Unbelievable PLL book #4 by Sara Shephard Review

Wow. This one had A LOT going on. I mean I knew A was going to be revealed in this one but it took a long time for us to get there. Which is fine because we love suspense and drama but still. Let’s get into this.

I don’t even really know where to begin. I think we’ll go with Aria first.

So where we left her, Ezra had been hauled off to jail because A had told Sean what was going on between them. But the police let him go because Aria wasn’t going to press charges. Boring.

Thankfully though Ezra says he is moving away so hopefully he stays away and doesn’t come back after all that drama. We don’t need him and neither does Aria. So please Ezra stay away.

Now that Ezra is gone though Aria has nowhere to stay so she ends up moving in with Meredith and Byron. Gross. Meredith’s apartment is super weird and they try to make her out as super quirky but I hate it. Though it seems this probably isn’t the last we have seen of Meredith and Byron because they reveal at the end of the book that Meredith is actually pregnant. Ugh. Was not expecting that but could do without it.

Also, Aria takes an art class at Hollis where she is partnered with Jenna Cavanaugh. Surprise. This was done in the TV show except on TV, nothing really came of this. Like Jenna got a bit personal with Aria but then that was it.

In the books, we find out that Jenna knew how Aria was despite her lying about her identity. And Jenna also tells Aria that she knew about what the girls did. She said that she had planned this with Alison, to begin with, and that she wanted to get rid of Toby. She said Alison would understand because she had sibling issues too – I think this is one of our first hints about the twin thing! Exciting.

So that is wild, I never expected Jenna to know about ‘The Jenna Thing’ but it does kind of make sense why she never questioned when Toby took the blame because he obviously didn’t do it. I just feel bad that Jenna got caught in the middle of the whole thing and was blinded, but I guess she saw that as a small price to pay to get away from her stepbrother. Crazy.

Jenna also mentioned to Aria in passing she was coming back to Rosewood so will we see more of her or is ‘The Jenna Thing’ now closed once and for all? I hope we see more.

I think it’s interesting how the TV show took the villain route with Jenna. I mean it was fun but it kind of ended up in a stupid place with Noel Kahn being beheaded and Jenna wielding a gun lol. I don’t really want that but it would be interesting to see if in the books they do anything else with the character.

Time to move onto Emily, whose storyline was not my favourite this time around.

First of all, her parents do end up sending her to Iowa, but she’s only there for five minutes lol. Emily’s aunt and uncle kick her out because her cousins and her got caught sneaking out, even though her cousins have been doing it for months, they blame Emily. So now Emily has to go back to rosewood but initially she doesn’t want to because she knows her parents don’t want her. So she runs out of her aunt’s house and doesn’t look back.

This does not last long because Emily then sees her parents on the news saying they are worried about her and want her to come home, so Emily hops on a bus to Rosewood.

Also after this whole ordeal, Emily’s parents decide to randomly accept her sexuality? I mean no complaints that’s great but at the same time, it came out of the blue lol. They watched some Dr Phil, read some books and were suddenly so on board it was wild. I thought there would be a little more of a teething period but we will go with it.

Also Maya is going full steam ahead with their relationship which Emily doesn’t seem thrilled about. I mean I understand from her perspective like she just came to terms with her sexuality and so did her family she needs time to adjust so Maya needs to calm down.

Emily isn’t good at explaining that though. Plus Trista – this girl Emily met while she was in Iowa and flirted with – decides to fly out to Rosewood to surprise Emily just for fun. Which I hated lol like okay Emily was interested in Trista and she was so much more easygoing in comparison to Maya and even reminded Emily of Alison but like…I felt it wasn’t needed. But Maya sees Emily and Trista together and is angry and basically breaks up with Emily. It’s very messy.

I honestly don’t know if I want Emily and Maya to be together like I definitely routed for them on the TV show but in the books, Maya seems so much more forward and Emily seems so much more reluctant. So I need them to talk it out. But realistically this is a teen book so it will not get serious at all lol. So we see if Maya comes back to Emily after the whole A thing or if they go their separate ways. Not fussed either way at this point.

Next, we move on to Hanna. She is in hospital after being hit by a car. We remember this. But she was in a coma and she doesn’t remember what happened to her, which means she doesn’t remember who A is. Lucky for Mona but not so lucky for everyone else.

So I am going to talk about what happens in this on the TV show first, Hanna breaks her leg after being hit by the car but aside from that, she’s fine? She also remembers seeing Noel Kahn and so she says he is A but the girls don’t believe her, and then Mona wants to throw a party for Hanna as if she hadn’t just hit her with a car lol.

Hanna doesn’t want the party though and she ends up losing the money her mom was secretly hiding in the lasagne box. This is funny because none of that money struggle business exists in the book because everyone is rich. But yeah that’s how things play out on TV. There’s also Sean/Lucas drama but it’s not important.

In the books, Mona still wants to throw a party for Hanna but Hanna actually wants to have the party and she’s excited that she and Mona were friends again. She remembers them not getting along before the accident, but she doesn’t remember what Mona did to her at her party.

This also means Hanna doesn’t remember making out with Lucas. And Lucas has been a sweetheart and has been visiting her the whole time she’s been in hospital, reading to her from fashion magazines and fetching her coffee. But Hanna doesn’t know why he’s being so nice.

