Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder


Title: Pretty Little Devils
Author: Nancy Holder
Published: September 2009 by Razorbill

My Rating: 2.5 stars
Tags: YA | Girls | Mystery
Includes: Profanity, Sexuality, Alcohol and Drug Abuse

First Lines: By the end of the first week of school, everyone had their designated seats in the cafeteria.



It's junior year for Hazel and she wishes more than anything to be in a popular clique - more specifically, the Pretty Little Devils (PLD's). They're the queen bees of the school, whom everyone adores. So after Sylvia, their "leader" invites Hazel to one of their parties, she quickly agrees. Soon, Hazel is one of them and feels on top of the world. But trouble is brewing for this group of babysitters...they begin getting creepy phone calls, anonymous text messages, and emails from someone out to get them. As people around them start turning up dead, Hazel's not sure she wants to be a PLD anymore. Is her life worth the popularity?

From Page 70
Then she looked toward the wall of glass and caught her breath. A tall, hooded figure stood outside the house. Hazel stared at the silent figure. Slowly, slowly, it lifted its head. It raised its hand and pointed at Hazel.


This book immediately made me think of the "Pretty Little Liars" series by Sara Shepard; with an anonymous person sending threatening texts to the most popular girls in school. Not to mention the title of the book...heh. I was pretty disappointed with the book. After reading the summary that immediately got me hooked, and all of the 5 star reviews about it online, I was surprised that I didn't really like the book. I think that the writing was weak and not very descriptive. Most of the time, the character's dialogue seemed artificial - either forced, or not how teenagers their age would normally talk. Also, the texting lingo was annoying; not all teenagers type like "C U L8R" like the author made it seem. In fact, I don't know
anyone who types like that - it just takes longer to decipher the message. The book was written through normal chapters, the PLD's chat room - when they would type very annoyingly - and through short blog posts written by the killer.

I'll admit though that the author did a great job keeping up suspense throughout the book! I was never quite certain who the killer could be, and it kept me on the edge of my toes - not knowing what would happen next. The ending was...interesting. Very unexpected. It's not until the last page that you find out who the real murderer was throughout the whole book; and even though it was a twist, it didn't make any sense. The author didn't include a motive for the character or anything so I'm still left pretty confused.

Unfortunately, none of the characters in the book were likable. It was sad seeing how the PLD's defined friendship, because it wasn't accurate. Throughout the whole book, all Hazel was concerned with was fitting in, being liked, and what others thought about her. She had no problem turning her back on her old friends to join the PLD's instead. That shows a lot about her character, and she didn't change, either but instead just got worse as the book continued. The PLD's did a whole lot of underage drinking, not just at their parties, and the author didn't make it seem like a bad thing. Usually authors are trying to persuade their teen readers to not fall into peer pressure and drink, by having some type of bad consequence follow up. Nope, not here. Instead, it just made the PLD's look even more "cool". From the way the PLD's were portrayed - as unreachable and perfect from the eyes of the other highschool students - I found it strange how they randomly asked Hazel to join their group. She was a nobody beforehand, sort of like in the movie
Mean Girls. What made them choose her to join the group that all of the other girls at school were dying to join? No pun intended.

I really tried my best to enjoy this book and get into it, but I simply couldn't. Maybe it just wasn't for me. From what I saw on Amazon.com, it has an average 5 star rating! Give it a shot if you want; it's a good suspense novel but nothing more.

Cover Thoughts: Yeah, I like it. I'm not falling head-over-heels in love with it, but the cover model is pretty and I like all the red color on it.

Book Supplied by: Author for review.

16 comments:



brizmus said...

I've been wanting to like a Nancy Holder book, but unfortunately, it just keeps not happening. And since you say none of the characters in this book are likable, and you didn't like it, I fear this would be the same. Unfortunate indeed.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Too bad this was disappointing. Doesn't sound like it would be for me either. Hope your next is better!

~Alyssa
Teens Read and Write

Christinabean said...

I just won a couple of Nancy Holder books a few weeks ago and I'm dying for them to come in. I hope they are better than this one sounds. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

ok sorry i dont feel the same way but i loved this book... and what do you no about texting you used the word lingo... and it does because breona wu gets drunk and they talk about hangovers and how the suck... and i think shes going to have a seconed book that will awnser some of the questions...and christinabean it is better then she made it sound

Deanna said...

Wow, this book is SHOCKING! It's a thriller!

Anonymous said...

this book is SO much better than your making it sound. stop hating on it. it's my favorite book ever! i don't know where your from, but teens do type like that. you can almost imagine the characters in your head. it is very descripitve. it also talks about how drinking is bad. and hazel is very much likeable. and in the end, she does change and becomes friends with one of her old friends. she learns from her mistakes. and it is possible to go from unpopular to popular, and vice-versa. anything is possible and that's what the author is saying. your not one to judge. and just for the record, there are such thing as people who are untouchable, the author is trying to make it seem like a real life situation, not some fantasy realm where everyone is equal and love is everywhere. and Alyssa Kirk and Christinabean, it is a very good book and you guys should read it for yourselves, not let someone persuade you into thinking something. dont take my word for it.

Ashley said...

Please, if you're going to leave a message arguing about every single little point I made about this book, at least TRY to include some correct grammar and stop being 'anonymous' so I can email you back. I'm not a fan of cowards.

