Sara Shepard is the author of two New York Times bestselling series, Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game, as well as the series The Perfectionists. She graduated from New York University and has an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Gr 9 Up-Rosewood, PA, is filled with mansions, Mercedes, and fortunate girls like Alison, Spencer, Emily, Aria, and Hanna. These five friends are bound together by a horrible secret-never fully revealed in the book-until the summer after seventh grade, when Alison goes missing. Now high school juniors, each of the remaining girls is going through a trying time and has a new secret. Spencer is falling for her sister's boyfriend, Aria is involved in a relationship with her teacher, Emily has issues with her sexual identity, and Hanna has an eating disorder. They think that no one knows about these things, until all four of them begin to get mysterious notes, e-mails, and text messages from someone by the name of "A." They are afraid that Alison is back, and the mocking tone of the messages makes them worry that she could be ready to divulge their hidden past. In the end, her body is found, but they still receive the messages, leaving readers to wonder what happens next. Shepard writes a suspenseful page-turner that will have teens thirsting for more. The plot is quick-moving and encapsulates the feelings of many teens.-Kristen M. Todd, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
After the queen bee of their clique mysteriously disappears during a slumber party on the last day of seventh grade, the remaining four girls drift apart. Now, three years later, the Rosewood, Pa., former pals are practically strangers, but still plagued by the secrets that they shared with Alison and new scandals they are trying to keep under wraps. Then they each start receiving cryptic messages from someone named "A" who seems to know everything, and makes them wonder, "Was she back?" The four girls are fairly standard types: there is free-spirited Aria, overachiever Spencer, good-girl Emily, a star swimmer, and glamorous Hanna. Their scandals, too, echo the over-the-top fare typical of guilty pleasure books: Aria is having an affair with her new AP English teacher, for example, while Emily finds that kissing a girl "felt a zillion times different than kissing" her boyfriend. Readers will certainly find enough drama to keep the pages turning (one girl battles bulimia, another steals her sister's boyfriend and then there's what's buried in Alison's old backyard), and they will no doubt have fun piecing together who and what could be behind those bizarre messages. This is clique lit with a mystery twist: the author has spun a plethora of possibilities sure to make readers reach for the next installment in this planned four-book series and beyond. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.