Lucas and her end up making out again later when Hanna is out of hospital and she still doesn’t know what went down between them but she can’t deny she has feelings for him. But she doesn’t want to be with him because Mona sees him as a loser and would rather have Mona as a friend than Lucas as a boyfriend. Poor guy.

I think maybe Lucas and Hanna will get together, now that Mona is gone. But at the same time, Hanna wants to be the most popular girl in school so I don’t know if Lucas fits into that. But I’m rooting for them, they never actually got together on the TV show because of Caleb, but I don’t think Caleb is showing up anytime soon – or if he even exists in the books lol.

Also at the end of the book, Hanna’s mom tells her she took a job in Singapore so she’s leaving and Hanna’s dad says he will move to Rosewood with Kate and Isobel. This means we will probably be seeing more of them because I doubt Hanna moves to Maryland. I am not sure what to think about this, Kate was on the TV show for like five minutes – she transferred to Rosewood for like two episodes and then we never heard from her again. So I wonder if she will be a bigger part in the book or if she gets phased out. Or maybe Hanna goes to boarding school but that seems unlikely.

Now we move to Spencer, as Hanna does eventually remember who A is but at the time Spencer and Mona are on their way to the police station because Spencer thinks Melissa murdered Alison and wants to turn her in.

This scene plays out on the TV show, but a season after Hanna’s accident and at a different masquerade ball. I gotta say, the A reveal was so much more dramatic on TV like the A lair is amazing and it just shows how obsessed Mona was with the girls. There is no secret lair in the book, which I’m sad about but at the same time, I don’t think Mona was really putting in as much effort in the books lol.

Before we get to the Spencer/Mona scene in the books, Spencer goes for her Golden Orchid interview and she wins but I think she might tell them she took Melissa’s essay? So we see what the fallout from that is. She also has been getting hints from A that Melissa killed Alison. Plus Melissa was acting a bit sus this book anyway, so there’s that.

I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much about Melissa being sus in the books, because in the TV show, Melissa is ALWAYS looking sus and she just always happens to be around when things go down but ultimately she doesn’t have much to do with anything. And it’s so disappointing that she’s constantly used as a red herring, I want her to actually be a villain. But I don’t think I’ll get that.

Anyway yes, so Spencer and Mona are driving to the police station, but Spencer gets a text from the girls telling her Mona is A, Mona figures out Spencer knows and then they are speeding away from the police station to somewhere else.

Mona reveals she found Ali’s diary with all the girls’ secrets in it and so she decided to become A and blackmail them. She liked the idea that she could control people this way, she had also been at the scene of ‘The Jenna Thing’ and had scars to prove it. She said she and Jenna were friends before, and she couldn’t believe Jenna wouldn’t believe her when she said Alison was the one who did it. So she didn’t know Jenna had spoken to Ali beforehand.

Mona also says originally she was trying to pin Alison’s murder on Spencer. She had overheard them fighting the night Alison died and it was so easy to convince Spencer’s friends she did it. She even explained how Aria had told Wilden she thought Spencer could have done it when they were in the hospital after Hanna’s accident. Yikes.

So Spencer was set up to take the blame but then as Spencer and Mona were planning Hanna’s party together they bonded by flashing some strangers at the country club lol – so fun and random but definitely a thing that is casual to mention in the early 2000s whereas now that’s definitely not a thing that would ever happen.

After the bonding moment, Mona decided that she liked Spencer and that she wanted Spencer to join the A team so they could both live their best lives by controlling the others. So Mona decided to start hinting the Spencer that Melissa was the one who killed Alison, this would mean Spencer would be free from her sister’s shadow and she could thrive. Mona had also suggested they pin A on someone Spencer hated like Andrew and then they could continue to manipulate and threaten anyone that stood in their way.

All in all, a great offer but Spencer decides not to take it and she ends up fighting with Mona and Mona ends up falling off the edge of a cliff into a quarry where she breaks her neck and is killed. I’m sad that she is gone now because she was fun to have around on the TV show, I feel like she was underused on the TV show but she was great.

I mean realistically if she had survived in the books she would have definitely been sent away and never seen again, so I guess it’s good that she died, like a permanent end so she ain’t coming back.

But yeah so that’s where our Mona saga ends. The girls tell the police everything and Hanna gives in Mona’s second phone to the police, but not before deleting the texts Mona sent to her because they were still friends. Even if Mona hit Hanna with her car…like Hanna definitely should have more trauma from all of this but I know she’ll probably be fine because she was on the TV show.

Also, Mona reveals in Alison’s diary she was off to meet Ian the night she died so everyone assumes that Ian killed Alison and at the end of the book the girls go to his trial where he pleads ‘not guilty’ but it obviously isn’t looking good for him. Even when Melissa tells the police they were together that night but Ian disappeared for a while and came back. So we’ll see what comes of that.

But overall, a thrilling read. I am enjoying these and I am excited to see what happens next as Mona is gone. When will the second A emerge and will we learn more about the twin thing? There have been a few hints in this book about it already and Alison acting a bit weird so I am wondering if we will get more of that. I’m not really sure what will be next for our girls, but it’s not going to be easy to go back to their lives after all the press attention they are getting.

I also wonder how long it will take for new A to make an appearance…will the girls get some A free time to rebuild their lives or will it be like A never left? I guess it’s time to get reading to find out!

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