Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Killer: A Pretty Little Liars novel by Sara Shepard

**SPOILER WARNING** This is book six in the Pretty Little Liars series and will reference information from previous books. I won't give away too much from this novel, but the others might spoiled. Read on with caution...

This is the sixth book and I think the storyline might be getting a little tired and a little bit like a soap opera. I mean, when it doubt of what to do next, bring a character back to life, which is exactly what this novel does. Now it's been a few months since I read the series, so maybe it's just lost some appeal, but I felt like the story is getting a little old.

The last novel ended with the girls finding Ian dead in the woods. They bring in Officer Wilden and when they reach the body, it's gone. A search ensues, but not until the next day, which has the girls wondering if something, besides a body, is being hidden. After a few days, though, the dead body is deemed a hoax and soon Spencer receives an IM from Ian, which has even the girls convinced he's not dead. In the meantime, Emily's progressing in her relationship with Issac, but is getting some negative vibes from his mother. Hanna hatches a plan to double cross her stepsister Kate by stealing the man she likes but Kate isn't that easily foiled. Spencer is still facing major neglect and attitude from her parents but has success finding her real mother, which gives her hope of an escape. And finally, Aria moves in with her dad to avoid her mother's creepy boyfriend and hopes to form a relationship with an unlikely candidate - Ali's brother Jason who, according to A, has a major secret. Speaking of A, she's been sending Emily and Spencer "Clues" to Ali's murder, which has them wondering whether this A is out to get them or help them. And what's up with Wilden who seems to be everywhere and acting a little odd.

So we've got A leaving them notes, but they're not so nasty this time around. In fact, most of the notes aren't even about taunting the girls which is an interesting turn of events. Come the end of the novel, though, one note isn't interpreted, but that's unimportant. What is worth noting, though, is that this series is kind of losing steam. Like I said before, it's becoming a bit of a soap opera. I mean, Ian is blue and bloated, obviously dead, and then he's not? I won't even mention the end of the novel which has daytime soap written all over it. Hanna and Kate are acting like total soap divas with the backstabbing and stealing boys and playing the victim to corrupt people. Isaac's psycho mom leaves me wanting to scream, "COME ON!" Spencer's parent's need to be slapped. I mean, how many parents hold that big of a grudge? And then Spencer's desperation to be loved is her own downfall, which is really sad. She was probably the only character that I felt bad for. She had it worst out of all the girls because she's asking for forgiveness and getting the raw end of the deal, which makes her desperate, but not in the nasty way Hanna is desperate. You can't help but sympathize with Spencer. One thing that I would have liked is a little bit more clarification of the previous novel. It has been months since I read it, so I completely forgot how characters landed where they were. There was some back story, but I would have liked a little more. Granted, if you're reading one novel right after the other, that might be annoying and unnecessary, but after a long hiatus, I felt lost at times.

The mystery of A remains, although the girls definitely seem to be zooming in on some key information that is either going to solve Ali's murder or maybe they're on yet another wild goose chase. That is still working for the novel, but the personal lives of the girls is getting just a little too dramatic and slightly hard to swallow. Maybe pull back the drama and add more mystery. After the surprise ending, though, I'm still looking forward to another novel and would recommend the series.

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