Monday, 23 April 2012

Sara SHEPARD (2009) Pretty Little Liars HarperCollins
By Melissa Camargo, 2º ESO A
Five girls, Aria, Hanna, Emily, Spencer and Alison, were once best friends, until they became four when one of them, Alison, the ‘leader’, disappeared. Slowly, they drifted apart and soon moved onto better things, slightly relieved at having one less witness to their secret. Years later, they meet again at Alison´s funeral, where they realised they were all being sent messages by someone called ‘A’; someone who knows their secrets and is out to tell them.
Alison DiLaurentis was the popular girl in seventh grade. She met Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna at a charity drive, and they became best friends quickly. She was manipulative, but the girls were two awestruck by her to question her. Only years later did they question why she knew all their secrets, yet they knew none. She is vengeful, as ‘revenge’ what was lead her to leave fireworks in a garage they assumed a peeping tom was hiding in. This left Jenna blind, and the only thing they knew about Alison. She had also received messages from ‘A’ and she spied on them, but she was killed before she could tell anyone.
Hanna Marin was the overweight girl in their group, back in seventh grade. She had been steadily putting on weight ever since her parents had divorced a year prior. She was a frequent victim of Alison´s taunts and teasing about her weight. A few years later, she is the popular girl in Rosewood High, along with once-nerd Mona Vanderwaal. She is a frequent shoplifter and, after being caught for the first time, she stops for a while. She was curious about how her mother got the chief policeman to drop her charges, at least until she saw them kissing and going upstairs. Soon enough, the man just about moves in, displeasing Hanna. Apart from that, she is questioned along with Aria, Emily and Spencer about Alison´s murder.
The themes in this book are mystery, lies, secrets, friendship, romance, death/murder and guilt.
I would recommend this book to young people because they can relate to it, as it is mostly based around secrets. Secrets are something people keep – from the small ones to the big ones. The personalities, lives and families of the main characters (as well as other background characters) are similar to ours´ - cheating parents, supportive ones, divorced parents, overachievers or just ones who neglect their children. It also contains more personal problems, ones people would keep as secrets; eating disorders, illegal relationships, bisexuality and lesbianism...

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