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pllk Killer (Pretty Little Liars #6) by Sara Shepard | Rating: ★★★★★

Four little teenage liars residing in Rosewood, Pennsylvania are only just beginning to be the pawns of a big game. After months of torture by the hands of an anonymous threat, A, the girls thought things were over the mystery of their best friends death was solved. They thought they were safe and back to the comfort of their designer digs and romantic little lives.

Emily, Aria, Spencer and Hanna are still as scandalous and sweet as ever. Lying is like second nature to each girl and their drama is only just beginning. With the resurrection of their pasts and the return of A, a new one, their lives are quickly going south. Rosewood better prepare themselves for more heat–the fire is only just beginning.

Killer is jam packed with mystery much like all previous installments and it’s impossible to put down. Yes, the sixth book still has that spark that makes it so fast paced and all the more intriguing. As a whole, the series is a bit prone to drag on–just look at how many books there are that have been published–but the fabulous thing is that it remains entertaining in the way that you’d expect.

Sara Shepard pens a tale of glamour, love, friendship, loss and danger perfectly. Pretty Little Liars surely has its flaws, but it’s not meant to be perfect. It’s merely a fun little romp. Campy, dramatic and filled to the brim with teenage angst.

Embrace the mystery and keep those pages turning. The concept is the same as the previous books. You’ve got four teenage girls who have the seemingly perfect life in a luxurious town. But nothing is ever as it seems and the lies these girls have in their lives are slowly unraveling. Past and present tie together as they search for long awaited answers and explore their teenage years in a realistic manner.

First, there’s Hanna Marin. After a breakup with her boyfriend Lucas and the disastrous turn of events of her home life, she finds herself competing with her step-sister, Kate, for many things. You name it, Hanna and Kate are battling it out for: the affection of Mr. Marin, the queen bee status and now the attention of Aria’s younger brother, Mike Montgomery. I like that she is flawed and insecure but pretty fearless--Hanna Marin is ready for battle and she absolutely isn't afraid of getting her hands dirty.

And then there’s Spencer Hastings. Spencer’s always felt unconnected to her family who are often times more cold than anything towards her. After finding out she may be adopting, with the help of Andrew Campbell, Spencer begins the search for her biological mother.

When she receives a message from the woman, the two plan to meet up and Spencer–for the first time in ages–finds an adult she connects with and can look up to. In an effort to ditch her Hastings family roots, she plans to move to New York City to grow closer to her mother.

But it comes with a gamble and things are definitely not what they seem.

Betrayal and heartbreak reach our girl. Whereas in the last book, Hanna takes the spotlight: Killer is all on Spencer. Her parts of the novel are heartfelt and funny. I didn’t know it was possible, but I grew to love Spencer so much more in this installment. She was just so sympathetic and even strong. I love it.

Emily Fields is facing a lot of changes in her life. After only feeling deeply for girls in the past she has found herself in a comfortable and sweet relationship with one of the nicest guys she’s ever met. And she feels so strongly for him, she loses her virginity to him and even plans to introduce him to her family.

I love that her bisexual roots are being explored and while it doesn’t compare to the sweet nature of her relationship with Maya, she has a solid relationship with Isaac that is pleasant to read. I think Sara is able to portray these things really well.

The only complication in Emily’s new relationship is the fact that Isaac’s mother is so painfully hostile to her. Or so she thinks. Is she imagining things? Or is this woman firmly against her for some reason?

Lastly, there’s Aria. Aria has grown so much since the series started and as I mentioned in my review for the previous book, she is putting herself and her family first. Aria’s mother is dating a man that Aria herself was once attracted to. Xavier has even managed to weasel himself further into their lives and has bonded with Mike.

Living with Xavier is becoming increasingly more uncomfortable and stressful for Aria and what she once found attractive about him is now sleazy. He seems to have the intention of getting closer to her mother but continuously makes passes at Aria and it’s just all uncomfortable.

Putting her family first, she decides to put some distance in between herself and her mother. Not because she wishes to be apart from her but because she cannot be around Xavier. So she moves in with her father and the woman she once viewed as a homewrecker.

It’s an uncomfortable situation all around but the way Aria handles it shows improvement and growth, without managing to water down the fact that she is a teenager. She also has some romantic subplots, as usual, but they aren’t anything to write home about at the moment.

As for the rest of the story, we get a lot of questions and answers as the truth unravels bit by bit. Each of the girls seem to be in some kind of danger and continue living their lives as they possibly can. AND THAT ENDING? Okay, okay… I don’t want to spoil the ending if you haven’t read it but HOLY SHIT.

Talk about a cliffhanger. Talk about incentive to continue the series.

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