We are back with our second PLL book review! I feel like I couldn’t put it down I just had to know what happened. I also found out that when I had intended to read the series a few years ago, I was actually halfway through this one and stopped. Thank you Kindle app! But also don’t know why I stopped reading, there could be 100s of reasons but part of me thinks maybe it was because of exams and school. But that doesn’t matter now because I finished it this time!
So I think it makes sense to talk about each girl individually and all their drama because the girls are still not close yet. Yes, they discussed A briefly at Alison’s funeral but they are still keeping secrets to themselves. It is only at the end of the novel that they come together as Spencer spills some tea about The Jenna Thing, but we’ll get to that.
First off let’s talk about Aria, I feel like she didn’t have as much going on this time compared to the other girls. I also find her drama kind of boring. Thankfully Ezra Fitz was nowhere to be found in this novel. Not like in the TV show where he shows up at the funeral and he and Aria kiss. Bleh.
In this book, Aria is being pressured by A to tell her mom about the affair that Byron had with Meredith. Like I said I find this kind of boring. I guess because it matches up with the TV show. We know what happens, A writes a letter to Ella and she is devastated and can’t believe Aria knew the whole time. Ouch.
Aside from that, we see Aria get close to Sean Ackard who is Hanna’s ex. This was hinted at on the TV show but Aria shut it down because she could never do that to bestie Hanna. Except in the book she definitely does do that and doesn’t give Hanna a second thought because she and Sean broke up and Hanna and Aria aren’t friends. Savage.
I wasn’t expecting this pairing to happen and I don’t really know if I like it. Plus there’s the whole aspect of the girl code which was so obviously broken. I mean okay Aria and Hanna weren’t close anymore and Hanna had broken up with Sean but I still think it would be weird to date someone that your old friend also dated…but eh it’s high school and as long as Aria is hooking up with people her own age I can’t be mad. I just don’t see it lasting.
Meanwhile, Hanna is dealing with so many more issues. Like the fact she totaled Sean’s car and has to work at Sean’s family’s burn clinic to pay off the debt. Not cute. But still better than the dental clinic she had to work in on the TV show.
But also, Hanna’s dad is back and he has ulterior motives for wanting to see Hanna as he wants to bring his old family and his new family together. Gross.
Similar to the TV show the events unfold with Kate and Isobel as expected. That Kate ends up getting Hanna in more trouble by lying to Hanna and then exposing her terrible behavior to her dad. Except in the TV show, Hanna’s grandmother can see right through that crap. No such luck in the book, Hanna has no one to defend her and it looks like her dad may never speak to her again. Eep.
I honestly hate how none of the characters in this book have good parents lol. Like Hanna’s dad goes AWOL and starts a new life for himself and when he sees his daughter is clearly struggling he just pawns her off to her mother and goes back to his new family. And then Hanna’s mom is obviously a shitty parent who is never present and is sleeping with a cop to keep Hanna out of jail…I suppose that’s a “nice” thing to do for your daughter? But still shitty parenting lol.
Anyway, aside from the Kate drama, Hanna is also bullied by A into confessing to some girls at school that she has been making herself throw up. Which is horrible, but I am also glad they address Hanna’s eating disorder more in the books than in the TV show. Like in the TV show they mention it once and just act like it’s no big deal but it’s clearly still a very real thing in the books and I hope that Hanna can get it under control. I just wonder how far Mona will push her on it.
Next, we have Spencer who is totally head over heels in love with Wren. And it makes me sick. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again he is a full-ass adult who is hooking up with a teenager and it’s DISGUSTING. He calls Spencer not two days after breaking up with Melissa and then the first time Spencer hangs out with him they have sex. Ugh. Hate it.
I can totally see from Spencer’s point of view why she thought this would be okay but Wren is just an adult who took advantage of a child in that situation and it makes me want to barf.
But after Spencer sleeps with Wren she becomes the classic girl in love who is very clingy to Wren since she thought they had an amazing bond since they had sex. And it’s surprising to see Spencer fall like this I feel like in the TV show she is much stronger and the Wren thing doesn’t last as long. But yeah, naturally Wren gets annoyed with all of Spencer’s calls and texts and tells her it’s over.
And to make things worse, Spencer finds out from Melissa that Wren has actually been seeing her too. So not only is Wren scum for sleeping with a minor but he’s also been sleeping with her sister the whole time too! I hate him so much. And in the TV show, he ain’t much better so I guess he did deserve to be turned into a diamond.
I don’t know if we hear much from Wren after this book but I’m hoping not.
Also, Spencer stole her sister’s essays because she was way behind on school work and too busy focusing on Wren. But she also stole the essay on the TV show and if things play out the same then we know she kind of gets away with it. So not super important to note.
Then there’s Emily who is still struggling with her sexuality but she ends up making friends with Toby Cavanagh who saves her from a bad encounter with her ex Ben. Again, these events play out kind of similar to the TV show, except the dance they are at is homecoming and Toby doesn’t die.
I gotta tell you I was not expecting Toby to commit suicide. Like in the TV show he is Spencer’s main love interest and he actually seems like an okay guy! I am surprised they kept him around considering how quickly he is killed off in the books. This makes me wonder if Spencer has a different main love interest in the books or maybe none at all. I think I would prefer if the focus was on the drama and not the relationships so I’m fine if Spencer doesn’t have someone but we’ll see how it plays out.
It also turns out that Toby was the one who forced himself on Jenna and not the other way around like on TV, and that’s why he kills himself. He thought everyone knew his secret and he couldn’t live with it anymore. Even though the secret Emily was confronting him about was actually that she thought he killed Alison. Yikes. This is the tea that Spencer spills to the girls when they find out that Toby has died.
So yeah things took a turn at the end of the novel. All the girls think Toby was A and that they would be free but then Emily gets a text from A telling her “it’s not over till I say it is”. And then that’s the end of the book.
No A chapter at the end which is nice, I think it was good to end on that message because it’s a good cliffhanger and definitely makes me want to find out what happens next. I am hoping there is more deviation from the TV show because I find myself guessing what happens and that’s not always fun. I want to be shocked lol.
I am wondering if Jenna ever comes back to Rosewood properly or if we never see her again now that Toby is gone, I am wondering when Emily embraces her sexuality with Maya as it could still be a while, I wonder if Wren comes back though I really hope he doesn’t…and I also want to know what Hanna’s mom plans to do since her daughter is so ‘out of control’. And of course, I wonder if the girls will be able to figure out who A is now that Toby is gone, even though they aren’t really speaking at the minute.
And so that’s where we leave the girls for now. I am not sure what will come next exactly, other than Spencer’s essay thing kind of working out for her, Aria trying to keep her family together, and Emily trying to be straight lol. But I’m interested to see what A pushes them to do next. After all, I feel she is just getting started.