Vicious by Sara Shepard Review

Saturday, 24 January 2015
Vicious (Pretty Little Liars #16), by Sara Shepard
Published On: December 2, 2014, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery/Murder/Thriller, Romance
Pages: 338
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted

In Rosewood, Pennsylvania, reporters are lined up outside the historic courthouse, typing furiously at their iPhones with freshly manicured nails. Because the trial of the century is happening right here in Rosewood: the four pretty little liars have been accused of killing Alison DiLaurentis. Only Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily know that they've been framed. Ali is still out there, laughing as she watches the girls go down for her murder. But when your nickname includes the word "liar," no one believes you're telling the truth. . . .
Aria tries to run away from it all but finds that life on the lam is even harder than life as a liar. Spencer gets in touch with someone who can help her disappear--but when a guy from her past reemerges, Spencer no longer knows what she wants. Hanna decides that she'll hear wedding bells chime before she serves time. And in the face of prison, Emily does something truly drastic--something that will change her friends' lives forever.
As the trial goes on and the outcome looks grim, the girls are in their darkest hour yet. But maybe they can finally figure out how to beat Ali at her own game. Because once upon a time, she was just a pretty little liar too.

After 3 years of me reading these books (but many more for others), we’ve come to the end of the series that changed the view of teen mysteries. Pretty Little Liars for me is one of my most favourite book series and TV shows, and it’s about damn time that it’s over, although I still am feeling a little sad here and there. Vicious was definitely one of the best books of the series, and the ending was awesome.

So I’m sitting here wondering if the TV show will end the same way as the books did, because it was really good. Shepard came to a close and we got the ending for the girls and what they’ve always dreamt of—happiness especially. And I’m also seriously wondering if Shepard will make some sort of spin-off series about their children. HAHA that’d be hideous and ridiculous.

So I made my theories after reading the previous novel and sitting there shocked because Ali could really get to them this time. THEY’RE ON TRIAL FOR MURDER, PEOPLE. If the verdict sends them to prison, they can be there for life with people not believing anything about them. And saying that, A is up to do anything. 

“Get some sleep, girls. You look exhausted.” He gestured to the plate of Danishes. “And have one, for God’s sake. You don’t know when you’ll get the pleasure of a Danish from Rizolli’s again.” Emily flinched. It was pretty easy to interpret what that meant: Prisons didn’t serve pastries.”

A is so screwed up, everyone. Like I freaking wanted to rip this book apart as we were coming close to a conclusion in the case. And then there were lies, fake deaths and hiding of course. What would a PLL book be without all of that?

This is something simple: the girls are wanted for murder after Alison framed them by faking her death and leaving a journal behind stating all lies. She’s watching them from afar, laughing her head off as the judges and detectives keep on finding fake evidence. Aria tries to flee everything by heading to Norway with Noel, who’ll never leave her. Hanna decides to do something a little early, but the earlier the better as long as she’ll know that she has someone while she’s in prison. Spencer’s fleeing back into the past where she meets Wren again, and Emily does something a little wild and leaves a scare. But anything is better than going to prison or dying, right?

I’m just so happy to see an ending after the time being. It’s been so many years where we’ve had the four liars as our protagonists, skipping between each of their POVs, not knowing what to believe in the end. We found out so many secrets and things that seemed like they weren't even possible in the first book. The events and plot of all of the books combined truly were something memorable. 

Fuck, you just can’t imagine how much I wanted these girls to have success and happiness. From when they were freshmen they were haunted by A’s image and weren’t ever left alone. A teared their families apart and killed many people that they personally knew. No one believed them as framing was all over the place, and they weren’t put in peace and were afraid to go to sleep. It’s truly psychopathic and obsessive.  

"You won't lose me," she breathed, melting into his arms. But that was the problem. Soon enough, he was going to lose her—to jail. Unless they found what they were looking for."
I’ve totally got to say that these girls were unable to let go and give it a stop. They took risks, risks to ensure that they’d live their own happily ever afters with the people that they loved. And each of them did have that person inside of their hearts. (BTW, it’s totally different from the show. Don’t even base anything on the show.)

I loved the ending, loved the characters and weren’t able to let them go. It’s really weird now, knowing that there won’t be any new mystery or story having to deal with Spencer’s stubbornness, Aria’s rebellion inside, Hanna’s fearlessness, and Emily’s risk-taking. It’s like a part’s missing from me. I guess now I know what kind of connection I really did have to these books.

So you’re probably asking what I’ve given this book a 4 star rating if all I’m doing is gushing. I honestly can say that it didn't give me enough of what I wanted. Yes, the ending and the characters were all pleasing, but I guess I wanted more surprises and plot-twists. I kind of saw this coming anyways because it had to be ended in a happy way after all of that sorrow and shit they had to go through. It’s understandable. But where’s that extra bizazz that Shepard kept throwing at us in the past novels? There actually wasn’t even one death here.

I guess now’s the moment where we talk about letting this one go. Except, I’ve never realized that it’s that heart-wrenching to give up. I loved Alison, Aria, even Ezra and the whole gang of characters. The message is that anyone can be lying and hiding some huge behind your back even if they’re your best friend… or once was. 

As this book has gotten so much hate and negativity, I’m really feeling like boycotting against those haters. Don’t like it and don’t accept it? Don’t read it—no one’s forcing you to or even asking you to. This was a fantastic ending to a series that I’ll never forget and shares a huge spot in my heart.


  1. Okay, so I only read the very first part of your review because, spoilers! Well, for me anyway ;) I've only read the first 8 books, but I am hoping to finish the series later this year! I am so happy to hear that you loved the ending! I feel like this series dragged on FOREVER, but gods is it good! I am very excited to read the rest of the series (and to know that this is actually the END, for real!! Lol.)

    1. Haha, thank goodness you did! *wipes sweat off face* The first 8 books were amazing—and then Shepard decided to continue the series, hah. I mean, this ending was beautiful though. I'm SO EXCITED to hear your thoughts on the ending, ahhh!


I love comments, I always read them, they always make my day and help me improve my posts. Thank you!