Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pretty Little Liars Read Along #1 {Chapters 1-5} [Read Along]


It's Sunday the 25th!  We're kicking off the Pretty Little Liars Read Along Today!

If you haven't signed up yet, and don't know what we're doing, check out the original Pretty Little Liars Read Along post.  You're not behind, and you can totally still read sixty-six pages today, right?

Watch out below in the comments - there could be spoilers!  This plot summary is major-bullet-point, but tomorrow's might be spoilerish.  Just a fair warning!

Plot Summary {Prologue + Chapters 1-5}: In seventh grade, five bffs, Alison, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna, are at a slumber party. Ali, the leader of the pack, decides she'll be hypnotizing her friends. When they wake up, she's gone. Days follow, months follow, years follow. She's still nowhere to be found. Ali's parent's move away. Maya's parents move in. Emily meets Maya, smokes pot for the first time. Aria moves to Iceland. Moves back. Gets it on with Ezra. Hanna loses weight. Becomes shoplifter. Befriends Mona. Spencer tries to be as perfect as Melissa. Is second-perfect. Can't move into barn because Melissa is moving back, with Wren. Aria goes back to Rosewood Day. Sees Noel. Sees Hanna. Finds out Ezra is really Mr. Fitz. "Holy Shit."

Discussion Points:
  • Let's talk about how Abercrombie Rosewood appears to be.  I mean, I counted three instances of "Abercrombie" in the first five chapters (and I wasn't really counting, so I could be wrong).  How do you think Rosewood compares to where you live?  Do you think it's a realistic setting? It seems small, and is described as a "small suburb of Philadelphia," so is it big enough to have a Tiffany store? I'm doubtful.  I'm thinking that if you can go streaking in a field and not get arrested, it's probably pretty small.   But you tell me.
  • Next, let's discuss Rosewood Day.  Did I miss something?  Is it a private school?  Or is it public school?  Was there a reference to another jr. high/middle school/high school in town?  Do you know what a Fulbright Scholar is? (I had to look it up, so I linked it for you in case you were in the dark too)
  • The tagline on the front cover says, "Nver trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret."  How many secrets have there been so far?  Do all four girls have a secret? 
  • We're just starting to get into the plot, but do you think that Aria's text from "A" is from Ali?
  • What do you think is going through Mr. Fitz's mind at the point where we stopped? (besides OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG)
Characters:
  • Tell me about character development so far.  Do you think that you know enough about Emily, Spencer, Hanna, and Aria?
  • Who is your favorite so far? Which one do you relate to the most so far?
Controversy:
  • Okay, student hooks up with teacher, right?  How do you feel about this right now?
Predictions:
  • Ezra will not break it off with Aria.
  • Alison is not dead.  
That's all I've got.  What do YOU think will happen?

11 comments:

Lenore said...

I haven't read this, but I'm impressed with how many discussion questions you were able to get out of 5 chapters!

elizabeth said...

Discussion Points:
I think Rosewood is completely different from where I live. I live in California and even we don't have a Tiffany Store in the local mall. I doubt a town that small would have one, so I don't think it is a realistic setting.
I thought Rosewood Day was a public school. I did not know what a Fullbright Scholar was so thanks for the link!
I don't know how many secrets there have been so far, but I am sure more are going to appear. I don't know how these girls who were in 7th grade at the time could have so many secrets that appear to be able to ruin them.
I'm pretty sure the text is from Ali
Mr. Fitz is probably going slightly insane at the moment. I don't think he knows what to do about the situation.

Characters:
I don't think I know enough about the girls yet. I find them to be completely different from each other. It was interesting to see how they changed from the prologue to now.
My favorite character is Aria at the moment. I just find her the most interesting plus the whole Mr. Fitz situation could be fun.
I probably relate the most to Spencer.

Controversy:
I think the student/teacher hookup could be a great storyline, but I think it will end badly. In Mr. Fitz's defense, he did think Aria was a college student. I am not at all for student/teacher hookups, but I think it is okay in a book.

Predictions:
I agree with both of your predictions.

I Heart Monster said...

Plot:

I'm glad that you don't think that it's realistic to have a Tiffany store in the local mall too. I mean, it's obvious to me that Sara Shepard wants us to know that Rosewood is upscale. These girls are privileged.

I am kind of confused about Rosewood Day. It seemed like by Maya's reaction that it could be a private school. She said, " All my parents talked about on the flight here was how lucky I am to have gotten into Rosewood and how different it will be from my school in California." That seems to support a private institution? But it seems like everyone in town, at every sporting event goes to Rosewood Day, so that makes me think it's public. So here's my conclusion at this point: It's either a public school, or an incredibly hoity toity snobberific private school where the kids and families only speak to the other families that attend.

As far as secrets go, I'm kinda feeling a little lost too. I don't think the secrets that have been presented have been easily tied to the characters through character dev at this point, so I honestly don't remember who has which secret and what they are. But I think there was one introduced for each girl.

I think A is Ali.

I think Mr. Fitz's interest in Aria just jumped ten degrees. He's intelligent - being a Fulbright Scholar and all - and he's probably intrigued as to how the girl tricked him.

