The Secret is in the Lie | Cyn’s Book Review of Flawless (Pretty Little Liars, #2)

By: Cynthia Ayala

A gritty novel about four girls being stalked by their secrets and haunted by their past.  Sara Shepard delivers a gripping piece that hooks in any reader who loves to mystery and intrigue that lives in a small little town.


Author: Sara Shepard

Published: March 27, 2007

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Pretty Little Liars

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Coming-of-Age

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. 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.

Now this novel is going to push readers to the edge of their seats.

Flawless, the second novel in the Pretty Little Liars series, picks up where the last book left off.  After attending the funeral service for their lost friend Ali, the four estrange friends discover that someone named “A” is stalking them, watching their every move and claiming to be their old, and very dead, friend.  As the girls continue to try to ignore the haunting messages, their lives begin to fall apart as “A” reveals just what she is capable of.  The messages start breeding fear and paranoia for the girls and once it takes over, the consequences are deadly.

This was another amazing novel written by Sara Shepard.  Shepard brings genre’s such and mystery and suspense into the young adult realm and creates this unsuspecting and thrilling coming-of-age novel.  Published on March 27, 2007 by HarperTeen, this novel does exactly what it is supposed, which is pick up where the last novel left off, while keeping the suspense and fear the characters feel high.  Shepard sucks the readers into the mindset of the characters, allowing readers and newborn fans, to really understand and sympathize with these characters as a whole.  “A” is a horrible person, but whoever she is, is sly and manipulative.  Whether “A” knows it or not, she is inflicting such psychological damage on the girls that it is tearing them apart, which allows the power of suggestion to take hold on the characters.  The psychological warfare that is going on in this novel is what makes this novel so captivating.

Another thing that works for this novel is the way Shepard has the novel shifting between characters, giving them each their own story while at the same time making sure that the novel remains flowing.  There is nothing jarring about this novel, other than the plot twist, that distract the reader from the overall plot of someone stalking these girls.

There is not a single flaw in this book.  Character development and narrative are flawless because readers really get to understand these characters and are able to see that they have so much depth within them that allow the reader to sympathize with these four girls.  Each scene progresses the novel in such unexpected ways, making it enthralling.

By the end of the novel, readers are left will their mouths hanging open and a strong urge to run to their nearest library or bookstore for the next novel in the series.  ★★★★☆ (A)

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