I think there’s some tumblr post that has the phrase “Advanced meh”, and that’s kind of how I’m feeling about this series right now. I’ve obviously committed to it, and I intend to finish it, but I have so many mixed feelings.
I just did some googling and couldn’t find the post, but I’m pretty sure that phrase was somewhere on the internets, and even if it isn’t, it still sums up how I feel.
I don’t feel like anything really stood out to me in this book. Yes, they figure out who A is, and Meredith tells Aria and Byron that she’s pregnant (*ooh, plot twist*). I finished this book two days ago. It’s not like it’s been several months and I’ve forgotten some things. I want to be able to talk at great length about everything that’s happening in this series, and all of the events from the book, but seriously, nothing’s really standing out to me. I don’t even know anymore.
I feel like Emily leaving her relatives in Idaho was too easy. (It’s possible that she was in Iowa instead. It’s a state that starts with “I”, and, in my mind, the entire state is full of cows and rednecks. Honestly, in my mind, even the cows are rednecks, and they probably listen to country music. I am far too east coast for this.) She just left, got back to Pennsylvania, and found that her parents are now accepting of her and her girlfriend. It just all seems too easy. I understand the bit with her parents, and how the idea of her being lost made them realize their true feelings, and how it made them accept her. My explanation of it isn’t great, but in the book it makes sense. I’m not going to complain about it. The part that seems too easy is that she got back to Pennsylvania by bus and nothing happened. In this series, it seems that if something can go wrong it will go wrong. Travelling across several states by bus seems to be a time when something could go wrong. I like Emily, and I want happy endings for her, but I think it would go better with the themes in the book if she had at least thought she heard Ali calling her, or she saw a blonde girl who looked just like Ali out of the corner of her eye. There were so many other times in the series where this kind of thing happened, I would expect it to happen again-especially here-but it didn’t.
I was thinking more about all the stuff about specifically mentioning the brand names of clothes, and I have a theory. Maybe it’s some strange form of character development. It probably sounds weird right now, but bear with me. Maybe the author mentions exact colors or brand names of clothing because, whenever a main character sees someone, they recognize the brand of clothes that person is wearing, and then judge them based on the brands they wear. Maybe the specific brand someone wears is a large part of the first impression these girls get? I don’t know what different brands of clothing say about someone, but I dress like I’m in a nineties alternative band, so I don’t think I’m the person to ask about clothing brands. I’m just trying to make sense of something that makes no sense to me.
This thought occurred to me because I do something kind of similar to this. I can recognize what brand an electric guitar or bass is just by seeing it, and, sometimes, the type of guitar/bass someone has will make me think of them differently, even if I don’t know them. For example, I like people who play PRS electric guitars and any kind of five string bass. There’s even a specific type of electric guitar that I will negatively judge people for having. I know why I do this-the guitarist from the horrible band I was in had several of them, and I’m sure I associate them with her now. Most of the judgement about other people’s instruments is subconscious, and I won’t even realize what I’m doing until after I’ve done it. Anyway, even if you don’t know me, this says a lot about me, and kind of gives you an idea of what kind of person I am (a pretentious musician), and what matters to me/what my interests are. Obviously, I’m someone who’s very into music, specifically electric guitars and bass, and you may assume from this that I play electric guitar and bass, which is true. So maybe the characters in this book just subconsciously think about people’s clothing like this? I don’t know. I have so many more reviews to write for this series, I might as well try out some theories. This is also the only thing I can think of to explain it.
Mona being revealed as A seemed kind of anticlimactic. I was expecting something dramatic, but this just didn’t feel like enough. Mona had already changed to be more friendly with the rest of Hannah’s friends, so it already seemed like there was something up with her. She had also been a side character who wasn’t mentioned that much in the last three books of the series, so it was kind of weird that she was suddenly a bigger part of the book. Obviously, something was going to happen and that something involved her in some way. If she had been a bigger part of the books for more than just the last fifty pages of the third book, and all of the fourth book, I wouldn’t have suspected anything. But the way it was done, it just seemed weird, and she didn’t really seem like herself.
I kind of feel like the series could have ended here. Maybe put in a few more details in the last book, or make each of the books a little longer, and then end it here. I don’t see where the author could go after this, but this book isn’t even close to the end of the series, so there’s obviously a lot more that happens.
I still plan to finish the series, and the next book I plan to read is the fifth book in the series.
Two stars again, because I’m still reading the series, but I don’t love it.