Pretty Little Liars Review: Books 1-4 + Season 1 Feelings


Now that that’s been dealt with, I’ll jump right into what we’re here for.

I know I’m a little (or very) late to the game when it comes to the Pretty Little Liars series, but I was waiting for the final book to come out. I had originally thought it was going to stop at eight books. And then, when it didn’t, I assumed twelve. Finally, then that also proved not to be the case, I finally waited for the final four installments to be published, and I think we’re finally at a closure some… six years later? Possibly more. I’m not actually keeping track.

Anyway, I waited a while to pick them up, but once I did I devoured them. I’m currently only on the seventh one in the series, but the first four I finished with about a day each to read them. They’re very quick reads, and they’re perfect if you’re trying to squeeze in a few books to catch yourself up on your reading goal.

So how did I feel overall about the books, aside from being pleased they were slightly addicting? Well, once I got past the fact each girl was somewhat annoying in their own way, I found myself enjoying the story as I read it. Each of the girls had something interesting they were hiding and as I flipped between their stories I found myself trying to squeeze in just one more chapter in hopes of getting more closure. I had a favorite girl for each book by the time I had finished, too, but while reading each respective book my opinions flipped constantly. There were just so many interesting things these girls were doing and hiding. And then there was the mysterious A. Did I expect A to be the person they ended up being?

Nope. I was fooled the entire way. When it came up that Mona was A in the end I had to do a double-take. Mona did not seem like the type to pull what she did, not until the end when the final reveal happened. I was betting on someone a little closer, like Melissa or something. So that part was well-executed in my opinion.

There were a few other iffy points I found myself stopping and “hmm”-ing over, but they obviously weren’t enough for me to put the book down for very long if I managed to read four (technically five) in the span of roughly a week. I’m still going through them at a fairly fast pace considering my previous year’s reading pace, but that’s bound to slow down once classes start tomorrow. Regardless, I’m still going to boost these up there for anyone looking for a really fast read. These are definitely it if you’re the type to keep reading despite some flaws in the plot and/or characters. And there’s plenty in the series to keep you going for a while.

What I didn’t understand at the time was why the series didn’t stop there. A was found out, Ali’s killer was caught. What more to the story was there? Turns out (if you can’t tell from the twelve more books that make up the series), there’s a lot more. The girls have more coming for them, and while I have a feeling this is going to get very old fairly fast, I’m hooked for the ride.

Now, the TV series I started up thinking (foolishly) that it would follow the books along the series. It does not, hardly at all. The entire first book makes up the first episode, and while I can see why they would do it like that, I was a little disappointed in that fact. However, that disappointment quickly evaporated. Even though the show is almost like an alternate universe to the books, I’m really enjoying watching it. For once, I like not knowing what is going to happen next because it doesn’t follow the books to a T. I’m usually a stickler for perfect book-to-other-media adaptations, but something about the way they went about it this time has won me over and I don’t want to go back.

Hanna’s parts of the TV show are by far my favorite, unlike in the books. I swapped constantly with favorites in the books, but when it comes to the TV show Hanna has the reins tight and she’s not giving any slack. This Caleb guy, man, I can’t get enough of him. And the fact Toby is alive and Jenna is the bad guy? Toby and Spencer having a thing? Hell yes. I didn’t want Toby dying in the books and the fact he’s still alive in the show is fantastic. (If he dies, don’t tell me. Let me find out.)

I do miss Lucas, I liked him a lot in the books, and I’m really hoping he’ll be around for a while, but Caleb. I love Caleb. I want more of Caleb. I want Hanna and Caleb to hop some horses and ride off into the goddamn sunset.
Please let there be more of them. This story is breaking my heart.

I’m really enjoying both the book series and the TV show and I plan on continuing both of them. I know the TV seasons don’t exactly line up with the books, but I don’t want to get too far into the series and end up possibly spoiling something for myself. Stay tuned for more reviews if you enjoyed!

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