Book Review: Wicked (Pretty Little Liars Book 5) by Sara Shepard

“I suppose I could let bygones be bygones, forgive and forget, yadda yadda. But where's the fun in that? These pretty little bitches got everything I ever wanted, and now I'm going to make sure they get exactly what they deserve. Does that make me sound awful? Sorry, but as every pretty little liar knows, sometimes the truth's ugly-and it always hurts.

― Sara Shepard, Wicked

The fifth installment of the #1 series, Pretty Little Liars, which served as the basis for the popular ABC Family television program. Wicked, the fifth novel in the captivating Pretty Little Liars series by New York Times bestselling author Sara Shepard, is full of surprising turns and stunning discoveries.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

In idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four very pretty girls just can't help but be bad. Hanna will do anything to be Rosewood's queen bee. Spencer's digging up her family's secrets. Emily can't stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom's taste in men. The girls think they’re in the clear now that Ali's killer is finally behind bars. But someone new is mimicking “A’s” blackmailing ways with wicked and mysterious messages. And it’s only a matter of time before they let some secrets slip.

My reaction to this novel...

This is by far the least fascinating novel in the Pretty Little Liars series for me. In comparison to the previous four novels, this one left me disappointed. I really loved the previous novels, and because A was already busted in the fourth novel, I was wondering how the author would swerve the narrative to get back on the right track, but instead I was left feeling bewildered and disheartened. The majority of the time, I was bored and inclined to move forward, but I did my best to resist in skipping some parts since I was eager to find out what would happen next.

The position of each individual in the novel initially didn't bother me, but with time, especially with some of the characters' attitudes and styles of living, I found it to be quite stressful. With designer bags, jewelry, and clothing, it's as if I'm stepping into the world of teenagers, which strikes me as both incredibly ambitious and naive. Although I have nothing against such brands, I find it irritating how often they are brought up in the novels. It led me to believe that while the characters undoubtedly possessed traits that other people would find appealing, they also undoubtedly possessed a dreadful mindset and a wretched lifestyle.

Initially, I really enjoyed Hannah's persona, but after a while, I thought she was just too snarky. She is really obnoxious and a complete loser. She always worries about what people would think of her, particularly in regards to how she looks, but despite having experienced a lot, she is unable to grasp what is most important. Though I realize that some teenagers are like that because they are preoccupied with their friends and their physical appearances, she is far more bitchy, which I thought pitiful and at the same time pathetic. It's fortunate that Lucas chose to end their relationship because she doesn't deserve him.

Despite my reservations about this novel, I believe it is good for Emily to discover what she actually likes. She was able to go over her issues and meet someone she felt was much out of her league, so I'm glad for her. She is the one of the four main characters who merits a happy ending because she made an effort to be true, despite how difficult it was for her to face all of her doubts and worries. I also thought her nice and nostalgic since, unlike her other friends, she is the only one who constantly wants to get back together with them.

It is beyond my capacity to imagine how the author would compose this entire series to match the caliber of the first four books. Although the fifth book in this series is somewhat tedious and annoying, if you've already read the prior four books and can't get enough of them, you should still read this one. However, if you're happy with the first four books, that should suffice. I'm not sure why the other reviews are different, but I was actually sort of let down by this fifth book. Since I found the book series to be so extensive, I'm not sure when I'll read the following book. I believe there are a total of 16 novels in it. If I'm in the right frame of mood, I might read the next one soon, but not necessarily after this one.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐(2/5)


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