A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book features all kinds of bad behavior. One character hooks up with a teacher, another with her sister's boyfriend. There's bulimia, drunk driving, shoplifting, pranking, swearing, smoking -- and the big secret: what happened to their best friend. This is the start of a series and also inspired a popular TV show.
What's the story?
This is basically Desperate Housewives for the teen set. The book centers on former friends, each with her own set of issues -- one crushes on a girl, another struggles with her weight/self-esteem, etc. What they share now is a mystery in their past: One night, during the summer before eighth grade, their leader, Allison, disappeared without a trace. They've drifted apart but come back together when they start receiving strange messages from someone named "A" who seems to know all their secrets, past and present.
Is it any good?
This is pure guilty pleasure that's hugely popular with teens: The average rating among nearly 100 of Common Sense Media's young readers is 5 out of 5 stars.
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS is the launch of yet another series about pretty, privileged girls who do all sorts of naughty things. This book has a mystery at its heart -- a former friend disappeared one night before the start of eighth grade. Ali's disappearance gives readers something to guess about in between the protagonists' student-teacher sex scandals and bouts of bulimia.
Inspired parents can use this story to get kids thinking about why books about rich, popular female frenemies have struck such a chord with readers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of this book -- and the crop of clique series that have appeared on bookstore shelves in recent years. Are these books simply an escape, or do they promote dangerous values?
Do books like this one affect the way girls treat one another -- or themselves?
For kids who love girly teen reads
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.