A Breathtaking Ending | Review of ‘Vicious’ (Pretty Little Liars #16)


By Cynthia Ayala

Vicious by Sara Shepard
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

For years, Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer have been terrorized by “A,” a mysterious figure who has harassed them, revealed all their secrets and even threatened their lives and the lives of their loved ones. But now the mystery is over. They know A is the real Alison who. through a vicious scheme, has placed them in jail. In the final fight for their lives, some will leave broken, some will fight until the very end. One things for certain, this is the end of the Pretty Little Liars.

Published December 2, 2014, by HarperTeen Vicious by Sara Shepard is the final novel in her bestselling Pretty Little Liars series where young adult meets mystery.

The final novel in the Pretty Little Liars series. It’s so hard to keep up momentum and tension when you have a series that is 16 books long centered around the same characters and following the same formula that made the first arc work so well. And while the series has had its ups and downs, the ending was truly breathtaking.

These girls are in the fight for their lives and their future as they are being charged with murder, and no just any murder, the murder of their tormentor who is very much alive. And while the events unfold, they leave the girls broken and shattered, disillusioned. For the most part, the characters reached a stagnant point somewhere along the series where they stopped developing. All except Emily that is. The characters continued to fall into the same traps, they continued to fall into the traps that they’ve always fallen into, setting traps up for themselves. That excludes Emily however. While her actions have not always been the smartest, she turns out to be the strongest of the characters because she has suffered so much, she has gone through so much, she has been battered by Alison, physically, emotionally, and mentally. All of this has pushed her to her own boiling point that has left her with a strength that has only continued to grow for many novels now. While the events of the book have left the other characters so sad and broken, this has given them the opportunity they desperately needed in order to finally develop out of their stagnant state. In some ways, they are finally finding themselves in the story, who they are, what they mean to the world around them.

Admittedly, some of the antics are outlandish, but as novels go, this one seems to have found its footing back in reality. For the most part, it’s more realistic than some of its predecessors, working to bring that edge of reality back to the story. There is also the element of Alison who is a very good antagonist only because she’s this deranged girl hidden beneath a face of beauty and innocence. But what works so well, and this is an applaud to Shepard’s writing style, is the fact that her ugliness seeps off the pages, and not with words. Shepard shows the reader her inner ugliness with her actions, with subtle detailing. It’s captivating, to know that even when she’s not there she’s somehow haunting the reader as they press forward, hooked to see the outcome.

As endings go, this one was breathtaking, driven, and such a tense and wonderful suspenseful ride. A great ending to a bestselling series. (★★★★☆ | A-)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec 2, 2014

Page count: 338pp

Age Range: 15 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-0622-8704-5

Publisher: HarperTeen

List Price:  $17.99

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