Review: Flawless by Sara Shepard


Author: Sara Shepard
Series: Pretty Little Liars, #2

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. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive. -A


NOTE: If you have never read the Pretty Little Liars series, I suggest skipping this review and reading my review of the first book in the series Pretty Little Liars instead. This review may contain spoilers of the first book as well as spoilers of Flawless. If you have read the series or don't mind spoilers than you may proceed! :)
"'Do you think she's really going to do it?' Emily whispered. A car slid past, brightening Toby's house.
'Nah,' Spencer said, nervously twirling her diamond studs. 'She's bluffing.'
Aria put the tip of one of her black braids in her mouth. 'Totally.'
'How do we know Toby's even in there?' Hanna asked.
They fell into an edgy silence. They'd been in on their fair share of Ali pranks, but those had been innocent--sneaking into the saltwater hot tub at Fermata spa or putting droplets of black dye into Spencer's sister's shampoo. But something about this made them all just a little . . . uneasy.
Boom!"  -excerpt from Flawless
If you think the girls were up to no good in the first book, get ready for more action, more suspense, and more mysteries in the second. We finally discover what The Jenna Thing is, and why the girls didn't get into trouble for it at the time (a little blackmail goes a long way in Ali's case). Ali is a master manipulator. She can get anyone to do anything for her, especially the boy next door who doesn't want to get into trouble.

The beginning of Flawless starts where Pretty Little Liars left off. The girls are standing outside at Ali's memorial. They've just received a text message from A saying: I'm still here, bitches. And I know everything. If that isn't enough to scare you then maybe this will. At the beginning of the book, there is a little information about the neighbor boy who moved away right after The Jenna Thing happened. This boy is Jenna's stepbrother, and to give you a little insight as to what kind of person he is, I'll quote it now:
"You know that boy who lives a few doors down from you who's just the creepiest person alive? When you're on your front porch, about to kiss your boyfriend good night, you might glimpse him across the street, just standing there. He'll randomly appear when you're gossiping with your best friends--except maybe it's not so random at all. He's the black cat who seems to know your route. If he rides by your house, you think, I'm going to fail my bio exam. If he looks at you funny, watch your back.
Every town has a black-cat boy. In Rosewood, his name was Toby Cavanaugh."
 Well, suddenly he's back from Maine, where his parents shipped him off to after he took blame for The Jenna Thing. The girls are terrified. After a little digging and far too perfect incidences to be considered coincidences happen, they start to think that maybe, just maybe, Toby is A.

A is up to no good, as always, in the second installment, threatening to out the girls about The Jenna Thing, as well as outing their other secrets: Emily's sexuality and interest in Maya (the new girl who just moved into Ali's old house), Spencer's secretly dating her sister's ex-boyfriend Wren, Hanna's binge/purge addiction, Aria's secret love affair with her English teacher (Ezra) and her father Byron's cheating on her mother (Ella) three years ago with his student (Meredith) and Aria's knowing about it. The girls have to watch their backs at all times, and A is not playing any games. If the girls don't do exactly what A says, then A will tell all their dirty little secrets to the world, and if you don't believe it will happen . . . you'll know it for sure when your life is turned upside down.

Emily has a few little problems of her own. Her ex-boyfriend Ben discovers her love affair with Maya and threatens to out her to the whole school if she does "prove" to him that she isn't really gay. So instead of fooling around with him, she decides to take Toby to the Foxy dance (a charity event that happens every year), only to come to the assumption that Toby is A and Ali's murderer. Just when Spencer thinks that her life couldn't get any worse, her relationship with Wren and her grades take a downward spiral, and in a panic, Spencer steals her sister's paper and uses it as her own. If only she knew the trouble that would cause, she probably would've rather written her own and taken the F. And as for Hanna? Her daddy is back, only to be stolen away from her at the worst possible time by her scheming soon-to-be-stepsister Kate, whose seems-to-be sole purpose in life is to ruin Hanna's and steal her father. Not only are they dealing with all of this, but then Aria starts dating Hanna's ex-boyfriend Sean, who she was trying to get back together with, and this starts a huge argument between the two girls.

Then something unexpected and devastating happens: someone is found dead (I won't tell who it is because of spoilers). This sends the girls into thinking that maybe A is finally gone. But of course A isn't gone (we all know that). Emily discovers this when she receives a text from A saying this: Poor, confused Emily. I bet you could use a big warm girl hug right now, huh? Don't get too comfortable. It's not over until I say it is. -A

The second installment only leaves room for more questions burning in the back of your mind. If Toby isn't A, then who is? Who really killed Ali and why? What did this A person have against the girls and why is this person so intent on destroying the girls' lives? Just how far will A go? What will we discover in the next book? And will A ever stop torturing the girls who were best friends with Ali?

I will admit that I was a little disappointed that the second book didn't follow along quite as closely to the tv series as the first book did, although some things were the same, other parts were different. While this annoyed me just a bit that the tv series took a different turn than the book series (though, don't they always?), I was rather glad that I didn't know every little thing that was going to happen, which is why the ending to Flawless came as a complete shock to me and it brought tears to my eyes. I'm actually glad they chose to leave that particular incident out of the tv series. Over all, I thought this installment was just as interesting as the first, if not more so. There's a lot of drama and tons of suspense within. Just when you think things are starting to look up, something crazy happens and things get ten times worse than it was before. I can't wait to read more of this series and learn more about the events that occurred three years ago with Ali's disappearance and just who was behind it all. Throughout this entire book it pointed toward one character, when in reality that person had nothing at all to do with it. They may have hated Ali, but they didn't want her dead. I'm looking forward to discovering the truth behind it all, and just who was angry and crazy enough to actually go through with murder.

I rate this book: