Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

Title: Unbelievable
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: 
June 2008 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

Four pretty little liars’ charmed lives have turned into living nightmares. Emily’s been shipped off to Iowa to live with her überconservative cousins. Aria’s boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer’s afraid she was involved in Ali’s murder. But Hanna’s fate is far worse: She’s clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much. These liars have tried to keep their scandals secret, but the truth is about to rock their pretty little world!

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

While I like this series enough, I have to be honest… I wasn’t getting my hopes up for this one considering how the previous three books went for me.

rp-plot

Unbelievable is book four in the Pretty Little Liars series. It’s the last book in the first arc of the series, which means we find out who A is at the end.

The book begins with right where we left off at the end of book three, Perfect. The four main characters, Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna, come together now that Hanna is in a coma thanks to A from hitting her with a car. After three whole books, the girls finally begin to get somewhat close again.

Tensions rise as the four girls continue to deal with their own problems all the while trying to figure out who A is and why this person wants to hurt them.

As Hanna pieces it all together towards the end, they figure out who A is. The first arc of the series comes to a, surprisingly, climactic ending.

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Spencer continues to deal with the plagiarism of her stealing her sister’s essay that ends up submitted into a prestigious contest all the while suspecting her sister for murder.

Emily tries to find acceptance within her family as she too tries to accept herself for being gay as she dates Maya, but gains a crush on another girl.

Aria tries to get her family back together now that her parents have split and her father is dating another woman all the while getting through her art class with their arch enemy, Jenna.And Hanna attempts to regain her memory after she wakes up from her coma.

And Hanna attempts to regain her memory after she wakes up from her coma because, before A hit her with a car, Hanna had figured out who A was.

A lot more happens with the girls in this book than the previous books. It kept me on my toes and wanting to read more.

rp-writing-style

The writing is no different in this novel than it was in the previous three books. We still follow each girl individually in the third person for each alternating chapter. And, for some reason, I felt as though this book was written more “adult-like” than the casual “high school drama.” I definitely enjoyed that more.

rp-overall

As I said before, I wasn’t getting my hopes up for this one as per the trend of the series. However, being the “ending” to the first arc of the series, Shepard really delivered. It was a nice wrap-up allowing some questions to remain.

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard gets…
4 stars book review 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It’s more fun to think of the future than dwell on the past.” -Sara Shepard, Unbelievable

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Perfect by Sara Shepard

Perfect by Sara Shepard [Pretty Little Liars #3] | Young adult mystery | Book Review

Title: Perfect
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: 
September 2007 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

IN ROSEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA, FOUR PERFECT-LOOKING GIRLS AREN’T NEARLY AS PERFECT AS THEY SEEM.

Aria can’t resist her forbidden ex. Hanna is on the verge of losing her BFF. Emily is freaking out over a simple kiss. And Spencer can’t keep her hands off anything that belongs to her sister.

Lucky me. I know these pretty little liars better than they know themselves. But it’s hard keeping all of their secrets to myself. They better do as I say… or else!

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I bought this book a long time ago when I first decided to read the Pretty Little Liars series before the series had ended. Needless to say, this was my first time reading it.

rp-plot

We continue to follow the four girls individually as they continue on with their lives after the death of their ring leader, Ali. They all put on an act as though they’re perfect and that they’re okay, but none of them really are. They all have secrets that they’re keeping from each other and only one person knows them all: A.

As far as plot goes, not too much happens. We learn a little more about the characters as their secrets are told, but that’s about it. Despite it being new secrets, this book was very similar to the previous one.

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Hanna loses her best friend, Mona, as Mona begins to feel left out. Aria cheats on her boyfriend to try things out with her English teacher. Spencer is in the Golden Orchid essay contest, something very prestigious, but she plagiarized the essay from her sister. And Emily’s parents threaten to ship her away to her aunt and uncle’s house if she doesn’t “stop” being gay.

