Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars: Book Four) by Sara Shepard

Title: Unbelievable
Series: Pretty Little Liars #4
Author: Sara Shepard
Publishers: Harper Teen
Date of Publication: 1st January, 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense
Format: Hardcover
Length: 335 pages
My Source: Ebook


Behind Rosewood's grand facades, where the air smells like apples and Chanel No. 5 and infinity pools sparkle in landscaped backyards, nothing is as it seems. It was here, back in seventh grade, that five best friends shared everything--Seven jeans, MAC makeup, and their deepest, darkest secrets. For Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily, it was a dream come true . . . until Alison, the most beautiful of them all, suddenly vanished.

Now someone named A has turned their charmed lives into a living nightmare. Emily has been shipped off to her hyper-conservative cousins in Iowa. Aria is stuck living with her dad and his home-wrecker girlfriend. And Spencer fears she had something to do with Alison's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse than all of that--she's clinging to life in the hospital, because "she knew too much."

With A's threats turning dangerous and Ali's killer still on the loose, the girls must uncover the truth--about A, about Ali, and about what happened to Hanna--before they become A's next victims. But as they unravel Rosewood's mysteries and secrets, will it bring an end to the horror . . . or is this just the beginning?


I finished this book just minutes before writing this book and I still have goosebumps on my skin. It is breathtaking and it is UNBELIEVABLE indeed!

Hanna Marin is in a coma, struggling to come out of the endless dreams of Ali the night before her death.  Spencer Hastings realized she has memory blanks - usually after something traumatic.  Like when she pushed Melissa down the stairs.  Or when she pushed Ali outside the barn the night she disappeared. Emily Fields is staying with her major conservative aunt and uncle in Iowa, and she just can't change who she is. Aria Montgomery is forced to live with her dad and his crazy artistic girlfriend - while Ezra is in jail for having sex with a student.  A's had her revenge...and it only gets worse.

Ezra gets out of jail, but with Aria and her inability to let him go, there isn't very many choices left.  And the appearance of Jenna Cavennaugh in her art class at the campus is just weird.  Mona Vanderwall comes with a shocking truth that leaves the rest of the girls dazed - and she tries to make up for fighting with Hanna at her party.  Spencer is on her way to winning the Golden Orchid, and Melissa seems like she's forgiven her, but Spencer can't help but think that there's more going on than meets the eye.  Emily crashes a party in Iowa and meets a slut named Trisha - leaving poor Maya to ruin up in Rosewood.  Hanna finally wakes up from her coma - too bad she can't remember who hit her with the car.  A's just getting started with these girls, and with the completion of Shepard's first story arc, we see how things really go down in Rosewood.

Every review I do of this series, I always go back to the characters.  How catty and bitchy and surprisingly real they are.  Each and every one of them is believable in their drama, though in normal books this stuff would easily be thrown out as extra and barely even plausible.  While this book is a step down from Perfect for me in terms of excitement, I really liked what Shepard did with the characters.  Hanna is starting to fall for a guy that isn't popular at all, which is a really fun trope I like to see in these books - especially when the guy in question is adorable.  Spencer and her relationship with Melissa is also really cool.  I love the *zing* of their sisterly bond, even though it's really insane. Aria and her parents separation, the guilt of The Jenna Thing, and her father's new girl toy, are all really deep, and I like that Shepard doesn't shy away from what would happen in those situations.  It's also a really interesting way of A's punishment as opposed to some of the other girl's (like Hanna or Spencer's) almost twisted ones.  Emily is obviously supposed to relate to the set questioning their sexuality, and in this installment Shepard uses a trope of finding another love interest, which is one I don't really like.  Mostly because I felt like Maya and Emily had a great relationship beforehand.  In all honesty though, it would happen to a teenager, and while that's sad, I understand why Shepard was able to put that plot point in - though the ending was way too convenient for my tastes. 

The climax happens at Hanna's welcome back party arranged by Mona and Spencer! Mona kind of bonds with these 4 girls as she tells Spencer that she's been getting texts from A as well! Finally Hanna recovers the missing part of her memory of the night of her accident and instantly remembers who A is!

Guess who? I don't think you want me to tell you and ruin your suspense and urge to read this one! So I won't.

One question popped in my mind that why would A (when you get to know who A is, you'll understand what I mean to say) text Hanna from a familiar no.? Though Shepard gives an explanation for this later in the book, it wasn't quite convincing! After all the effort she has made to terrify these girls and establish her existence, how could have A done such a stupid mistake? Also it seems a bit queer that a single person kept stalking four girls, for what seemed to be 24*7, at a time! May be I'll get these explanations in the next books.

If you've have read the previous books of the series, you must read this (of course you'll even if I don't tell you to! :P)! And if you read this, you're bound to read the next and the series goes on!
One thing is for sure that despite of the little flaws, you're gonna love this book- after all it reveals A, it reveals who killed Ali!

About The Author
Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line.

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