I started this series years ago, early in my teaching career when a student said, “Miss Gabler, you HAVE to read this.” She pushed the book my way during 8th period study hall. The next day, I handed it back to here during 8th period study hall. I had read it in less than 24 hours. A fun, fast and easy read was what I was looking for.
Over the next few years, I’d read another book in the series if I stumbled upon it. I didn’t seek them out. And I have to admit; I haven’t read all of the novels in the series. When I saw that the final book Vicious was to be released in December, I decided, what the heck? I wanted to see how Sara Shepard could possibly wrap it all up. And was A finally going to be revealed? Oh…the suspense!
Unfortunately, I didn’t like this final book as much as I enjoyed the first one, which isn’t surprising. I usually don’t enjoy sequels as much as first novels in series. For PLL, perhaps it was because it was nine years ago since I read the first, and I just couldn’t relate to the characters anymore. Maybe it was because I hadn’t read some of the books in between (but she did do a nice job of explaining backstory – even if you’d never read an earlier book). Or maybe it was because I got to know the Aria, Spencer, Hannah, Emily and Alison through the ABC Family TV series (Yes, I do watch the show occasionally – my husband calls me a “teeny bopper”). Or maybe it was even the writing – it felt rushed and thrown together, as if Sara just wanted to be finished with it.
Whatever the reason, it just wasn’t one of my favorites of the year. But I really didn’t expect it to be. I expected it to be a fun, fast read, and that’s exactly what it was!
I have to add – PLL is the perfect series for my students!
I frequently recommend this series to many of my 9th grade girls. In fact, I have one student this year who hadn’t read a book since 5th grade. When I introduced her to PLL, she completely devoured it. She asked me to add the sequels to my classroom library (working on it!). Her mother contacted me not too long ago to tell me how excited she was to see her daughter reading again.