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Parent reviews for Pretty Little Liars, Book 1

Common Sense says

First book in cliquey girls' series shows off bad behavior.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 43 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 175 reviews
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... October 1, 2010

Inappropriate for Anyone Under Age 18

I am a director of education and read contemporary juvenile and young adult literature so that I am aware of what many students are reading. I was SHOCKED by the contents and characters in Sara Shepard's _Pretty Little Liars_. I found the characters to be plucked straight from TV shows that are aimed at adults and the plot developed as a situational comedy/drama. I do not think that it is an appropriate book for any youth in high school or younger to read. The author has placed her teen age characters in adult situations. In addition, none of the adults in the book is a good parental model. The adults are immature, self absorbed, and emotionally still adolescents. The teen aged characters lie, drink, do drugs, steal cars, have sexual encounters with teachers, have sexual encounters with older young adults (one character goes after her college-age sister's boyfriend who is in medical school.) and show no remorse or examination of conscience for their actions. If find such behavior in high school sophomores to be high inappropriate for a book aimed at middle- and high-school students. On page 88 the author refers to one mother as a MILF. I was not familiar with this acronym. When I learned that it means "Mother I'd Like to F*#%", I couldn't believe that an editor and publisher allowed it to appear in a book for youth. I am not a prude, but I do believe that books for youth should not further sexualize teen girls and young woman, especially through situations that have them lusting after older men (who are happy to return the lust). It is a sad reflection of our society that editors and publishers believe that this book is appropriate for youth. But, they are as greedy and driven by market success and money as the characters in the book, no matter the true cost to others and the harm done in the long run. Equally shocking to me are the parents who allow their children to read these books without first reading, reviewing, or at least reading reviews of them. Parents NEED to parent. Just because a book in labeled and marketed as Young Adult does not mean that the book is appropriate for youth. It is negligent (if not criminal) that this book is able to be published and marketed as a book for Young Adults.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 3, 6, 10, 13, 15, and 17 year old Written bykatielott15 February 28, 2011

e.g. For anyone who can read

I think that the message this book sends out to readers is that, it is never good to lie. This book is a perfect example of bad things that could happen if you dont follow the rules.

This title contains:

Language
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent November 25, 2010

Excellent, well-written read for 6th grade and up

Pretty Little Liars is a well-written guilty pleasure novel that is an enjoyable and entertaining read for 6th grade and up. Kids will enjoy the fun details of the wealthy and privileged. Your children should be smart enough to realize that this is guilty pleasure fiction and should not be taken seriously. A+

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 13 year old Written bygrandjjsmom January 31, 2011

Adults only, not for teens

It is a shame books like this get in the way of other stories 12-15 year olds would like to enjoy. Are books like this written to encourage trashy romance reading later in life? Or, more likely, a very commercial way for authors to become financially independent at a young age. Regardless of the reason remember parents: Sara Shepard is not coming to counsel your children if they choose her characters as role models. It is MY responsibility to make sure my daughters NEVER read this S***. Fortunately my son has no interest. Thanks.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written bymom of tween.teen January 7, 2009

Not appropriate for young teens

I bought this book for my 12 year old after she begged for it. The cover has an appeal for 12 year old drama girls... I read the first few pages in the bookstore & thought, okay, it's about a bunch of grade 7 girls... Perfect... I bought the book & decided to read it when we got home as my daughter was finishing up her 4th Twilight series book before she was going to start this one.... WHOA am I ever glad I read this book before letting her.... My daughter will NOT be reading this book until she is at least 15.... at LEAST.... Not only does this book talk about all those highschool girl headgames & belimia, dating teachers etc, but it even goes into great detail about fingers going up skirts etc.... This book series is more for the "young adult" age group then "teen" - especially "young teens".. Now from an adult perspective - it's a fun read.... :)
Parent of a 14 year old Written byBree124 January 17, 2011

Good for girls 12 and up

It was a really good book. I don't understand what everyone is so concerned about. None of the girls in this book have sex. One likes other girls, one is secretly dating her English teacher, one doesn't even have a boyfriend, and ones boyfriend refuses to have sex. And it's a good mystery.

This title contains:

Language
Positive role models
Adult Written byVictorian1973 September 10, 2011

Can't wait to find out who A is...

My 12 year old and I both read the same book and then talk about it. We are enjoying reading the Pretty Little Liars series. Yes, there is smoking, drinking, fooling around and other bad choices. However, that is an opportunity to talk about these issues and how to make better choices. For goodness sakes, kids know all about these things, stop living in the lala land that only exists in your head. At 12 I was reading Flowers in the Attic!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bymorals and values May 5, 2010

terrible for all girls

Does nothing to help girls develop positive, ethical morals and values.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byclaireskogsberg October 13, 2011

LOVE LOVE LOVE

i absolutely love this book!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Consumerism
Parent of a 7 year old Written bysubchasers2 September 27, 2010
Adult Written byhj2kr1 April 9, 2008
Adult Written bykatiemacd March 13, 2012

Grow up Parents.

