By: Cynthia Ayala
Wicked begins a new arc in the Pretty Little Liars series, but is the thrill from the mystery still there or has the story become redundant? Read this review to find out.
Published: August 25, 2008
Series: Pretty Little Liars
Genre: Coming-of-Age, Mystery, Young Adult, Thriller
In idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four very pretty girls just can’t help but be bad. Hanna will do anything to be Rosewood’s queen bee. Spencer’s digging up her family’s secrets. Emily can’t stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom’s taste in men. But now that Ali’s killer is finally behind bars, the girls think they’re safe. But those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. And they should know by now that A is always watching…
The first story arc ended with a bang not a whimper with the big reveal of who the mystery stalked “A” was, the person who put their lives in jeopardy.
The fifth story in the Pretty Little Liars series written by Sara Shepard begins a new story arc as thrilling as the first. Wicked, published on August 25, 2008 by HarperTeen continues to mold a coming of age themed story with the mystery and thriller genres. The story begins with Hanna, Spencer, Emily and Aria as they try to get their lives back on track. Involved in group therapy the girls are trying to put Ali to rest, finally given the opportunity to mourn and come to terms with the death of their friend. Moreover, with a suspected murderer behind bars, the girls think they are able to do it.
Until new notes and messages signed, “A” begin to pop up. There is a new stalker in town who is watching them, and by the end of the novel, it’s clear that whoever it is, means business.
Once again, this novel shifts between character perspectives to build the plot. Shepard highlights each character as they try to figure out how to live their very fragile lives the previous A nearly shattered. Not only did A hatter their worlds but A also shattered who they thought they were, their identities, breaking the mirror and revealing who they really were underneath all the makeup pushing them to the brink of despair.
However, as a unique coming of age novel, it forced the reader to analyze the character, determining whether the character deserves sympathy. While on the surface the characters, especially Hanna, seem like the epitome of superficial, each shift in chapter allows the reader to see how fragile these characters are underneath the surface. This humanizes the characters making them relatable to the reader and making their character growth distinctive per character.
As with the first four novels, the event of the novel change them by the end, making their fears either reveal their darker sides or help them overcome their insecurities. With that in mind, the character development is well done and as the inside plot around each character becomes stronger, so does the overall outside plot of the story. The novel builds perfectly, creating the air of suspense by dropping little hints here and there that these four girls are far from safe. The reader knows what’s coming, can sense it, but by the time the reader reaches the end, they will still be caught off guard.
Wicked is a great books for existing fans and a good hook for new readers. It sums up the previous circumstances wrapping them up beautifully while also giving fans, old and new, a new mystery to unravel.
This “A” is far more dangerous than the first. ★★★ ½ (out of 5 ☆’s | B+)