I just want to get this series done. The last book felt like a conclusion. It should have ended there. It wouldn’t have been a flawless ending, but everything was wrapped up nicely. Why is there another book? We’re already over halfway through the series, and none of the loose ends are being wrapped up. Actually, every book just brings up more loose ends that probably won’t get wrapped up by the end of the series.
One of my biggest complaints at this point is that there has been no character development. None of them have learned from their mistakes, none of them have changed as people, none of them make better decisions. They’re basically the exact same people they were at the beginning of the series, but now they’ve actually murdered someone (more on that later). You’d think that the kinds of experiences they’re going through would be life changing. You’d think that coming very, very close to dying repeatedly would make you think about your life in a way that you possibly didn’t before. I doubt someone could go through all of this and still be the same person after it was over. But these girls are exactly the same. It doesn’t make sense! Will they change at all over the course of the series, or will they be the same in book sixteen as they were in book one? I know that some of the characters have anxiety and nightmares because of all that’s happened, but this kind of thing seems like the kind of thing to entirely change a person. I’m not a psychologist, I don’t know how people deal with trauma, but I don’t know how someone could be so unaffected by the things these people have gone through.
It seems like the reason that a lot of the bad things happen in this series is that none of the people talk to each other about any of the serious things that are happening. If Hanna had just talked to her father about the pictures that were taken of her and how she was being blackmailed, it could have been dealt with. She wouldn’t have had to steal ten thousand dollars from her father’s campaign to pay they guy to not release the pictures. We all know that at some point stealing the money will come back to haunt her, but if she had talked to someone about it, it would no longer be an issue. If Emily had told someone about what Chloe’s dad was doing there wouldn’t have been any misunderstandings between Emily and Chloe later in the book, and the problem would have been dealt with. They would all have much easier lives if they just talked to people about what was going on. Aria could have talked to Noel about her jealousy, they could all talk to the police about “A”, and Spencer could have not done whatever it is that the book is alluding to her doing to get into college.
If someone was threatening to tell everyone something I was keeping a secret, I would probably tell everyone myself. Because, either way, everyone is going to know, so it would be better to do it on my own terms. I have no dark, life ruining secrets, so obviously I’m in a different position than they are, but my point still stands. If I was in the same position that they were in, I would still reveal my own secrets. It gives you the upper hand against whoever is stalking you, and it makes it so that you’re still in control of your life.
The book starts by talking about something that happened while the girls were all in Jamaica. It was nearly constantly mentioned, kind of like “The Jenna Thing” back in the first few books in the series. I assumed that, like “The Jenna Thing”, what they did wouldn’t be completely revealed until several books later. It would constantly be there, reminding you that something happened, but it would take a long time to actually tell you what it was. Luckily, I was wrong. But the thing they did in Jamaica ended up being much more serious than I thought it was going to be. They literally murdered a girl. I am not exaggerating. Literal. Murder. Because she was acting strangely and they thought she might be Ali. There’s more to it than just that, but I’m not going to summarize the whole thing for fear of messing up a detail, and because it would probably be boring for all of us. The girl they thought was Ali (who was actually Tabitha) was being kind of weird, but it was more like she was trying to mess with them. They were all over TV and in magazines, of course someone will try to mess with them. The reasonable reaction to that is not to push them off the roof. Again, like I said, there’s more to it than that, and there are little details thrown in through the entire book, so, unless I went back and took notes of each thing that happened, I would not be able to put all of it in here. Also, since a lot went into it, it wouldn’t be a quick thing to summarize. Anyway, now these girls have literally killed someone. Someone who was innocent. I don’t even know where the author can go from here.
Also, I feel like there shouldn’t have been the thing with Jamaica AND the thing with Emily having a baby in the same book. It’s just too much drama in three hundred and five pages. I’m sure that all of these things will come up in the next book, and I’m sure that we’ll get more information about both of them in books to come, but I want all the backstory now.
In earlier reviews, I mentioned the amount of product placement in this series, and I said that I would mention in later reviews if it continued. It’s gotten worse. The book has about the same number of mentions of fashion designers, but now there are more mentions of phone brands (because being obsessed with what brand of phone someone has isn’t shallow at all), and there are a lot of mentions of food brands. I don’t know why any of this matters. Is the author trying to tie it to our world because they eat the same corn chips that I do? Because that isn’t world building. It actually just feels like some kind of sponsored product placement.
My last item to talk about is something that I’ve meant to mention for every review I’ve done so far, but every time I forget. About half of the characters in this series are described as having “gravelly voices”. So either half of these characters smoke a lot, have thyroid problems, have really bad allergies, or they are affecting a strange voice thing. It seems weird. There are other ways that voices can be described, and most voices are not gravelly. Maybe they’re trying to be sexy? I’m not sure how the above conditions are sexy, though. That’s something to think about. The internet tells me that a study was done showing that men are more attractive with husky voices and women with more breathy voices; however, both lower their voices when they are flirting. So, are these girls always flirting with everyone?
I honestly don’t know what to rate this. I gave it two stars on goodreads, but I don’t know if that’s an accurate way to express my feelings towards it? I’m going to finish the series, and I’m going to finish it fairly soon (I hope), but the books seem to be getting worse.