Flawless (Pretty Little Liars Series #2)

By: Sara Shepard

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Paperback : 352 pages
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers (February 2008)
ISBN - 10 : 0060887354
ISBN - 13 : 9780060887353
Product Dimensions : 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Subjects : Teen Fiction - Girls & Young Women, Teen Fiction - School, Teen Fiction - Mysteries & Thrillers, Teen Fiction - Movies & TV

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.

Four pretty little liars have been very bad girls.

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. But 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.

Pretty Little Liars #2: Flawless

By Sara Shepard

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Sara Shepard
All right reserved.

Chapter One

How it really began . . .

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 path. 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.

"I think she needs more blush." Spencer Hastings leaned back and examined one of her best friends, Emily Fields. "I can still see her freckles."

"I've got some Clinique concealer." Alison DiLaurentis sprang up and ran to her blue corduroy makeup bag.

Emily looked at herself in the mirror propped up on Alison's living room coffee table. She tilted her face one way, then another, and puckered her pink lips. "My mom would kill me if she saw me with all this stuff on."

"Yeah, but we'll kill you if you take it off," warned Aria Montgomery, who was, for her own Aria reasons, prancing around the room in a pink mohair bra she'd recently knitted.

"Yeah, Em, you look awesome," Hanna Marin agreed. Hanna satcross-legged on the floor and kept swiveling around to check that her crack wasn't sticking out of her low-rise, slightly-too-small Blue Cult jeans.

It was a Friday night in April, and Ali, Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna were having one of their typical sixth-grade sleepovers: putting way too much makeup on each other, chowing on sea salt and vinegar Kettle chips, and half-watching MTV Cribs on Ali's flat-screen TV. Tonight there was the addition of everyone's clothes spread out on the carpet since they'd decided to swap clothes for the rest of their sixth-grade school year.

Spencer held up a lemon-yellow cashmere cardigan to her slender torso.

"Take it," Ali told her. "It'll look cute on you."

Hanna pulled an olive corduroy skirt of Ali's around her hips, turned to Ali, and struck a pose. "What do you think? Would Sean like it?"

Ali groaned and smacked Hanna with a pillow. Ever since they'd become friends in September, all Hanna could talk about was how much she looooved Sean Ackard, a boy in their class at Rosewood Day School, where they'd all been going since kindergarten. In fifth grade, Sean had been just another short, freckled guy in their class, but over the summer, he'd grown a couple inches and lost his baby fat. Now, pretty much every girl wanted to kiss him.

It was amazing how much could change in a year.

The girls--everyone but Ali--knew that all too well. Last year, they were just . . . there. Spencer was the überanal girl who sat at the front of the class and raised her hand at every question. Aria was the slightly freaky girl who made up dance routines instead of playing soccer like everyone else. Emily was the shy, state-ranked swimmer who had a lot going on under the surface--if you just got to know her. And Hanna might've been klutzy and bumbling, but she studied Vogue and Teen Vogue and every once in a while she'd blurt out something totally random about fashion that no one else knew.

There was something special about all of them, sure, but they lived in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, a suburb twenty miles outside Philadelphia, and everything was special in Rosewood. Flowers smelled sweeter, water tasted better, houses were just plain bigger. People joked that the squirrels spent their nights cleaning up litter and weeding errant dandelions from the cobblestone sidewalks so Rosewood would look perfect for its demanding residents. In a place where everything looked so flawless, it was hard to stand out.

But somehow Ali did. With her long blond hair, heart-shaped face and huge blue eyes, she was the most stunning girl around. After Ali united them in friendship-- sometimes it felt like she'd discovered them--the girls were definitely more than just there. Suddenly, they had an all-access pass to do things they'd never dared before. Like changing into short skirts in the Rosewood Day girls' bathroom after they got off the bus in the morning. Or passing boys ChapStick-kissed notes in class. Or walking down the Rosewood Day hallway in an intimidating line, ignoring all the losers.

Ali grabbed a tube of shimmery purple lipstick and smeared it all over her lips. "Who am I?" The others groaned--Ali was imitating Imogen Smith, a girl in their class who was a little bit too in love with her Nars lipstick.

"No, wait." Spencer pursed her bow-shaped lips and handed Ali a pillow. "Put this up your shirt."

"Nice." Ali stuffed it under her pink polo, and everyone giggled some more. The rumor was that Imogen went all the way with Jeffery Klein, a tenth grader, and she was having his baby.

"You guys are awful." Emily blushed. She was the most demure of the group, maybe because of her superstrict upbringing--her parents thought anything fun was evil.

"What, Em?" Ali linked her arm around Emily's elbow. "Imogen's looking awfully fat--she should hope she's pregnant."

The girls laughed again, but a little uneasily. Ali had a talent for finding a girl's weakness, and even if Ali was right about Imogen, the girls all sometimes wondered if Ali was ever ripping on them when they weren't around. Sometimes it was hard to know for sure.

