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Flawless is the second book in the Pretty Little Liars series. It continues from the end of the first book in which four friends get back together as a group to try and identify the person behind all the messages they are sent from 'A'.
They originally suspected it was Alison, there friend who has been missing for three years, but now believe it may have something to do with Toby and 'the Jenna thing'.
Throughout the book A is still contacting them ready to expose their secrets. I like how we are still left guessing as I think it is a great concept and it would be a shame to end the fun of guessing too early.
The book is separated into chapters with each character getting one chapter before they are in the story again. Like the previous book, I am not a fan of books written in this way but I am glad the characters are starting to come together as a group as it means less of those kinds of chapters.
Other than A each character still has their own issues. I find that I often prefer one storyline over another but I did enjoy all of these.
Emily has a new girlfriend, Maya, but she doesn't want anyone to find out, especially not her parents. This was written well and something I haven't read much about in books.
Hanna is forced to spill her secrets by A and is upset about her ex after she is told he has broken their virginity vow.
Aria discovers a secret which could break up their family but doesn't want to tell anyone.
Spencer has a crush on her sisters boyfriend, Wren, but Melissa is unaware. Will Spencer act on her feelings.
Although the storylines are the same as the first book there are new twists to all the characters lives making them just as gripping as the previous book.
It is a great book and you will want to read the next one after the cliffhanger.
Flawless is book two in a going-to-be-at-least-a-trilogy of books in the Pretty Little Liars series. Four girls from privileged backgrounds are united at the funeral of Ali, a former friend who disappeared a few years ago and has now shown up dead. The girls are all off living their individual lives and playing with fire in different ways - one is stealing her sister's boyfriend, another is in love with a teacher, one's possibly gay and another's definitely bulimic - but they're brought back together when they start receiving anonymous messages from someone who is threatening to expose their deepest secrets, and rock their settled community like never before. Whoever this mysterious 'A' is who's sending the notes, it's someone who is close to all four girls, knows everything about them as it happens, and is getting ready to spill the beans.
All the press blurb seems to be comparing this book to the O.C., but I think it resembles much more a junior Desperate Housewives, where Fairview has become Rosewood, and Gabby, Susan, Lynette and Bree have become Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna. They may be high school students, but they too have dirty laundry, and scandalous behaviour that would put their older counterparts to shame - these are the sort of girls who stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means having to bluff their way into true-love-waits style Virginity Club meetings in order to deflower their unsuspecting boyfriends.
I knew from a few pages in that I was going to love this book because it's exactly the sort of thing I like - down to earth writing that flows with no interruptions, juicy plot lines, enough but not too many twists and turns, and some outrageous characters with shocking behaviour. The author captures beautifully the spirit and atmosphere of high school life that she must have left behind a good few years ago, and the latest technology and pop culture references mean it doesn't read like anything other than present day life in the most interesting of societies - exclusive small town Pennsylvania.
Being book two in a series it took me a while to figure out who was who, ground work that I'm sure was done in book one. The girls have fancy names and complicated lives that took me a moment or two to get straight, especially since they're all similarly bad girls, so you can't easily characterize one as the sweet one or one as the aggressive one or one as the good one. However reading it as a stand alone book without the useful introduction from the initial title in the series didn't prove too much of a hindrance, and the story is pretty self contained.
That said, there is a theme running through these books, and it's not fully resolved by the end of Flawless. That's another thing it feels like the series has in common with Desperate Housewives, where every season brings a new family on Wisteria Lane, a new mystery to solve. What's bad for me but great for the author is that I can't wait to read the next title in the set, because I'm just dying to find out what happens next. All the clues in this one point towards one clear culprit, so when they are proved without doubt to be innocent, you're straight back to square one, wondering whodunit. By my reckoning, there could only really be one person now who is 'A', but that's what I thought at the start of this book, and clearly was wrong, so who knows?
Unlike a lot of books that seem to be aimed at readers a few years younger than the heroines, I think this is just as much a grown up book as a teen one, and I was a few pages in before I even realised Spencer and the group were still at high school - they can all drive, this being America, and their extracurricular activities certainly beat the ballet and babysitting I was into at their age. With that in mind I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery, some suspense, some glamour, and some fabulous characters, regardless of age.
The cover shown above is the US version - I think the UK one is cooler. But it on Amazon for half the rrp at present. ISBN: 0751538361
This review first appeared on www.thebookbag.co.uk