Naturally, the girls get in trouble with their secrets. They don’t interact at all with each other in this one other than one scene where the police talk to them. It was just like reading four different stories, which got a little boring after a while.

rp-writing-style

Each chapter alternated between the girls just like the other books. It wasn’t until the last two chapters that something big happened, and those last two chapters was a grand total of 7 pages combined.

There was a prologue in the beginning that was well done since prologues can be iffy. It was something that was brought up throughout the story. However, every time it was brought up, the scene was rewritten as though it was my first time reading it. So you can imagine how quickly it became redundant.

rp-overall

This wasn’t a bad book. We learn more about the girls, but that’s about it. I wish more plot happened.

Perfect by Sara Shepard gets…
3 Stars 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“We don’t always love our friends every minute.” –Sara Shepard, Perfect

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Flawless by Sara Shepard

Flawless by Sara Shepard | Book Review

Title: Flawless
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: March 2007 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

In the exclusive town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, where the sweetest smiles hide the darkest secrets, four pretty little liars–Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna–have been very bad girls. . . .

Spencer stole her sister’s boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. And Hanna’s obsession with looking flawless is literally making her sick. But the most horrible secret of all is something so scandalous it could destroy their perfect little lives.

And someone named “A” is threatening to do just that.

At first they thought A was Alison, their friend who vanished three years ago . . . but then Alison turned up dead. So could A be Melissa, Spencer’s ultracompetitive sister? Or Maya, who wants Emily all to herself? What about Toby, the mysterious guy who left town right after Alison went missing?

One thing’s for certain: A’s got the dirt to bury them all alive, and with every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message A sends, the girls get a little closer to losing it all.

My Review:

This is book two of the Pretty Little Liars series. I’ve read it before though I’ve forgotten most of it. After rereading the first book, I wasn’t that impressed, so I didn’t get my hopes up for this one.

We learn a lot more about the four main girls, Emily, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna. We learn that Emily is struggling with her sexuality and doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Aria is dating her English teacher, though she knows it’s wrong. Spencer steals her sister’s boyfriend and Hanna makes herself sick in an attempt to look beautiful.

The girls try to take the easy way out with everything they do as they lie and keep secrets. They all have one thing in common and that’s “A.” A is threatening them and wants to reveal all their secrets. They assume it’s Toby, a boy who had a grudge against Alison. They all seen to think he’s A, as well as Ali’s killer.

Like the first book not much seems to happen in this one. We learn a lot more about the girls and A’s messages get more and more threatening, but nothing happens about it. The girls are scared as they try to figure things out, but they continue to do what they shouldn’t. It’s not that suspenseful and, at times, is a bit anti-clamactic.

 

This book is very similar to the first book. The girls continue to get threats from the mysterious A, but they continue to do what they shouldn’t. Each one is dealing with their own problems and secrets and while they’re all trying to figure out who A is together, they don’t really explain to each other what their secrets are.

They fell out of touch when Alison went missing and A is slowly bringing them back together. So far, my favorite character is Toby, even though they suspect him of being A.

The book flows well and it’s easy to read. It’s written in third-person, each chapter following a different character (Emily, Spencer, Aria, or Hanna). We get to know them each very well this way and I thought it was a good choice on the author’s part.

I did enjoy this book, but I didn’t find it overly exciting. Still, I enjoyed it more than the first since more stuff happened to the girls. I’m hoping the third book (and beyond) picks up.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard gets…
4 stars book review4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“The sweetest smiles hold the darkest secrets.” -Sara Shepard, Flawless

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Be sure to check out my review of Book One!

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Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard | Book Review

Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: October 2006 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back?

My Review:

I have read this book before. According to my Goodreads account, it was way back in 2012. I’ve been getting into the show again now that it’s ended. I’ve decided to finally get around to reading the books since I have most of the series sitting on my bookshelves.