They settled back into sorting through one another's clothes. Aria fell in love with an ultrapreppie Fred Perry dress of Spencer's. Emily slid a denim miniskirt up her skinny legs and asked everyone if it was too short. Ali declared a pair of Hanna's Joe's jeans too bell-bottomy and slid them off, revealing her velour candy-pink boy shorts. As she walked past the window to the stereo, she froze.

"Oh my God!" she screamed, running behind the blackberry-colored velvet couch.

The girls wheeled around. At the window was Toby Cavanaugh. He was just . . . standing there. Staring at them.


Excerpted from Pretty Little Liars #2: Flawless by Sara Shepard Copyright © 2007 by Sara Shepard. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

VOYA - Sarah Hill

Any novel produced by Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girls, The Clique series) flies off library and bookstore shelves. This sequel to Pretty Little Liars (HarperTempest, 2006/VOYA December 2006) will not disappoint series readers. The four girls are back and haunted by someone who leaves text messages and notes signed, "-A." Alison was the ringleader of the group who blackmailed friends and everyone loved to secretly hate her. But now Alison's disappearance has turned into murder, and the four girls are being frightened by someone who knows all their secrets. Emily struggles with her attraction to other girls, Aria's dad cheats with a yoga instructor, Hanna suffers from bulimia, and Spencer steals cars, boyfriends, and sex. The four girls are drawn together again as secrets are revealed after the big charity ball. Just when all the problems seemed solved, Emily receives another text from A, and readers will be scrambling to read Perfect (HarperTeen, 2007), the third book in the series, to see what happens next. The characters are fashion hungry, boy crazy, addicted to trouble, and living like soap-opera stars. Chick lit readers will be pleased with the addition of mystery and murders. With no bad language or graphic sex scenes, this novel is unlikely to stir up problems, but it will still satisfy teenage girls looking for accounts about rich girls in trouble. Alloy Entertainment's Web site notes that the Pretty Little Liars series is being developed into a series pilot for the CW channel.

KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor

The sequel to Pretty Little Liars continues the stories of Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna. The girls all used to be best friends, but after their friend Ali went missing three years ago, they drifted apart. Now Ali's body has been recovered and the girls are brought back together by threatening messages they are receiving from an anonymous source who goes simply by "A." A. seems to be everywhere at once, seeing everything they do and knowing intimate secrets from their pasts. The girls feel they cannot go to their parents or the police about what is happening because A. knows about their involvement in an accident, something they've long kept quiet. A. manipulates the girls and threatens to reveal their deepest secrets unless they do what they are instructed to. The girls cannot figure out who is out to get them. Though reluctant to be brought together again, the four former friends must rely on each other and reveal secrets they have long kept hidden. Flawless initially seems like many of the other chick lit books so popular right now. The main characters are privileged, promising, well-liked girls. They have problems with their peers and boyfriends, just like other teens; but there is more going on: they struggle with bulimia, coming out, and disintegrating families. A. seems to know it all. The suspenseful mystery is what really sets this title apart from the pack, giving it a wider appeal than its cover may indicate. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor

Children's Literature

With a quick flashback to the evening when a deep, dark secret bound five friends together, the second book of the "Pretty Little Liars Novel" series picks up the story some years later. After Alison's disappearance, the girls parted and went their separate ways in the town of Rosewood. The discovery of Alison's remains and her memorial service bring the girls together briefly. The four remaining friends, Spencer, Emily, Aria, and Hanna, are now juniors in high school. There are many more secrets that each girl harbors separately. Alison knew about those secrets, and a mysterious person called A also knows them, as well as about the girls' current activities. A threatens to reveal all their scandals. Adding to the suspense, Toby returns home to Rosewood from a reform school in Maine; he has his secrets, too. The tension grows as Spencer, Emily, Aria, and Hanna try to figure out who A is now that Alison is dead and why this person wants to mar their flawless, designer appearances with their darkest secrets.

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
This sequel to Pretty Little Liars (HarperTeen, 2006) opens with the story of Ali, Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily's involvement in an accident that caused a classmate to be hospitalized at the end of seventh grade and Ali's subsequent disappearance. Chapter one then picks up three years later: Ali's body has just been found and the four ex-best friends are at her memorial service reading a virulent communiqué from someone named A. Throughout the remainder of the book, the text messages, notes, and emails from the mysterious A continue to plague the girls, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. And now A has stepped up the pressure, manipulating them just like Ali did. They've been able to hide these secrets from everyone and present the appearance of being flawless. Only Ali knew, and she's been dead for almost three years. So who is A? And will the threats be carried through to ruin their now-perfect lives? The girls are similar to those in Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown): they are wealthy spenders who smoke, drink, think/talk about sex, and attend fabulous parties. What makes this book stand apart is the overriding mystery of A's identity and the girls' fear of discovery. This second book also continues to develop the characters as they work through their very real worries and insecurities. Secondary characters and situations are also more complex. Flawless won't stay on your shelves.
—Heather E. MillerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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