Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares. Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live with her überconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much. If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one.
I'm going to start this review by feeling a bit smug about getting half of the story right! And before people start pointing out that I'm writing this about 4 months after reading all the books up to book 9, I will remind them that I took notes and noted theories as I read books 2-8 over the space of a week in October and all I'm doing now is typing them up as I wrote them then. So I did guess who 'A' was by book 3, not after reading who was unmasked in book 4!
Hanna is critically ill in hospital and makes up with Mona at her bedside, where Mona admits to getting horrible texts from 'A'. The police discover that Ali was having a fling with Ian behind Melissa's back in spite of knowing Spencer had a crush on him. Emily runs away from Iowa and her parents agree to try to accept her choices and get to know Maya, who Emily suspects might be 'A'. Aria discovers the truth about the Jenna thing while Spencer and Mona suspect that Melissa killed Ali.
As before, if you don't want the big plot spoilers, I'd suggest you go and do some shopping or something!
After being caught cheating by Sean and moaning about him leaving her with nowhere to live, Aria has more complaints in this book when Ezra is fired and decides to leave town without her. She is forced to move in with her dad and his mistress. I'm getting a bit tired at Aria's selfishness. Everything is someone elses fault, never hers and she moans constantly. After all her pleas to her family about her sexuality and Maya, Emily gets the acceptance she wants...then decides she isn't sure if she wants Maya after all. Her indecision makes you want to strangle her sometimes!
Spencer of course, is in it up to her neck, and now manages to upset her parents by having second thoughts about still claiming the essay to be hers. What the hell is wrong with her parents? When they find out about her stealing the essay, they make her continue with the deception so they can have the glory of their daughter winning the prize? They really are losers who should never have had children. Is it any wonder the girls turned out the way they did?
The first big bit of fun in the book is finding out what really happened to Jenna. I loved this reveal! Jenna and Alison planned the whole firework stunt to expose what Toby was doing and have him sent away, but it went wrong and blinded Jenna by accident. Jenna knows who 'A' is because Jenna saw the only other person who was there that night but won't tell.
And now the big reveal! Yes, just as Hanna remembers in her hospital bed that she had worked it out before the accident, we find out who 'A' was and it is...Mona! Mona, as I guessed, found the diary in the stuff cleared from the house that was left out on the street. Mona who was always hanging around, hoping to be invited into the group but always ignored. But she tells Spencer something that none of them knew-the last diary entry from the night Ali died says she was going to meet Ian and force him to tell Melissa about them. Despite the ending her actions have caused, Mona's final revelation has Ian arrested.
I don't believe that Ian is the killer as it all fits far too easily. There is more to this story than that. My suspects for killing Ali at the moment are Melissa and Ali's mother, as there is something off about that woman. The only others I can think of are Ali's former friends who she suddenly dropped without any reason-there must be something in that but I'm not seeing it yet. I expect we'll find out about it at some point.
Still enjoying the series!