Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book #4: Ali's Pretty Little Lies

Title: Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Prequel to the Pretty Little Liars series)

Author: Sara Shepard

Date started reading: Jan. 17, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 18, 2013

Publish date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-0062233363
Number of pages: 304

Official summary: "Before there was A, there was Alison DiLaurentis. Boys wanted to date her, girls wanted to be her, and somebody wanted her dead. ... It's the end of seventh grade, and Alison DiLaurentis and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. Ali runs her clique with an iron fist, and she's got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer to keep them in line. But Ali's hiding a dark secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She's desperate to keep the perfect life she's worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences. ... Set in the weeks leading up to Ali's murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: Ali herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began ... and how Alison DiLaurentis's life ended." (

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $11.64 from Walmart using a gift card I got for Christmas

My commentary (warning some spoilers ahead):
  • Of course the very first thing I did, as I do with all the PLL books, was look inside the dust cover for the "secret message." I was sort of disappointed with this one. It says, "I'm Ali and I'm fabulous," which was basically Ali's life motto. It was too obvious of a message. I wish the author would've come up with something unexpected. (Note the photo below has some crazy color editing because the navy blue cover with silver text made for a really crappy photo, so I had to do some work to get the text to show up. Plus adding the flame effect seemed fitting because of the fire that happens in the main series.)

  • I'm a little shocked to be saying this, but this is by far the best book I've read by Sara Shepard ever... that includes all the PLL and The Lying Games books. I was surprised that it was actually written from Courtney's perspective, even though it's titled "Ali's Pretty Little Liars." It's Courtney as she's pretending to be Ali. I was sort of hoping to read about the real Ali's experiences in the mental hospital and stuff, but the book answered so so many questions about how the switch was made, about how Courtney was able to pull off being Ali for so long, and then about Courtney's murder. It left one really big shocker at the end... Ali had an accomplice helping her in the murder, which I don't think has ever been addressed in the main series. Maybe it's something that will come up as the series comes to and end.
  • My favorite aspect of the book was learning about why Courtney-as-Ali went from really sweet to her four best friends to being really obsessed about learning their secrets and using them against her. You start seeing her mental stability cracking as the girls lead their own lives and don't tell Courtney what's going on. Courtney is afraid that either they're realizing she's not really Ali or that she'll end up getting replaced by someone else as the girls' friend.

Memorable quotes (Note for the sake of clarity I refer to Courtney as Courtney instead of Ali, even though she's pretending to be Ali when she says most of this stuff):
  • "Sometimes, a family is like an ear of summer corn: It might look perfect on the outside, but when you peel the husk away, every kernel is rotten." ~ Courtney
  • "There was nothing in the world more powerful than a clique of girls who were honestly best friends -- not just frenemies." ~ Courtney
  • "Death is the most romantic gesture of all, don't you think? I mean, if you're willing to die for someone, that means you really love them." ~ Aria
    "Thanks, but I'd rather live and enjoy being in love." ~ Courtney
  • "Friendships were tit for tat." ~ Courtney
  • "(Courtney's) nastiness felt like a runaway train she couldn't stop if she tried. But she didn't exactly want to. Every time her friends squirmed, she felt like it restored just a teensy bit of her life source."
  • "I've done things you aren't capable of. I'm better at being you than you ever were." ~ Courtney
    "It's my life. You really think I'm going to have a hard time? I can even be friends with those stupid bitches, if that's what it takes. I can do this with my eyes closed." ~ Ali
  • "Watch where you store your secrets, 'Ali.' Anyone can open up a diary and find out all kinds of things." ~ Real Ali to Courtney

Buy on Pretty Little Liars: Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Pretty Little Secrets)

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