the Poconos while the girls are locked inside. Oh, and Spencer’s sister Melissa is locked in a closet in the house with…wait for it…Ian Thomas’s dead body. So yeah. The “Real Ali” was A from the beginning (with Mona’s help) and she’s the one who killed Ian, Jenna, and her twin sister Courtney…who everyone thought was Ali. Christ on a cracker, I can’t even explain that whole thing or we’ll be here all fucking day. If you want to know, read Wanted. Back on topic: the girls manage to escape the burning house and Ali burns inside the house. Or does she? They never find any remains and there are “Ali sightings” everywhere. So did she burn or is she still out there seeking revenge on the four little liars? THAT’S a badass ending to a series!

Then there’s Twisted. I was really hoping that maybe Sara would take the story in a different direction and she…did not. The girls do something terrible while on spring break in Jamaica; something they can never tell anyone. Well, someone finds out and like clockwork they start getting texts from “A” again. So, if Ali died in the fire…who is still out there threatening to ruin the girls’ lives by revealing what they did in Jamaica?

First of all, the whole Tabitha/Alison thing was just a little too ridiculous for me. Is Alison secretly a cat? Is she a fucking robot? Because those are the only explanations I can come up with as to how the hell she would ever still be alive; she has nine lives or she runs on batteries and can only be killed by ripping the main wire that leads to the central battery in her chest. Or she’s a vampire and needs to be staked. I digress. I’m a little over the girls constantly “seeing” Ali, especially Emily.

Emily has grated on me for the past few books and I’m just about fed up with her. The girl is still wetting her panties over Alison. Umm…excuse me? This crazy bitch tried to kill you in a fire not once, but twice, and has made your life a living hell for years! Move the fuck on. She still has Ali up on this pedestal and it drives me crazy. Oh, and Emily drops a BOMB of a secret. I can’t even really talk about it right now because I don’t even understand how it happened…and how in the world she could physically keep it a secret. I don’t buy it. Maybe there will be more answers in Ruthless…scratch that…there better be some answers in the next book.

Aria is dealing with the super-hot foreign exchange student living with Noel Kahn and his family…and by dealing with, I mean she’s crazy jealous of her. I feel like Aria gets shafted on the storylines; can she have one that doesn’t involve her love life going to complete shit?

Hanna apparently is big on trusting strangers…strange guys, to be more specific. Her father is running for Senator and because of her lack of judgment, there are now pictures of her out there that could damage her father’s campaign. That being said, I actually did feel bad for her. I get mad at her for being a snob every now and then, but at the end of the day she’s still my favorite character.

And then there’s Spencer; this is the first time I’ve really found myself annoyed with her. I guess I’m just a little confused as to why anyone would make a move on their soon-to-be stepbrother? Gross. I mean, I get that you’re not blood-related but come on, girl! You’re better than that! Their whole relationship is just weird and I can’t say I’m a big fan of Zach.

This was my least favorite book of the series, but I am still going to finish it out and read the last three books. I think Sara Shepard wrote these final four books simply because of the popularity of the TV show, Pretty Little Liars, but I feel like they could continue the show without these last four books. The show follows the books loosely…and I mean loosely. There are so many differences; Caleb isn’t in the books but he and Hanna have been together on the show for a while now, Aria and Ezra went their separate ways a long time ago in the books and have never really been apart in the show, Toby was killed off in the second book but he’s still around and dating Spencer in the show, Jenna is killed in the books but in the show she gets her sight back and starts dating Noel Kahn…I could continue but I won’t. Now that you’ve spent your entire afternoon reading this review, I’ll sum it up by saying this: I really hope the last three books are better than Twisted or I’m going to regret not stopping at Wanted.

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