Series: Pretty Little Liars #16
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on December 2nd 2014
Also by this author: The Heiresses, Pretty Little Liars, The Perfectionists, The Good Girls, The Lying Game, Never Have I Ever, Two Truths and a Lie, The First Lie, Hide and Seek, Cross My Heart, Hope to Die, Seven Minutes in Heaven, True Lies, The Amateurs, Follow Me, Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet, The Elizas
Format: eBook (352 pages) • Source: Purchased
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In Rosewood, Pennsylvania, reporters are lined up outside the historic courthouse, typing furiously at their iPhones with freshly manicured nails. Because the trial of the century is happening right here in Rosewood: the four pretty little liars have been accused of killing Alison DiLaurentis. Only Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily know that they’ve been framed. Ali is still out there, laughing as she watches the girls go down for her murder. But when your nickname includes the word “liar,” no one believes you’re telling the truth. . . .
Aria tries to run away from it all but finds that life on the lam is even harder than life as a liar. Spencer gets in touch with someone who can help her disappear—but when a guy from her past reemerges, Spencer no longer knows what she wants. Hanna decides that she’ll hear wedding bells chime before she serves time. And in the face of prison, Emily does something truly drastic—something that will change her friends’ lives forever. As the trial goes on and the outcome looks grim, the girls are in their darkest hour yet. But maybe they can finally figure out how to beat Ali at her own game. Because once upon a time, she was just a pretty little liar too.
*Do not read this review if you haven’t read all of the other books in the series! I’ll hide spoilers about this book, but anything before book 16 is fair game.
Oh god. I can’t believe I finally read this book and that this series is actually over. This could easily be the hardest review I’ll write, because this book means more to me than a lot of others out there, but I’ll try to make it reasonable! It’s kind of difficult for me to summarize how this series has been so important to me for the past nine years. It kept me guessing and kept me READING during years I had no time to read. I started the series in 2005, when book one was released, and religiously read each one every six months when they were released. People think it should have ended sooner, but I was never wishing it would just end already like most people. I can’t say that I’m surprised about any of it, really: what happened in the back, how quickly I read it, and how everything ended. That kind of predictability turns a lot of people off from books, but I’ve grown to become so engrossed by Shepard’s writing style that I don’t care. Sure, this series should basically have a subtitle of “How Many Times Can These Girls Fuck Up?” – but I can’t say that I was ever bored. I’m sad that it’s all over, but am very satisfied with the ending. This book was certainly the epitome of a “wrap-up” final book; it felt kind of rushed because Shepard obviously wanted to tie up loose ends before the series completely ended. There was little action but a lot of things coming to a close. I can’t give it a full 5 stars because it felt rushed and, at times, unrealistic. I read this book in three sittings over the course of 12 hours, as usual, and still can’t believe I’m closing this chapter of my reading life!
What I Liked
- Eeeeeek my favorite boy is back!!!
- I liked that it showed the different ways the girls and their families could react to the trial. Some parents would be supportive and believe them no matter what, while others distance themselves or treat them like dirt.
- It ended the way I wanted it to/ the way I always expected it to end.
- The book kept me interested and reading when I should have been working (shhh); as usual, I finished within a day of the book being released.
- I love Shepard’s writing style. It’s probably the main reason I don’t care that “all of her books are the same.” I don’t think they are. I don’t care if there are similarities. I will read everything she writes!
What I Didn’t Like
- The events felt very rushed, like every character (even the secondary ones) needed to have everything perfectly wrapped up. You would think after this many books, everything would be wrapped up enough!
- On that note, a lot of things made me roll my eyes more than usual. Everything “fell apart” too quickly and made me wonder what was going to happen during the rest of the book.
- The book seemed to borrow from other cultural references too much, like the woman who made money off of her prison experience (Orange is the New Black) and the prologue with Ali (Gone Girl).
I’m going to hide all of my spoilery feelings in this little segment here, so those of you who read the book can see my thoughts!View Spoiler » (1) Wren, I love you so much. (2) I knew Emily wasn’t dead the whole time! It was weird not having her perspective throughout the book in alternating chapters. I almost wish that Shepard put her chapters in along with everyone else’s, so the reader could be wiser than the characters… but, based on what happened to Emily over the course of the book, I’m glad she did it the way she chose. (3) I also couldn’t believe the family gave that bitch a funeral literally before the search party even stopped searching for her body! C’mon. Not realistic. (4) The ending didn’t surprise me – making it seem like Ali would still find a way to get to them. I knew it was going to be “open-ended” like that, but of course you could take it two ways. Either the girls end up getting hunted down again somehow, OR it just further proves Ali is crazy and still has no chance of messing with them. She’s just delusional. Either way, I knew that would be the end. It works! (5) What was the deal with that present Hanna got for the wedding?? Is it something Ali cooked up while she was living with her mom, once she saw the wedding news? That part was kind of weird to me. (6) Some of it almost seemed too easy? Like, Emily just found this piece of paper in the trash and it had an address on it? Come on. She made her way down the entire East Coast without anyone recognizing her and was able to just creep RIGHT up to the house? Meh. I don’t know about all that. (7) I’m kicking myself for not realizing sooner that Ali’s mom was totally harboring her down there. So many hints! Obviously there was a reason she wasn’t at the trial. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, Sara Shepard, you’ve made me a happy girl once again. I can’t wait to see what happens in your other upcoming books/series.
[…] lenient & harshest ratings: Any Pretty Little Liars book by Sara Shepard gets lenient ratings because I don’t even care how long and similar the […]