Characters:

I think Aria is my favorite too. I think it's because she's the most developed right now. I totally agree with elizabeth that it's been way interesting to see how the girls have changed from the prologue to present and that the Mr. Fitz situation is interesting. I've thought about it all day!

Controversy:

Okay. Student hooks up with teacher. Like I said above, I'm intrigued. I think Chapter 5 was a good breaking point, because I'm eager to start the next chapter!! I'm super curious as to what happens next. And, I'm agreeing with elizabeth again in that I don't think that it's skeevy for the teacher because it's not like he was being a predator. I think it could get there, but it's not there yet.

@Lenore - Thanks! The first five chapters are pretty packed with info, so I hope that I'll be able to keep up the discussion throughout the book!

elizabeth said...

Maybe Rosewood is like a charter school where its part of the public school system, but you need to apply to get in. If that is the case, there must be another school somewhere nearby since charter schools don't have to let you in.

I'm super excited to see what happens next!

AtenRa said...

DISCUSSION :

Well, I don't live in the US so I wouldn't know.Athens is surely not packed with Tiffany stores!I'm not sure if we even have one here.Come to think of it, I kinda doubt it.

I still can't figure out if this is a private school or not.Apparently, these girls are privileged and way rich, but I wouldn't bet that Rosewood Day is indeed a private school.Maybe a public one with a good reputation?It doesn't seem right, though, being in a small town and all.

I think there will be tons of secrets for us to learn.I guess, that's the books' main theme.Up until now we know about "The Jenna thing" and, in the beginning of chapter 2 a secret of Aria's dad is mentioned, that only she and Ali D. know.

Didn't know what a Fulbright Scholar is. Thanks, IHM :)

Yeah,A. is probably Ali.

I know teacher - student relationships are frowned upon,and they should be, but when you read about it it's kinda cool, right?I agree with IHM, Ezra's interest in Aria only became bigger after seeing her in class.

CHARACTERS:I think I relate to Spencer the most.Aria is cool and Emily, too. Wanna see how her friendship with the new girl, Maya, will work out.

QUESTION :

Is skipping ahead allowed?This book is so damn addictive,I can't put down!I promise, promise, promise, I won't mention any spoilery stuff.

I Heart Monster said...

Skipping ahead is totally allowed, especially since you promised to not spoil!!!

AtenRa said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!I'm dying to see what happens next!

elizabeth said...

Me too! I think I am going to start reading more soon. It is almost tomorrow though, LOL.

Tawnya said...

Ok, so the 'town' is upscale, but not realistic to have the Tiffany store in the mall. If it is such a small town is there enough need for a whole mall? As for the school, they do wear uniforms, so probably not a public. There was mention of another local prep school not to be named, which sounds like it is linked to at least one of the secrets, I'm thinking 'the Jenna thing'.
I think Aria's text is totally from Ali. No way is she dead, but what's her secret - where did she go??
Characters:
I think we're just starting to get info on the girls a little at a time - like secrets being revealed slowly. Emily is the least developed. Spencer has enough background to know why she feels the need to overachieve. Aria is fairly developed as well, she seems a little more real to me, the girl that never really fit in, until she had the opportunity to start over and that gave her enough confidence to be herself.
Controversy:
Although teacher/student relationships make me ill, this one has me intrigued, especially since the relationship so far is fairly tame, and unintentional. Poor Mr. Fitz, as a character I like him, even if he is a little forward. He's got to be thanking his lucky stars that they didn't go all the way. I think because of that fact there is potential for a continued relationship.
Predictions:
Ali is not dead
Something will happen with Spencer & Wren
Someone will end up in the hospital/dead at some point.

now can I say that the first couple of chapters were a rough start for me. at that point none of the characters seemed to have redeeming qualities which is saying something of 13 year old girls. I was surprised at all the things they had done at such a young age (streaking, smoking...) all in all, it seems like a more adult book, set with younger characters. even as the older juniors they are already looking at older boys, drinking, doing drugs casually and with very little pressure more of a desperate housewives vibe than young adult. I have 2 very young girls, and I am kinda freaking out at the shenanigans shall we say, that these girls are in at such a young age, and for a YA book, there's no way I want them to read this.
After chapter 1 & 2 and even 3 I was sort of like, do I even want to read this? 4 & 5 are better and there is enough interest to continue reading, I am under no illusions of a happy ending.

I Heart Monster said...

I agree with Tawnya re: the mature content these juniors in high school are dealing with, and that I wouldn't want my teen to read this one (especially after the next five chapters, which I just barely finished)

And hey, guys, if you don't want to read this book at any point, please don't feel obligated to continue reading it. None of us will be offended if you decide this book isn't for you!

I had a difficult time following the prologue - especially the disappearance scene. Did you guys?

elizabeth said...

The prologue was difficult to follow! I was (and still am) confused by what exactly happened. Did Ali really fall down a well? What was up with both Hanna and Emily having that same "dream"? Plus, when Spencer came back into the barn and Hanna asked her where Ali is, Spencer didn't finish her sentence, so I don't know if she is hiding something about Ali or not...