Hunger for Knowledge and I kicked off what we have dubbed Liarthon, a year-long effort to finish the Pretty Little Liars series, with Pretty Little Secrets, book 4.5 in the series. I rarely read companion novels and novellas, even if I love the series they are attached to. Even though they might provide more backstory or character development, I generally find them to be unnecessary to the overall plot of the series. But we decided to read the two companion novels in this series because 1) we're addicted and 2) we were hoping we would get more clues to the overall mystery in the series.
This book was a quick read and there were some parts I liked, but it gave no new information. This book is essentially set up as four short stories (around 120 pages each) focusing on one of the girls at a time. A few of these stories were SO incredibly unbelievable, even for this series, that I found myself eye rolling quite a bit. Hanna's story was alright -- she's having some boyfriend issues, and she joins a workout group at the gym because she has a crush on the instructor but she finds herself competing for his affection with another girl in the class. It was kind of predictable, but fine. Emily's chapter just irritated me. I couldn't get over the fact that she was hired as Santa at the mall. Don't tell me that they literally could not find any older man in the whole city to be Santa. Any kid over the age of two would not fall for a skinny, redheaded, adolescent girl playing Santa. Aria's chapter was the most far-fetched, though. She just so happens to leave her family vacation early, so she's home alone, and surprise! Her ex-boyfriend from Iceland shows up on her doorstep. He's running from the Icelandic police, so Aria decides to MARRY him to protect him. Wtf? Seriously? I couldn't even handle this part. Spencer's part just bored me -- she meets a cute guy in Florida on vacation and tries to win his heart, but her sister has her eyes on him as well. Yawn.
So, kind of boring, very unbelievable, but I didn't hate it for some reason. I think I just hold a special place in my heart for these girls. I just want to protect them and tell them to stop lying and doing stupid shit sometimes. But despite this dud of a book, I'm sure the rest of the books in the series will be more similar to books 1-4 and give me all the intense drama my heart desires.