When you got down to it, this was all Spencer’s fault–and Aria’s, Emily’s, and Hanna’s… She’d make those bitches pay.
First off: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK 15 (Toxic) AS THERE ARE MAJOR SERIES SPOILERS IN THE BOOK!!
My feelings are mixed when it comes to this prequel novel. It’s told from Ali’s perspective, which was annoying more often than not. She’s tortuously self-absorbed and she uses everything as a tool for self-gratifying, exaggerated personal attacks. On one hand, the immaturity is frustrating. Yet on the other hand we get an intimate look into the mind of a bully. We see how her manipulation is a form of “comfort” and “refuge” due to all of the crazy bullshit going on behind the closed doors of her own home. Her ability to wield another person’s fears and insecurities like a bastard sword for execution is, at times, brutally fascinating. Maybe I’m so intrigued because I could never ever do that to another human being myself, or because it’s so psychologically complex when you really think about it, which apparently I have done, haha.
Fascination concerning adolescent theatrics aside, the writing itself isn’t too bad. Because it’s from the first-person point-of-view of a narcissist, descriptions of particular people or situations seem to be attuned to this sort of thinking, giving it an extremely biased experience. There are specific points in the book that come up where this can create an intensely uncomfortable and awkward feeling, especially in regards to Hanna and Emily. This amazing ball of rage starts to stir in your gut and you find that bitch-slapping Ali would be a remarkably satisfying action.
Subjectively, Pretty Little Liars is my one, true guilty pleasure (or so it seems from my addiction to it as of late). Objectively, it’s not a great read, but it’s not a terrible one either. It can be frustrating and mildly irritating, however, the concept of it all is (oddly) intellectually and psychologically compelling.
3.5 little lies out of 5!