Series: Pretty Little Liars #0.5
Author: Sara Shepard
Published Date: December 31st 2013
Genre: YA, Mystery
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Before there was A, there was Alison DiLaurentis. Boys wanted to date her, girls wanted to be her, and somebody wanted her dead. . . .
It's the end of seventh grade, and Alison DiLaurentis and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. Ali runs her clique with an iron fist, and she's got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer to keep them in line. But Ali's hiding a dark secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She's desperate to keep the perfect life she's worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences. . . .
Set in the weeks leading up to Ali's murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: Ali herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began . . . and how Alison DiLaurentis's life ended.
“Sometimes, a family is like an ear of summer corn: It might look perfect on the outside, but when you peel the husk away. every kernel is rotten.”
I decided to start reading this series (I read the first one, but can't remember anything about it), right with the prequel to see how/why Ali acted the way she did.
"So she shut her eyes and channeled her sister. A beautiful bitch. A manipulative queen bee. The girl who'd ruined her life."
I surprisingly really loved Ali (Courtney) in this book (not a big fan of her on the show). Ali (Courtney) has had to put up with a lot from her twin that needs some help. Yet, the real Ali is the one that got Courtney sent away so that she could be the only girl in the family and get all the attention. That is until Courtney finds a way to become "Ali" and get the real Ali sent away to get the help she really needs.
The whole Ali, Courtney thing is rather confusing. I'll even admit that I had to re-read certain paragraphs again to make sure that I was getting everything right.
One thing that did bother me, was how Jason who apparently was super close to Courtney couldn't ever tell that she was the one pretending to be Ali so she could have a normal live. It just didn't make sense to me. Also, how can two parents really not tell their twins apart? When they obviously have some difference even if they are supposed to be identical.
“She'd make them wish they were never Alison DiLaurentis's friends in the first place. She didn't know how, and she didn't know when, but at least she had one person she could count on to help her carry it out. Together, they were going to make it happen.
Even if it killed her.”
Let's get back to Ali (Courtney) though and her new found friendship with Emily, Spencer, Aria and Hannah. While they are all supposed to be BFF, it felt to me like she was closer to Emily and Hannah from the start and just saw Spencer as competition, and I'm still not really sure what brought her and Aria together (did I miss something?). I really did like learning about the life Ali (Courtney) had made for herself and how she really was just trying to be a 'normal' young girl. I actually felt for her when it seemed like the other girls were keeping secrets from her, but I can also see it from their side about why they didn't tell her things. She can be extremely rude about it, and is extremely controlling of their friendship and will use anything to keep them all in line.
I will full admit that the ending still got me. I knew what was going to happen, but it didn't make it any less shocking, if anything it made it more shocking because of some other details we find out.
Overall now I'm really looking forward to finally starting this series properly!