July 2, 2013

BOOK REVIEW | Flawless by Sara Shepard

Flawless (Pretty Little Liars, #2)
Basic information
Title: Flawless
Author: Sara Shepard (Twitter - Facebook)
Series: Pretty Little Liars (#2)
Published by: Harper Collins, March 2007
Version I’ve read: ‘Vertrouwen’ (NL), The House Of Books, 2007

In the exclusive town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, where the sweetest smiles hide the darkest secrets, four pretty little liars--Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna--have been very bad girls. . . .
Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. And Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is literally making her sick. But the most horrible secret of all is something so scandalous it could destroy their perfect little lives.
And someone named "A" is threatening to do just that.
At first they thought A was Alison, their friend who vanished three years ago . . . but then Alison turned up dead. So could A be Melissa, Spencer's ultracompetitive sister? Or Maya, who wants Emily all to herself? What about Toby, the mysterious guy who left town right after Alison went missing?
One thing's for certain: A's got the dirt to bury them all alive, and with every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message A sends, the girls get a little closer to losing it all.
I think, no I’m sure, I would have enjoyed these books much more if I had read them before the show came. There isn’t much suspense left as I know what will happen for the most part. There are only little differences (for now) between the show and books. For instance: I don’t know what is up with Toby’s storyline in the books yet. Big cliffhanger at the end of Flawless regarding his character, I can tell you that. I don’t remember this being in the show. Most of the events in the books are different but in the end they are the same as the show, just with a different setting, etc.

The writing style still isn’t my favorite as I get tired of the constant naming of brands (‘Her tweed Kate Spade-bag’, ‘a Martha Steward Living-magazine’,’her Sidekick’). There is no need to emphasize that these people are unnaturally rich and only wear brands by naming everything with that brand. For me, that makes this series a bit too girly, even a little childish. Like you MUST show off that tweed Kate Spade bag. It’s important that it’s tweed BUT also that it’s by Kate Spade. I mean who goes out of the house with a bag from Zara these days…?

As for characters, you can really start to hate and love people in this one. There is more to the characters that we already met in the first book and new ones get into the picture. They get more perspective and background. We dig into Hanna’s family and we feel very bad for her while we also learn so many other things about the other girls. I can tell you that some of them are very different from the show (ahum – Aria).  Little things like this make it still interesting to read the books even though you, like me, are following the show.

The pace was a little slow in my opinion. From the beginning we learn that there will be an event soon but that takes place in the last couple of chapters where the main action goes down as well. There could have been more in between.

My rating might be low but I feel like four stars would be too much and three is too low, so consider this a 3,5 stars.

Rating:  ★★★☆☆ (3,5)

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