Sunday, July 14, 2013

Crushed by Sara Shepard

In #13 of the illustrious Pretty Little Liars series, we get to find out Aria's new secret. We know it happened while she and Hanna were vacationing in Iceland with their boyfriends. Let me say that it. Is. Awesome.

Avert your eyes, folks who don't want to be spoiled. Aria and her boyfriend Noel were having a tiff in Iceland. She was getting in a self-righteous mood, as she does, when she met a hipster named Olaf. One thing led to another, and they were kissing in an alley. Yet another thing led to another thing, and they were stealing a Van Gogh from a villa. I'll just let that absorb for a minute. Olaf played hipster chicken with Aria, and it ended with them trying to return Nazi-stolen artwork to its Jewish owners. That is the best, most outrageous secret yet.

In the present, Spencer decides that enough is enough. They are going to find A and end the torment. The Liars gather and deduce that Alison must have had an accomplice, who must be A. Their suspects are Grant (Tabitha's boyfriend who got all blown up on the eco cruise last book), Iris (Ali's roommate at the asylum), Jason (Ali's brother, not important because he is never mentioned again), and Noel Kahn (Aria's boyfriend, who suddenly became incredibly precious to me when I knew these girls were going to get him murdered).

The girls split up to investigate. Hanna takes back her old volunteering gig at the burn clinic to keep tabs on poor Grant. Emily visits Iris...and ends up breaking her out and helping her with her bucket list of stealing, skinny dipping, and stalking. Aria reluctantly agrees to investigate Noel, but she does so with a heavy heart. Everything she finds makes him look more and more guilty. Spencer goes for Alison herself, contacting the creator of a conspiracy website that claims Alison might still be alive.

The other story is that it's Prom time! Hanna is nominated for Prom Queen, against a formerly unglamorous classmate. Unfortunately, she can't campaign or A will reveal her secrets about Tabitha and Iceland. Spencer's boyfriend, Reefer, wins some elite internship in South America and he breaks up with her, leaving her to attend prom alone in her fancy designer dress. Fortunately, she hits it off with the conspiracy website guy and ends up taking him to the dance. Aria goes with Noel, but things get tense.

There is a constant pattern in these books wherein someone seems suspicious, the Liars suspect that they are A, there is a confrontation, then the suspect ends up dead. I was pretty devastated when they started to suspect Noel (As I already said). Some huge stuff happens in this book, definitely. I really, really need to know what happens next, as there was a huge cliffhanger. Book #14 is also supposed to be the FINAL book, for real this time. I'm very excited for that, the continuation and the ending.

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