Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

(Pretty Little Liars series, book 4)
Behind Rosewood’s grand facades, where the air smells like apples and Chanel No. 5 and infinity pools sparkle in landscaped backyards, nothing is as it seems. It was here, back in seventh grade, that five best friends shared everything – Seven jeans, MAC makeup, and their deepest darkest secrets. For Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily, it was a dream come true…until Alison, the most beautiful of them all, suddenly vanished.
Now someone named A has turned their charmed lives into a living nightmare. Emily has been shipped off to her hyper-conservative cousins in Iowa. Aria is stuck living with her dad and his home-wrecker girlfriend. And Spencer fears she had something to do with Alison’s murder. But Hanna’s fate is far worse than all of that – she’s clinging to life in the hospital, because “she knew too much.”
With A’s threats turning dangerous and Ali’s killer still on the loose, the girls must uncover the truth – about A, about Ali, and about what happened to Hanna – before they become A’s next victims. But as they unravel Rosewood’s mysteries and secrets, will it bring an end to the horror…or is this just the beginning?

While this book was fairly predictable, I did still enjoy it. It sounds bad, but I’m actually glad I’m done with the first four books, only because seasons 1 & 2 of Pretty Little Liars follow books 1-4, and the beginning of season 3 does as well. I’m ready to read without knowing what’s coming! Granted, the show follows the books loosely, but the main issues are consistent…the major one being the revealing of “-A,” which is finally done in this book.

Let’s see what the girls have gotten themselves into now:

We were left with the cliffhanger of Hanna realizing who “-A” is…and when she’s running across the parking lot to tell her friends, she gets mowed down by an SUV. Awesome. After coming out of a coma, she can’t remember the night of the accident. At all. She has no recollection of who “-A” is or how she even figured it out in the first place. She has also managed to forget how Mona humiliated her at her birthday party, which Mona takes full advantage of…because she sucks a big one. I’ve never been a fan of Mona and after what she did to Hanna at her birthday party, I pretty much despised her. Oh, and Hanna is also in a tug-of-war with her feelings towards Lucas; he’s a sweet guy but he’s not popular and Mona constantly rags on him…once again, because she sucks a big one.

Spencer is still hiding the fact that she plagiarized her sister’s paper for her econ class, which consequently was nominated for a Golden Orchid award and she just so happens to be one of the finalists. Rather than deal with the public humiliation of their daughter being known as a cheater, her parents have decided to bury her secret and have her go along with the notion that she actually did write paper. Superb parenting, by the way. While keeping this secret from everyone outside her family, she is also still trying to wrap her head around her blackouts, and remember anything from the night Ali went missing that will convince her she wasn’t the one who killed Ali.

Emily was shipped off to Iowa after she refused to complete Tree Top, the “reform” program that “fixes” homosexuality. Her first night, she sneaks out with her cousins and meets, Trisha, a bisexual girl who I actually really liked. She was kind of carefree and fun, which seems like the opposite of Maya (I’ve never been a big Maya fan, either.) When her aunt & uncle find out they snuck out, the cousins all blame Emily and she gets shipped back to Rosewood. I kind of saw this coming…

Lastly, Aria just got her world rocked. Her mom kicked her out, her boyfriend found out she was messing around with Ezra, and called the cops resulting in Ezra’s arrest, and she’s now living with her dad and his new girlfriend, Meredith. She also finds out some interesting information about the night Jenna Cavanaugh was blinded that makes her and the other girls see how much Ali was really hiding from them. Now…the most important question: With Ezra out of jail and no one pressing charges, can he and Aria finally make their relationship work?

Okay, take a second to breathe. On top of all that mess, we finally find out who “-A” is and the police take a suspect into custody for the murder of Alison. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. Most of the storylines were rather predictable and would have been even if I didn’t have knowledge from watching the show. As much as I like this series so far, I can’t say that I love it. I actually prefer the TV show, which is probably a first. I wish Toby was still around and had the storyline he does in the show, and I wish Caleb and Hanna were together…or that he was in the books at all, which maybe he is later. Correction: I hope he is later. That being said, I’m anxious to continue the series since I’m getting to the point in the books that hasn’t been covered in the show yet. Bring it.

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