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Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

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Pretty Little Liars, book one by Sara Shepard

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In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin, “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” This is the ominous epitaph that preceeds Chapter One of award winning author, Sara Shepard’s wildly popular teen book series, Pretty Little Liars, about five young girls, Aria Montgomery, Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, and Alison DiLaurentis, growing up in the upper class town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania. Rosewood, where the secrets are as plentiful as the dead bodies that are cropping up all around town. It is an ominous precursor of things to come.

Pretty Little Liars, Book One, takes us back to sixth grade where the girls meet for the first time. It introduces Alison, blond hair, blue-eyes and very popular. Alison hand-selects her new posy; four girls on the outer fringes of obscurity, and raises them to the height of popularity. However, their world quickly changes when, one night during a sleepover on the last day of seventh grade, Alison vanishes. Following Alison’s disappearance that fateful night, the girls pull away from each other as friends sometimes do when bad things happen.

Jump ahead three years to junior year and suddenly the girls begin receiving evil, threatening text messages from someone calling themselves “-A”. The texts reveal some of their deepest, darkest secrets; secrets only they would know. Secrets like Spencer’s lust for her sister’s boyfriends; Hanna’s desperate attempts to keep her perfect body image, Emily’s crush on the new girl in town, and Aria’s secret affair with her English teacher! And then there’s The Jenna Thing …

The girls reunite at Alison’s funeral. Suddenly their phones beep simultaneously. One-by-one the girls retrieve the same text message and, in unison, read it aloud. “I’m still here, bitches. And I know everything. –A “.

Pretty Little Liars, Book One, was published in October of 2006. Shepard attempted to end the series with book eight entitled, “Wanted,” which was published in June of 2010. However the television series, which also premiered on the same day, on ABC Family, generated so much interest that Shepard decided to pen four additional books; Twisted, Ruthless, Stunning, and Burned. The series is published by HarperTeen, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is loosely based on Shepard’s experiences growing up in Philadelphia's Main Line, where she lives today with her husband.

Visit the other books in the Pretty Little Liar series which include: Flawless, Perfect, Unbelievable, Wicked, Killer, Heartless, Wanted, Twisted, Ruthless, and Pretty Little Secrets. The last two books, Stunning and Burned, have not yet been released.

Written in the third person narrative, book one unfolds through a fast paced series of events, both in chronological order and through flashbacks which include the girls’ first encounter, Alison's disappearance, the discovery of her body, and the funeral. The main characters are wholly engrossing, while the tension-filled plot keeps you forever guessing what will happen next? I am an enormous fan of this nail-biting teen series and recommend it to anyone who loves an edge-of-your-seat thriller! Trust me, this one will not disappoint!

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