Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bookshelf: The Amateurs

Two weeks ago I was contacted by a PR person reaching out to see if I was interested in reading Sara Shepard's new novel THE AMATEURS. You've probably heard of Sara Shepard before. She wrote the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series which is a wildly popular show on ABC Family (now Freeform). I should know, I'm totally obsessed with it.


A couple years ago I was in Chicago for a long weekend and my youngest cousin (who was maybe 14 at the time) was racing through the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series and let me read the first book even though I was already watching the show. I read it in a few hours. In case you've never read or watched PLL, the premise is: 

"In ultra-trendy Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four beautiful girls are hiding very ugly secrets. High school juniors Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily have grown apart since their best friend Alison DiLaurentis went missing three years ago. But now someone is sending them anonymous notes, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. There’s only one person who knows that much about them, but Ali’s gone…isn’t she?" (Amazon)

It's highly addictive, especially for someone like me who is constantly trying to figure out what's going to happen next. PLL almost always catches me off guard, which I appreciate. (As a quick aside, I was once watching an episode of Mistresses with Molly and I don't think she'll ever watch a tv show with me again because I called everything seconds before it happened. It's a problem. I can't help it. I blame the writer in me.)

THE AMATEURS is the first book in Shepard's latest series and what's so silly is that I started reading the book without reading the back cover so I had no idea it's going to be a series. I got to the end and was like, There had better be another book so I can find out how this is resolved!!! Thank goodness there will be. (I should really learn to read things through, especially back covers.)

THE AMATEURS starts with Seneca, a college student obsessed with a website where amateur sleuths try to solve cold cases. Seneca can't let go of the mysterious murder of seventeen year old Helena. So she decides to spend her spring break with a fellow sleuth (Maddy) in the ultra-wealthy Connecticut town where Helena grew up and disappeared from. Along the way three others join the troupe, including Helena's younger sister Aerin who continues to carry the trauma of losing a loved one with her, blaming herself for being the last one to see her alive. Like PLL, I was caught completely unaware by the twists and turns the plot took and I'd really like to not have to wait months (or however long) for the next book in the series to be published because I NEED to know what happens! But I guess I can't always get what I want. So I will wait, though rather impatiently if I'm being honest.

If you enjoy reading YA, or mysteries, like being kept on your toes, or just enjoy a quick read (i.e. for plane rides or going to the beach) I would recommend adding THE AMATEURS to your pile. And I'm hoping that perhaps Freeform will adapt the series for TV? Please? I'll totally watch!!

To check out Shepard's other books click here.

Happy Reading!
~Stephanie
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