So, I typically tend to avoid dramatic situations as much as I can. Mostly I like life that involves me sitting on my bed, reading books or sleeping or watching The Tudors on Netflix. I don't even usually like dramatic TV shows. But then one day during Spring Break of last year, one of my best friends, Mary, introduced me to the intoxicating hot mess that is Pretty Little Liars the TV show. This was one dramatic show that I love sinking my teeth into!
After watching all of the first season in one day, I was addicted and ran out and bought the first book. It was great but very different. Excited by that first taste of the book, I recently bought the second book and finished it. In lieu of the reveal of "A" on last night's episode of PLL on ABC Family (OH MY LORD BLEW MY MIND), I feel like now is a great time to review the second book in the book series.
"You know that boy who lives a few doors down from you who's just the creepiest person alive? When you're on your front porch, about to kiss your boyfriend good night, you might glimpse him across the street, just standing there. He'll randomly appear when you're gossiping with your best friends- except maybe it's not so random at all. He's the black cat who seems to know your route. If he rides by your house, you think, I'm going to fail my bio exam. If he looks at you funny, watch your back.
Every town has a black-cat boy. In Rosewood, his name was Toby Cavanaugh."
This book begins with a small flashback from before Allison was murdered, which if you are familiar with the books or the TV show, is a big event simply known as The Jenna Thing. After that flash back, the book begins right where the first book in the series began, immediately after Allison's funeral. The little liars are all receiving menacing messages from "A," who is seemingly all knowing, omnipresent and out to get these four girls. So what this translates to is DRAMA x 4!!!
In this book, Emily grapples with whether she wants to give up swimming and trying to decide what her true sexual orientation is as her feelings grow for Maya. Spencer has a continuing attraction for Wren and continual disapproval from her parents as well as her over achieving sister, Melissa. Hanna has broken up with the love of her junior high life, Sean, after wrecking his car and trying to have sex with him. And Aria still has a crush on her sexy English teacher while trying to keep her father's former affair with a student under wraps. So, you got all that? I told you, DRAMA x 4!!!!
This is a fun book to read, especially after reading heavy books about the holocaust or dystopian futures full of death; everyone needs some smut fiction now and then. The drama is very intoxicating and it's easy to just slip into reading this book without giving it too much thought. The need to know who "A" is will keep you coming back for more, even if the book itself gets a bit boring after a while.
For the rest of the review, I'm gonna try as hard as I possibly can to not spoil anything for fans of the books and the TV shows alike.
Now, I may be a bit biased because I saw the television show first but I enjoy the television show A LOT more than the book. Granted, the books are very different, with certain people dying who are central to the plot on the current TV show. Because I'm so partial... ok... obsessed... with the TV show, I found the changes in the book to be a bit hard to swallow. Mostly... I'm in love with Ezra Fitz and with him not being involved in Aria's life... I will always be unhappy.
Another reason I like the TV show better and why I am not a fan of the books as a whole is because of how the friendship between the girls is set up and how they act in general. I feel like in the book, there is less camaraderie between the girls, even this early on. On the show, it always felt that they had a bit of a connection and in the book they feel completely distant. I wouldn't even know they were once friends from the writing. You know how it is when you were SO close to someone as friends and now you never talk. When you see them around, there is always that awkward "I know so many secrets and feelings you have... but we're not friends anymore, what do I say... OH MY GOSH HEEEEEY you look soooo good.... *awkward stare*" moment between you two. These girls seem like they were never friends to begin with. I miss that because on the show there is always an energy of friendship between them. The book feels like four completely separate stories connected by a tiny thread of "A" texts. That makes me sad.
I find the girls in the books completely unrelatable as well. Whenever it talks about what they are wearing, it is always a designer brand. I find that to be a bit of a given because of where the story is set and how wonderfully the setting and school is described by the author. We know we are in a posh society, we really don't need to know that Hanna is only wearing Gucci or that Spencer hates her Aldo shoes. If it was said maybe once or twice, or only on a special occasion, like a dress for a dance, it wouldn't bug me as much. It's the fact that EVERY time an article of clothing is discussed, there is a name brand attached to it. What's great about the TV show is that you know they are all wearing designer brands but I know that I could go to H & M and look basically the same as Aria does. It's harder to care about their problems if their richness is beaten into your skull. Oooh rich people problems, you're life is so hard, go buy more shoes. The girls on the show are much more relatable.
The book is a lot of fun but because of how partial I am to the TV show, I doubt I'll read any more of the books. I want to be surprised by everything on the show and even if they are changing a lot of it from the books, I don't want to have any idea at all about what could be a possible happening. So, yes I recommend the books if you need a fun read to get sucked into but as for me, I'll stick to my TV obsession!
Until next time, happy reading! Send me your book recommendations if you have them, I’d be happy to check them out and review them all! Leave any comments below! I’d love to hear them!