Eight books down and only ten books left to go.
Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Aria finally get an answer to what happened to their friend Ali after three long years. Billy Ford murdered her. Now hopefully the girls can get past this awful event in their life. But as always there’s a certain someone who isn’t going to make things simple for the girls.
For those who don’t fallow me on Goodreads this was a five star book. There was so much that happened in this book that I didn’t expect would happen in a Harper Teen book. But that being said I loved this book. I can see younger people who read this book/ series going onto reading books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. So this is a kind of surprise that I liked this book.
We start off with a pretty creepy flashback to the night Ali disappeared. Its the same as the other flashbacks to this night but what makes it creepy is the added decision of someone taking pictures of the girls that night.
Emily receives a phone call one day while she is at school from Mrs. DiLaurentis telling her that there is something she needs to tell the girls and to come to her house for the press conference that is going on that day. Of course Emily tells the other about this.
Not surprisingly there is a huge crowed outside of the DiLaurentis house. Mrs. DiLaurentis addresses Jenna’s death and Billy Ford’s arrest. Then she drops her big news. She tells everyone that Ali has an identical twin sister named Courtney. She continues on to introduce Courtney. Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Aria are shocked. They had no idea that Ali had a sister let alone a twin! Courtney signals for the girls to come to the side door. Out of curiosity they do and meet with Courtney. The girls don’t have long to talk because the media is going crazy with the news of Courtney but Courtney does tell the girls that the next day she will be starting at Rosewood Day.
Not surprisingly Mrs. Hastings is zombie like, remember she found out about the affair between her husband and Mrs. DiLaurentis in the last book. This kind of brings Spencer and Melissa closer together. At one point Melissa and Spencer are talking and Melissa tells Spencer that she knew about Courtney back when she was in high school. Spencer is shocked by this because she had no idea and Ali and Courtney are their half sisters. Melissa explains that she knows about Courtney because Jason and her had a fling that ended when Melissa left Jason for Ian. Melissa also warns Spencer to be careful around Courtney. Spencer goes on to spend time with Courtney and they get along great. It turns out that Courtney knew about the affair because Ali or Jason (I can’t remember who) told her. The girls go on to make plans to go out dancing the following day.
Emily and Courtney have gym class together and they hit things off.
I’m excited to say that Aria and Noel are dating! Its about the time of year when Rosewood Day has it annual Valentine’s Day Dance. Of course Noel asks Aria to the Dance and she says yes. Once Courtney has started at the school Noel tell Aria that he thinks talking to Courtney would help Aria to move past Ali’s death. Aria isn’t so sure about that. Courtney ends up in Study Hall with Noel and Aria. Noel and Courtney get along really well and that doesn’t make Aria happy at all because Ali and Noel dated and Ali and Courtney are twins so yea.
Someone sends a photo around of Mike’s sport locker that has a pair of underwear with skid marks. This ends up giving Mike the nickname Skidz. Since Hanna got back from the Preserve her new nickname is Psycho. This all leads Hanna to reject Mike, calling him Skidz at Steam and brushes him off. All this is her way to try and become popular again and not Psycho but it doesn’t work the way that she hoped.
At this point there’s a news alert from CNN: Billy Ford might have an alibi.
Hanna gets six tickets to a fashion show in NYC thanks to her mom. She decides to show off the tickets to Kate, Naomi, Riley, and Courtney. After the girl bag and bag Hanna decides to take the girls. Courtney talks to Hanna and tells her that she is glad that Hanna got away from Iris.
Days later Courtney ends up trying the same support group as Noel. Aria isn’t thrilled about this and ends up driving Courtney home since Mrs. DiLaurentis can’t pick her up. Needless to say its a little awkward on the drive. As Aria is leaving the DiLaurentis house Aria sees Melissa across the street ducking into the woods. Aria is curious as to why Melissa was there.
Courtney and Emily spend time together outside of school at Emily’s house. They end up kissing! Courtney goes on to tell Emily that she is actually Ali. She tells Emily how Courtney had tried to kill her and got sent away and how Billy had killed Courtney (who was home at the time) accidentally thinking she was Ali. Courtney and Ali being twins have the same DNA (according to the book). Also how the DiLaurentis’ thought Ali was Courtney because she was at home and not at Spencer’s and ended up getting sent away making it so that she would have to present to be Courtney. Emily believes everything Courtney, Ali, told her.
Spencer, Courtney, and Emily go out dancing. The girls are out having fun but Courtney also has something important to tell Spencer. When they are resting in a booth Courtney tells Spencer everything she told Emily. Spencer who is shocked by this still believes what Courtney (Ali) tells her.
Hanna, Courtney, Kate, Riley, and Naomi go to NYC for the fashion show. But when they try to get into the event they are turned away because the tickets are fake! Kate, Naomi, and Riley are mad about this and leave Hanna. Courtney approaches Hanna and tells her everything about being Ali. Hanna believes her. Courtney (Ali) tells Hanna that they deserve to be popular and they are going to destroy Kate, Riley, and Naomi. They head for Penn Station.