I've have read all the Pretty little liars books and i think they are amazing books. They are full of action, suspense and drama. Yes these books do have a lot of inappropriate behavior but so does every other tv show out there. Parents would be suprised at the language and other "inappropriate" behaviour their children get exposed to on a daily bases. Just because a kid reads it in a book doesnt mean they are going to take it literally, I don't see many kids attempting to fly around on brooms and catch a snitch in my town.
Adult Written bycaiika March 23, 2012

useless and negative

i read the complete books months ago , im 18 and i really don't think it's appropriate for kids under 15 or 16 . Sara wrote what she wanted to write without caring about other people's values or age or whatever ! one girl is gay, one is a thieve,one dating her teacher, And one betraying and hating her sister ! thank god i read them at this age cuz i just see it as a story and i wanted to know what will happen next .. i didn't care about the girls' lives i just loved the whole mystery and A thing ! the story is useless and stupid to be honest .. it's laaaame but the one thing that had me reading it was A and the mystery

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTGArt June 17, 2010

They'll learn about it anyway

Kids are already hearing about scandals like shoplifting, bulimea, students sleeping with teachers and so on. They've probably already learned about it or are going to.
Adult Written byAllie7768 July 16, 2011

pretty little liars

I just wish to point out how homophobic it is to and ignorant to say specifically that there is "girl on girl kissing", you could just say there is kissing and leave it at that. why get so specific? Anyway, onto the book! These books are great easy-reads, perfect for tweens and up. While these characters aren't exactly the role models we would want our kids to look up to, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the characters' bad behaviour (drinking, smoking, lying ) almost always backfires on them. I hope this teaches my children that while it's ok to be their own person, and even be a little stupid once in a (very) blue moon, it's important to remember what impact their actions could later have. In a way, the girls are role models, they put on a strong face and try to handle all the back-stabbing, whispers, and disbelieving adults. I feel this book offers very realistic characters in a not so realistic world. I don't want my kids to be sheltered, and so long as they realise this is entirely a made up world, I'm not worried about the **mostly** suggestive violence, substance abuse, yada yada yada.
Adult Written byKnowler August 21, 2011

A Fine Book But Careful To Think Before Being Influenced By The Bad Things The Girls Have Done

If a kid is influenced by books first, then they'll develop a positive thinking attitude. If the kid watches TV first, then you'll have trouble to educate them to being nice. I believe that kids who read books aren't dumb enough to dare try the things said in the book although there are many uncomfortable issues in this 1st of the PLL series. Well, as I was reading this book, I've noticed that the 4 good, timid girls( Aria, Spencer, Hanna & Emily) have gone bad thanks to proud & selfish Alison DiLaurentis. This shows that friends can influence other kids to do bad things. Plus, I'm worried about the sexual content ( Emily kissed a girl's lips with passion, Spencer's naked with Wren after making out with him, Aria too is naked with her English teacher on his bed, Hanna almost naked in her underwear while trying to make her boyfriend have sex with her). Pity for Hanna. Is she that desperate to know her boyfriend's love for her? Parents, make sure you're there with your kids while they're reading this book. Educate them that what they're reading is fictional. Eventhough this book contains promoting products, sex issues & bad language ( "F" word is very bad to curse people except take MILF as Mother Is Looking Fabulous), it kind of turns out fine 'cause its tension when the PLL girls started receiving text message form 'A'. For that, I might be reading the next sequel or maybe even the whole series. There's one advise to younger kids out there. Never lie to anyone although telling the truth might bring you down ( that's being selfish ), but lying will make you into a monster especially putting your loved ones in danger. Well, that depends whether the truth is dangerous or not. Anyway,just remember not to get involve with bad friends like Alison.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bykmhassey April 9, 2008
Adult Written bycateyesva July 23, 2011

Pretty Little Liars Teaches Really Poor Morals

My niece is really into these books. My husband and I took her on a trip with us to a resort and my niece stole an expensive top from me and then repeatedly lied about it when I asked her about it. When we got back from the trip, I watched Pretty Little Liars with her and one character pawned her sister's engagement ring. My niece is only 11 years old and I think the issues in the book are way too advanced for an 11 year old to process. My niece wants to be like the girls in the books. At first, I was happy she was reading, but I had no idea what she was reading. This book was found in the children's section at Border's.
Adult Written bybethaboo623 January 10, 2011

NOT for tweens.

I love this book for ages 16 and up, I'm 18 and I'm almost finished with this series, but I would never recommend it to anyone under 15.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bymittonan September 16, 2014

Too much product placement!

Story about four juniors in high school and typical stuff they deal with on a day to day basis. Laced with curse words, alcohol use, and a few "make-out" scenes. In book one- no one has actual sex...just kissing and "went up my sports bar". There's a short scene where two of the girls kiss. Book is not well written but teenage girls will enjoy the smut. TOO TOO much consumerism!!

This title contains:

Consumerism

Pages