I started on this series when I came across quite a number of fair reviews on it.
The novels revolve around the lives of 4 girls of Rosewood Day School -- Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily. They were almost nonentities in their school till Alison chose them to be a part of her posse. Together they became the most enviable group and suddenly the girls found themselves to be the center of attraction at Rosewood. Then, Allison went missing and the girls fell apart even though they were bound by a few secrets.
Alison is continuously described as the most popular girl at Rosewood Day school. She chose the other girls to be a part of her posse and thus giving them whole new identities. However, as the story progresses, we find that she was not very kind to her friends and often held their secrets on their heads. She emerges as this popular, unkind and manipulative girl with a hell lot of secrets of her own.
Aria is again maybe the most confused girl in the series. She is someone who wants to stand out and always feels misunderstood. She is connected with a lot of guys, including a teacher, her friend’s ex and even her mother’s boyfriend.
Hanna starts out as a chubby girl who wanted to be like Alison. Her fixation with becoming the “It” girl, leads her to developing Bulimia. She is prepared to give everything else up for becoming someone like Alison. So much so that even though she starts of as the girl obsessed with winning the love of her childhood crush, yet over the time she even gives up true love for her fixation of becoming the “it” girl.
Spencer is supposed to be a very talented academic, yet someone never seen to sit down with a book. Instead she cheats and lies her way through. She is very competitive with her elder sister Mellissa, another excellent academic person, but is shown to take it out only by going out with elder sister’s boyfriends. Later on she has problems with her identity crisis.
Emily is obsessed with Alison. As a person who is confused about her own sexuality, Emily is in love with Alison. She then proceeds to date both girls and boys in an attempt to understand herself.
To be frank, after reading the first three books, I wanted to dump the series. But I do not like leave things unfinished and so I toiled through the rest of the books. I was amazed to see how the central characters always focused on only boys and fashion while there were surrounded by murders, suicide and threats at any point of time. I could not relate to even one character in the book, whether it be a boy or a girl or even an animal!!! The girls were more concerned about what brand handbag was in fashion rather than the murders of their friends. While murder investigation was on or someone was on trial, all they could think of was who they could hook up with. And, then there are the parent-children relationships that were so appalling that made me wonder if my parents are abnormal!
The only positive thing about this series is that the title is appropriate for it as the characters are pro at 'lying, cheating and stealing'. I would not recommend anyone to read this series, unless they are interested in making a list of branded products or ways of committing infidelity & adultery.