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.