Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA Mystery
Released: 3 January 2012
Series: Pretty Little Liars #4.5
A's making a list and checking it twice.
Rewind to junior year in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, to a winter break no one has ever heard about...
Alison's murderer is in ail, A is dead, and the pretty little liars can finally relax. Or so they think. But there's a new A in town - me. I'm watching these girls day and night, and you won't believe what I've uncovered. Hanna's desperate for a very personal session with her trainer. Emily is number one on Santa's naughty list. Aria's old flame fro Iceland is about to land her in hot water. And Spencer's resorting to some backhanded tactics to get what she wants.
What happens on holiday break stays on holiday break - right? But guess what. I saw. And now I'm telling.
Another great book in the Pretty Little Liars series finished!
This companion novel which takes place between Unbelievable and Wicked follows the girls in four separate stories over the holiday period. Hanna's father moves back into his old house, now with Isabel and Kate in tow. With Kate now living down the hall, Hanna begins to feel self-concious, beginning to regressing into her former self. Determined not to let Fat Hanna return and to forget about Lucas potentially dumping her while he's on holiday, she joins a holiday bootcamp, mainly because the instructor is super yummy! Meanwhile, Emily is forced to play Santa at the mall in order to get close to the elves who have been terrorising the neighbourhood and stealing Christmas things. Despite wanting to help her mother, she realises the girls aren't so bad and is happy to be back in a clique after three years. Elsewhere, Aria storms out on the Winter Solstice vacation with her father when he invites along Meredith - so much for a family vacation. However, she's soon having her own vacation when her first boyfriend from Iceland arrives and Aria comes up with a plan to enable him to stay in the country. Finally, Spencer and her family are spending New Years in Florida where Spencer sets her eyes on a cute tennis player. With Melissa's help, she manages to break him and his girlfriend up, but the fight isn't over. All the while, someone is lurking in the bushes, watching the girls - is A back?
I feel like I'm running out of things to say about these books that don't make me sound repetitive, but let's try anyway.
I really enjoyed the book, which acts as a bridge between arcs one and two (the first four books and the second four books). Most people say you definitely should read this book where it lies in the series, rather than waiting until you finish the main books, and I totally agree. I feel like this book would serve no purpose if you were to read it later on.
At some points, I did wonder if this book needed to be made because the stories seemed kind of useless and boring compared to what the first four books were like - there is no A drama, just regular Rosewood drama which now pales in comparison.
Hanna and Emily's stories were a bit slow for me, whereas Aria and Spencer's were really good. I think this is because for Aria it involved some really good Ali flashbacks, and for Spencer is contained some subtle A moments. Hanna and Emily's just didn't really hold my interests at times and felt like they needed a little more drama to spice things up.
I think what really made this book good was A's final message at the end which teased as to what's to come!
Overall, I really recommend reading this book between the two arcs, as I don't feel it would be necessary to pick it up when you're further along in the series (but, I'm only saying this because I haven't read the rest of the books so don't know if it does become necessary). I'm really enjoying this series and can't wait to see where it goes.
[Please be aware there is a preview of Ali's Pretty Little Lies at the back of the book which includes major spoilers for the series]