The thing I said about spoilers before my last review for this series still applies, so if you’re trying to avoid spoilers for this book, I would suggest avoiding this review.
I don’t even know what to say.
If nothing else, I guess I can say that it makes more sense now that I’ve actually read the second book.
Also, I read this entire book while listening to OKNOTOK on repeat. Radiohead music paired with Pretty Little Liars is a strange experience, it was kind of surreal, but I would probably still recommend doing exactly what I did.
I really don’t like that in the prologue they call Ali (I could be spelling that wrong) “sexy”. In the prologue, she’s thirteen. You could call her very pretty, even beautiful, but calling a thirteen year old sexy is far too objectifying. This sort of description isn’t weird within the context of the book, and I’ve learned to expect nothing more from this series, but still. This book has some flaws that I’m willing to forgive, but objectifying children is not one of them.
It kind of seemed like the author dropped the subject of Toby’s suicide pretty quickly. For the first fifty pages, or less, of the book, Emily is very upset about his death, and she even thinks she might be at fault. Then they just drop it entirely. I understand that Emily is going through a lot of stuff, like A telling everyone that she’s gay, and her parents freaking out because of that; however, you’d think that, even though she’s going through a lot of other things, she would at least think of the suicide a little. Even if the only thing said about it was some passing mention about her dreaming about his suicide, or something like that, I would be okay with it. But it seemed kind of weird to me that it was entirely dropped. I’ve never known anyone who committed suicide, but I can’t imagine that it’s something you get over quickly. You’d think this would bother her for a long time, especially since Emily thinks she had something to do with his suicide.
On that note, I’m still not over my sister’s pet rabbit who died back in early November last year. I don’t think about it every day, but I avoid going through my pictures from that time, because I know that there are a lot of pictures of her. I also can’t talk about it because it’s too emotional. I would expect to be upset about a person dying for much, much longer than being upset about a rabbit. Emily getting over it, or just not thinking about it after a few weeks or months (I can’t remember how much time passed in this book), seems unrealistic.
There was a lot less exposition in this book, which I liked. I do kind of see how the exposition could become important in the later books, because I’ve read only three out of the many books in this series, and they’re already blurring together. I obviously still remember the important parts, but I could see myself forgetting some of the smaller details by the end of the series. That said, I don’t know why there was so much exposition in the second book-there aren’t that many details to remember, and it’s the second book, so it’s not like you’re nine books deep into the series.
There was also still a lot of product placement, and a lot about the specific colors of the clothes the characters wore, because THAT is obviously vitally important to the plot. I’m not that far into the series yet, so who knows what’s going to happen with this, and maybe it’ll end up slowly fading away. Or maybe it’ll end up being part of the entire series and I won’t be able to see this as anything more than a fluffy vanity series, which gives fashion more serious attention that suicide.
I’ve said it before in my reviews for other books in this series, but I’m going to say it again, I don’t think I’m in the target audience for this book at all. I’ve looked for stuff online about what the target audience for this series is, but all I could find is that it’s targeted towards people in their teens and early twenties. I fall into this audience, but I still don’t think I’m exactly the type of person in the target audience. I’m not trying to say that I’m not like other girls, or I’m edgy and alternative and different. I know that my interests and personality aren’t special-I follow about twenty blogs on tumblr run by girls around my age who are interested in the same things I’m interested in. I’m not unique, nor do I pretend to be. However, I think that these books are probably marketed towards the preppier teenage girls who are looking for romance and fluff just as much as they’re looking for a murder mystery. Obviously that’s entirely my opinion, and I wasn’t on the marketing team for this book, so how am I to know what their target audience was. I love marketing, and I wish I could know what the people marketing this book said or thought, but that’s probably not possible.
I mentioned in my review for the first book that I was kind of worried about this series because it’s so long, and I worry that the author won’t be able to make each book original and interesting. This isn’t a comment against the author-I think it would be hard for any author to write a series this long without it getting boring and repetitive in some parts. I’m getting more worried about this, though, because now the first three books have kind of faded into a blur in my mind. I know that whatever I’m thinking about is part of the series, but I probably couldn’t tell you which book it came from.
I do plan to finish this series, and I plan to pick up the next book fairly soon. That said, I don’t have very high hopes for the series, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I stopped liking it at some point. Even if I do stop liking it, I will finish it. I’ve committed to this series. I’m going to find out who A is no matter how many books it takes. But, like I said, no high hopes.