Aria sees Melissa on her daily run by her (Aria) house but the unusual part is its the evening and Melissa usually runs in the morning. So Aria goes after her. She fallows her into the woods but ends up losing her. Aria ends up running into Courtney by a wishing well that she had no idea was there. Courtney ends up telling Aria everything about being Ali. Aria isn’t so quick to believe her unlike the other. While on the way home she finds some Polaroid, tells the others about them, and anonymously turns them over to the police.
Emily and her sister are out for breakfast after swimming practice. She sees Melissa and Wilden having a heated discussion outside of the diner. Emily and Carolyn are talking about the upcoming dance and what the plans are Carolyn thinks that because it seems like Emily has feelings for Courtney she should ask her. Emily however is confused about Courtney’s (Ali’s) orientation.
Spencer sees the photos Aria found on the cover of a magazine and recognizes the person in the photo of the person behind the camera. Its Melissa.
From this point on I’m going to refer to the twins by their proper names. Just remember that it was the real Courtney who had been killed.
Hanna and Ali’s plan is to release the love letters that Kate, Naomi, and Riley wrote to their crushes at the dance. The three had wrote these letters the night they found out about the fashion show tickets and Ali was able to create these letters into digital copies.
Emily ends up asking Ali to the dance. Ali tells her she has to get her life together first before she can think of any sort of relationship. Of course Emily is upset by thing but she does understand.
On the day of the dance Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Ali are all getting ready for the dance at Spencer’s house. As things go they start talking about the trip to the Pocono after the dance and the case of Miss DiLaurentis’ murder. For whatever reason (I don’t remember) the girls go into Melissa’s room. On her computer Ali, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily find a photo of Ali and Ian with the words ‘your dead bitch’ written on it. This was the same photo Spencer found in her purse the night she was almost killed by Mona and back then she had no idea where it had come from. On Melissa’s bed they find a pamphlet for the Preserves and an appointment card with Dr. Foster. They think Melissa is going there to get help.
Four big things happen at the dance. The first is when Kate, Naomi, and Riley get to the dance they see their letters going around that they wrote to their crushes. Kate tells Hanna that she is going to tell Tom. Hanna tells Kate to go ahead and tell him because she doesn’t care. The second Emily gets annoyed with Ali because she is ignoring her. They go into the bathroom to talk about it and end up making out. Hanna, Spencer, and Emily are waiting by Ali’s BMW but she isn’t there. Ali is running late. The third is Spencer gets a call from Mrs. Hastings asking if she seen or heard from Melissa and she tells her that she hasn’t. Mrs. Hastings tells Spencer to call if she does. The fourth thing that happens is Aria catches Noel and Ali kissing. Aria storms out. Ali catches up to Aria and tells her that Noel smothered her and there was nothing she could do. Aria asks if there is still room for her to go to the Poconos with the others. Ali tells her that there is.
Things are going good in the Poconos and the girls are having a great time. Ali wants to reenact their last sleepover (back in seventh grade) minus the part where everything went wrong as a way to help them all move on. The other agree too. Ali disappears after hypnotizing the other girls just like the last time. Spencer tells the others that there’s something wrong with Ali. Spencer thinks it was Ali’s sister, Courtney, at the window at the seventh grade sleepover because things didn’t add up for it to be Melissa. Aria remembers the note from the medium ‘Ali killed Ali’. As they are trying to figure out what’s going on Aria notices an envelope that was slide under the door. Its from A. The letter from A is saying that the Ali that befriended them was Courtney and the real Ali was sent away to the Preserve because their parents were convinced Ali was Courtney and Courtney was Ali. Ali and Mona had worked together and Ali had been messing with them for the last week. The letter also said it was Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna’s turn to pay like Courtney did. Ali pretty much admits that she killed Courtney which sadly makes a lot of sense. After the girls read the letter they notice there is smoke. Ali set the house on fire! Emily is having a really hard time believing all of this. As they are trying to find a way out of the room they find Ian’s dead rotting body and Melissa alive in the closet. Aria remember about the secret passage in the room and they all use it to escape from the room. As they are all heading for the front door Emily sees Ali nailing all the windows shut and knows in that instant that the letter is 100% true. Emily is heartbroken. Somehow everyone except Ali gets out of the house before it explodes. All they girls get together and are talking about what has happened and making sure that they are all safe. Melissa tells them that she had been putting the truth together slowly when Ali kidnapped her. A fire truck arrives on the scene ands a firefighter call for an ambulance. The girls ask if there was any way that anyone could make it out of the fire. The firefighter tells them no because the fire is too strong.
After everything that happened with Ali, Hanna got happy news that her mom was coming back from Singapore. Mr. Marin, Isabel, and Kate have to move out and start house hunting. Hanna also stopped caring so much about beige popular and she is way better off (no more binge and purge habit). Hanna and Mike also get back together.
Aria and Mike also get big news: Meredith is having the baby! Meredith ends up having a girl. At the hospital Noel shows up and congratulates Aria about her new sister. They end up talking and end up kissing and making up (literally).
Spencer and Melissa are still getting along. At a dinner with Mr. Hastings, Mrs. Hastings, Melissa, and Spencer their parents tell them that they aren’t going to be getting back together but they are going to start having a family dinner at least once a week. Melissa invites Spencer to spend the weekend with her in Philly. Spencer agrees.
Emily does to Ali’s (Courtney’s) grave and buries the little change purse she got from her as a way of moving on.