In Heartless, the seventh book in Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, the Liars are back. This time we learn were they received their famous moniker, and why. When we last saw the quartet, they had narrowly escaped a fire in Spencer’s backyard, and seemed to be rescued by Alison DiLaurentis. How could it be when their former best friend was murdered 4 years earlier? That’s the mystery at the heart of this novel.
Emily staunchly believes Alison is alive, and will go to any length to prove it. Aria believes the Ali they saw was a ghost, and came to them to tell them something important that could solve her murder. Hanna is in denial about the event, and has too many problems of her own to worry about when “A” puts her out of commission. Spencer is the non-believer. She won’t even deal with whether or not Alison could be alive, and once again becomes “A’s” pawn. In the synopsis according to Harper Teen:
In picturesque Rosewood, Pennsylvania, neighbors gossip over picket fences, and gleaming SUVs sit in every crushed-granite driveway. But recently, friendly smiles have been replaced with suspicious glares and accusatory whispers—and it’s all because Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer just can’t keep their mouths shut. . . .
First they claimed they found a dead body in the woods behind Spencer’s house, only to have it vanish without a trace. Then when the same woods went up in flames, they swore they saw someone who’s supposed to be dead rise from the ashes. And even after all that, the pretty little liars are still playing with fire.
Hanna’s trading in her Dior trench for a straitjacket. Aria’s trying to contact the dead. Emily’s dumped her boyfriend and is skipping town . . . again. And Spencer thinks someone in her family has gotten away with murder.
The friends insist they’re telling the truth about what they saw, but all of Rosewood thinks they’re simply out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after the girls, will anyone believe them . . . or will they be the next to disappear?
What I loved about this book was that it felt like we were truly getting closer to unmasking the new “A.” In the television series it’s Toby Cavannaugh, but he’s been dead now for several books. This is what makes reading and watching the books fun for me. Characters who have survived in the series, have bitten the big one in the books, giving readers a different suspects list to play with. I also love how minor characters from the television series are major in the books. It makes things a lot easier to keep from getting confused between the two series.
Having Google searched the killer, I actually know how things will turn out (party-pooper, I know), but I love looking for clues to connect the dots from what I’m supposed to know at this point, and what I actually know. The last book seemed like such a waste, because nothing really seemed to happen, but in this book major story points were revealed. Sara Shepard truly redeemed herself with Heartless, as I was beginning to lose interest in the series. Well played, madam!