A Dynamic and Rich Novel | Review of ‘Heartless’ (PLL, #7)

By: Cynthia Ayala

The seventh installment in the Pretty Little Liars series, Heartless takes these girls out of the fire to put them in the lions den separating them as they investigate who really murdered their old friend Ali.  A suspenseful page turner, Sara Shepard delivers another great addition to her Pretty Little Liars saga.

3047848Author: Sara Shepard

Published: January 19, 2010

Publisher: Harper Teen

Series: Pretty Little Liars

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

These four pretty little liars almost burned to death, only to be saved by a mysterious figure that looked like an older Alison, their friend who is supposed to be dead…or is she? For these four young girls, nothing seems real anymore and no one believes them as their proof continues to vanish. And with a new A around that isn’t joking around, these girls are sent on four separate goose chases, a task that really puts them in the hot seat with even deadlier circumstances.

The seventh installment in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard, Heartless was published by HarperTeen on January 19th 2010. This novel continues the thrilling story of four young girls being stalked by a mysterious assailant breathing life into the young adult genre as it combines mystery/thriller with a coming-of-age story.

These books look like just another series about fake mean girls, but it is so much more than that. Someone is out to get these four girls, but the reason now, is unknown. There is something wicked going on, something that is twisting and turning these girls inside out and tearing their worlds apart, but it’s not filled with cliché high school drama about mean girls. Each girl has their own inner struggle, their own issues that A is threatening them with, and while they are struggling to live and repair their already fractured lives that the former A ruined and tore apart. This novel offers readers a lot from characterization and growth to an interesting plot line that validates who these characters are as they finally take action and make their own. This novel stands apart from the previous novels in the series because not only are they split up, they are taking action and taking strides to do something, to stop whoever is tormenting them, even though everyone around them seems to be trying to hold them back. Finally, these girls are pushing forward and uncovering dark truths in their worlds.

Character wise, they are pushed to the brink by some by messages and secrets that lead them on a dangerous path. Readers will be able to see them unravel before their eyes as these new truths allow their characters to grow and develop, especially since they are separated, the reader is allowed to see these girls as separate figures which allows for a deeper understanding of who they are as characters, as people, and why the reader should sympathize with them. Hanna is sent to a mental institution, Emily is sent on a goose chase to the Amish countryside, Aria finds a medium and Spencer is directed into investigating her family…once again. While the Spencer storyline is old and tiresome, the revelation at the end made it worth the read. As for the other three characters, this was something new and interesting for them, something out of the box as far as reading is concerned. Again, their personalities and their dynamics are challenged as a whole, and while each inside plot varies, the outside plot connects them all together to make this novel stand it’s ground while it captivates readers.

Overall, the novel was amazing. It was gripping and unique and stands apart from the previous novels in the series and really brings a clear focus on who these characters are and what they desire from themselves, their inner selves as they hold their heads high and face the dark secrets hidden in their respective worlds. ★★★☆☆(B+)

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