Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna are four girls with one thing in common - they were all friends with Alison DiLaurentis, who went missing. Now, several years later, in their junior year of high school, Aria returns from Iceland where her father moved their family right after Alison's disappearance. The girls have drifted apart, Hanna shoplifts, Spencer is an over-achiever and Emily is struggling with her relationship.
They begin to receive texts from someone who calls themself 'A'. And this 'A' knows about some of their most personal secrets, secrets that only Alison knew. But she can't be back, can she?
The thing that I liked the most about this book is the way that the chapters tell the stories of each of the four girls separately, yet describes the ways that they are still tied together. While in third person, the narration of some of their thoughts gave a great insight into how they were dealing with their various issues and where the story would go next.
However, I can't help but to think that this book seems almost unfinished. I understand that it's a series, but there wasn't a whole lot of action really going on throughout the book. There were smaller things, with personal tensions and a few more major incidents, but nothing too exciting or mysterious. Even the description of 'A's texts were disappointing. I was hoping for more thrills and more close calls, but this book didn't really deliver on that expectation.
It actually seemed almost like an extended beginning of a book, like a really long introduction. I can say, though, that the big reveal and 'A's message at the end definitely sets up some interesting ideas for the next book. For a short read, this was enjoyable, however I feel like it went too slowly and was too short.
Fans of contemporary YA novels will like this. If you're interested in YA mysteries this could be a good read for you.
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/10/pretty-little-liars-by-sara-shepard.html
An interesting start to the series.