Girls’ lack of sharing
So far Book 5 hasn’t been as action packed as the preceding four novels. With Ian Thomas in jail for Ali’s murder and the A notes, things in Rosewood seem fairly quiet. Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna haven’t gotten any scathing texts/emails/IMs from A in months, which is obviously thanks to Ian’s arrest. But when Ian is released on bail in order to spend time with is sick mother, things are right back to crazy as normal.
Byron and Meredith’s relationship is still going; Aria thought she found a new crush on artist Xavier at his gallery showing that her mother sent her too; Ella has a new boyfriend, Xaiver, that she met via Match.com; Hanna is back with Lucas, for now, since Mona is out of the picture; Spencer is seemingly crushing on Andrew Campbell, her academic archenemy; and Emily is dating…a guy.
Part of me continues to be in disbelief that the girls don’t just share the secrets A continuously holds over their heads. At the same time, the fact that they don’t makes much more sense in the novels. While they’re all plagued by the same harassment, none of them actually trust each other. Ali was the only one of the group who actually knew ALL their secrets, yet they all considered themselves to be the best of friends. In this way, Sara Shepard does an excellent job of portraying the inner-workings of female relationships which are often so delicate and intricate like a spider’s web, and just as sticky.
Xavier is a mega-creep. He certainly was flirty with Aria at his gallery showing, but then he showed up as Ella’s blind date. Aria decided that was the end of that, she wasn’t going to cause any more problems for her family. Yet, Xavier is still being flirty, and goes so far as to KISS her while Ella is out one night. Naturally, Aria is uncomfortable, especially since New A has been witness to Xavier’s indiscretions. Twisting it to look as if Aria were trying to steal her mom’s new man wouldn’t be the hardest thing to do. It’s best she try to keep her distance.
The novels usually focus around a specific Ali memory; book 4 was the day before the end of 7th grade sleep over, book 5 is focused on Time Capsule event held by Rosewood Day. As the novels progress, these memories gain more and more detail, from each of the 4 remaining friends. What makes it really interesting are the different details each girl recalls. These would probably be really useful for finding the killer, and A potentially, if the former friend posse were actually talking to one another.
Kate, Hanna’s soon-to-be stepsister, is a new and improved Ali or Mona replica. In fact, she may be even more wicked. Rather than keeping secrets, to potentially destroy Hanna’s reputation, she does everything she can to destroy Hanna’s relationship with her father. Not that it was good to begin with, but with Kate running the show things have only gotten worse.
Then there’s Ian Thomas. Out on bail, but under house arrest, he sneaks into the Hastings’s yard to talk to Spencer. His plea of innocence falls on deaf ears, but the secret he claims to be on the verge of uncovering piques Spencer’s interest. On the day of his trial, Ian doesn’t show up to court. His family can’t find him and the trial is postponed. Rosewood PD is on a manhunt. At this point, Spencer is forced to share her conversation with Ian, and her latest A message, with Aria, Emily, and Hanna. Even if they all believe Ian is guilty, doubt has begun to creep up on them. Will the real A, and the real killer, ever be found?!?