We get to know five high school girls: Alison, Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna. They’re the best of friends, each with their own dirty secret(s). They are the most popular girls in school, Alison being the ring leader of the group.

On the summer before high school begins, they have a slumber party. When the girls wake up, Alison is gone. She was never found. This book takes place three years later. Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna have moved on and aren’t really friends anymore. But once they start receiving odd messages that not only sound like Alison, but are also threatening, that they come together to figure out who is doing this to them.

That’s about it. Even though this is just book one nothing really happened. I felt as though this was more of an introduction to the series. We learned a lot about the main characters, but that was about it. Nothing really happened until there were about 20-30 pages left in the novel. Because of that, it was a bit boring.

I enjoy all the characters in the book. Aria comes home from living abroad with her family in Iceland for two years and winds up crushing on her new English teacher. Hanna had transformed her chubby self over the summer before high school along with Mona, who was a “loser” when Ali ran the school. Hanna and Mona are the new “It” girls. Spencer is just as overachieving as ever while she tries to hook up with her sister’s boyfriend. Emily is the star swimmer for their school’s team. And when new girl Maya moves into Ali’s old house, Emily begins to question her sexuality.

Ali was most certainly the alpha dog and practically ran the whole school. A lot of people are glad she’s gone and they feel safe again. Still, even though she’s a total mean girl, I think Ali is one of my favorite characters. She seems to have it all together, even though I don’t agree with her tactics on how to get people to do the right thing.

This book is written like any other general novel. It’s a typical young adult “high school drama” type story. Still, nothing was really special about the writing style. I didn’t fall in love with the author’s words and some of the characters just felt like supporting cast (that includes the main girls in some parts). It’s not bad and certainly easy to read, but I’m not excited about it.

When I first read this in 2012, I had given it a five-star rating. I changed it to three. One, I think I’ve martured a lot in five years and this whole high school drama is a bit overrated to me. Two, because nothing really happened in this book. This is book one in a long suspense series, but we got more background than anything else, which is a pretty slow start in my opinion.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard gets…
3 Stars3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“They felt kind of like dolls, with Ali arraigning their every move.” -Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars

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Yesterday

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

The only form of writing I did yesterday was post on my blog. I wanted to write more than that, but of course I didn’t. I could have edited a bit, but I didn’t. No, yesterday I went back and forth between playing Mario Kart 8 and binge watching Pretty Little Liars. My Wii U was certainly tired by the end of the night. I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 a.m.

I kept complaining to Kris that I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure what to write. I don’t even think it was that I didn’t know what to write, I just had too many ideas that I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to start.

When I lost my flash drive about a year and a half ago I lost so many novels. Some finished, but the majority of them were only halfway done. I accepted my fate and decided to make the best of it. I told myself I was going to finish everything I started so I wouldn’t have so many unfinished manuscripts. It worked for a little while and then I got back into my usual groove of not finishing what I start. I am, after all, a Virgo.

So, I was flipping through all my novels yesterday trying to figure out which one to work on, despite the fact that I now have six novels that need to be edited. However, I was in the mood to write yesterday, not edit.

I tried to figure out what to work on and discovered that I have 15 works in progress at the moment. Yes, 15. Where did all those novels come from?

I have a list of story ideas and I think the amount of novels on the list is roughly about 90. It’s a lot. Will they all get written eventually? I don’t know… I all ready went through the list a few weeks ago and knocked off some ideas because I couldn’t remember them. I did keep the titles and I wonder if that was why they were on the list to begin with; they were just decent title ideas. Of course, the new list–with 90 novels on it–are all legitimate plots that I remember and have many ideas for.

Needless to say, 15 out of 90 isn’t bad, I don’t think. If I had 50 out of 90 started, but not finished I think I would be concerned. Maybe I’m just making excuses for my lack of focus.

Either way, I think it’s time that I start getting something done every day and not just during the NaNo months. Whether it’s editing, writing, or a little bit of both.