I understand that there are obviously people out there that enjoyed this book, and I TRIED TO LIKE IT. However, it just wasn't for me! I even said in my review to give it a shot..

Anonymous said...

i like you did not like the ending and found it confusing and motiveless. Hazel (the main character)confused the crap out of me and i didn't know whether i liked her or not. this book was good and suspenseful but it did have some motiveless, pointless parts to it. it was good overall though

Qian. said...

I agree with you at some points, but I had to disagree with some of it too. For a start, I don't think that the ending was really that motiveless, although it's a bit confusing, I do wished the author had explained more about Ellen's motive though. :) I still think this mystery was laid out quite perfectly. It had you guessing. I think many of us had suspected Ellen while the story continued, but the author averted our gaze, which is quite clever, I think.

However, I thought the motive for Ellen to, you know, kill them was a bit obvious, I'm surprised I got fooled by her... innocence act.
I was left confused in the end, either, but then I remembered some of the details, so I flipped back to certain parts and read it again --- the author had left clues, subtle ones, throughout the book.

In the clique, Ellen is ignored, and it got even worse when Hazel joined, as she was somehow... replaced, even though they didn't kick her out.

You could see she was constantly left out, or left alone, and the author did dedicated a small part in every one of those scenes to describe her disappointed expression and all. She was obviously hurt, a lot, by her friends throughout the year, with all the constant dissing on her clothes and other stuff. Although killing her friends as revenge was a bit too drastic for me, but I believe there's motive right there, because people obviously handle things differently, and the author had portrayed Ellen as this sensitive, easily hurt and.. I always thought she was a bit scary, the type of person who's so quiet that you don't know what's going on inside her mind at all.

If you compare every diary entry of the killer to the scenes right before it, you'll realize there's always a reason for Ellen to be mad at her "friends" before she wrote her blog.
As for the part where Brandon, Ellen's girlfriend was killed, it was actually quite obvious after all. When Hazel slipped ( or not, I don't remember ) and told Ellen about Brandon and Sylvia, you could see Ellen was... I don't know, I thought her reaction of weird straight away. She acted as if she was fine with it, but actually she wasn't, not at all. Then Brandon died right after that. It would have been really suspicious.
Although the author did succeeded in averting the reader's gaze --- had us thinking that Sylvia did it. It was very suspicious too because of the Breona Wu part, where Hazel realized Sylvia was the one who killed Breona's dog, not the other way around. ( or so I think )

Of course, these clues were very subtle, most people wouldn't really notice if they are reading very fast, skimming the details, wanting to get to the end xD I didn't notice either.

But when hazel received the text right after Ellen left, the truth was revealed right away. You don't really have to read the last diary entry to know it was Ellen.

The ending was shocking for me lol, since I didn't notice the clues the first time I read. I did suspected Ellen after Brandon died, but the author had cleverly got me into thinking Sylvia did it instead, later on.

Qian. said...

--continue--
Megan's death, however, was the motiveless part for me. Megan does diss Ellen once in awhile, but from what I seen it's nothing too mean. It's more likely that Sylvia should be the one she wanted to kill. Megan seemed pretty fine to me, I had no idea why Ellen killed her.

It's a good suspense novel though. :) I do agree with you that Hazel was not really all that likable. I found Sylvia was my fave, somehow. The typing and texting do not bother me at all, though. I had no problem with the cliche new girl to popular thing, since it's all over the TV now. :P Not that bugged about it.

I agree with you about the drinking part, though I think the main moral values/ lessons in this story were pretty obvious. I don't think it was about popularity. More like the price if you toyed with relationships with people. For instance, "friendship". It could get you killed to manipulate relationships with people, the way Sylvia did. ( she's unlucky anyway, met a psycho like Ellen. Most people just put up with the clique pressure. :P )

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. :) Nice review by the way. :)

Sorry for blabbing :P

Anonymous said...

i thought that the novel was pretty awesome. But somehow it resembles to me, the hit show pretty little liars?

Anonymous said...

first of all whoever wrote the review is WRONG!The book was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO amazing and i LOVED it.I read it in three days.Thats alot 4 264 pages.I thought that if u r stupid enough to underage drink and do drugs that maybe u r stupid and need a reality check.So what if the book said some stuff that was alittle bad.Look at how it ended up.Lesson learned.But one question is still in my mind."Is there a Matty Vardeman out there?"If so please find me:).And to all of you who said it resembled pretty little liars pretty little devils came first so blame them not Nancy Holder.If your reading this Mrs.Holder please write a sequel.I love your book.So to all you haters if you dont like the book dont read it and comment.

Destiny

Anonymous said...

I suppose the whole drug and alcohol and sex thing wasnt very appropriate. but lets think about it... isnt that what most teens do now a days????? really.. i think it made the book more realistic. and honestly.. i really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

i love your books lz write more ill die if you dont

Anonymous said...

Actually Pretty Little Liars resembles the book, as the book was Published a full 9 months before the show was released.

Alyssa said...

to all the critics giving the reviewer hate, what is wrong with you? it's her opinion and i agree with it. ya some parts of the book were suspenseful, but most parts were too forced. if you're in high school and still type like a seven year old, you need to be shoved into reality. if you're like me, you were trying to guess who was sending the anonymous texts the whole time. i wasn't even surprised by the "plot twist." this book would have been enjoyable if it wasn't so predictable.

Post a Comment

Thanks, I love what you have to say!