Home About Contact Policies Reviews Challenges Giveaways Image Map

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison Book Review

It takes place at a high school in New Jersey. Summer is over. Sophomore year begins tomorrow. Outfits are being planned. Lunch buddies are being secured. Texts are flying. All seems normal when…ping! Everyone in the sophomore class gets an email.

SUBJECT: The Phoenix Five: License To Spill.

Attached is a mega document.

A letter from a mysterious student starts the book. It explains that at the end of each year the school yearbook- The Phoenix- names the five most outstanding freshman. She (or he) always suspected that last years’ five (3 girls, 2 boys) were phonies. She (or he) always thought they tried too hard to be popular. But she (or he) never had the proof. Until now. She (or he) stole the secret diaries they were asked to keep by their English teacher. She (or he) has compiled them into a book.

This is that book
This really reminded me of like a more middle school-y PLL. There's the drama, the secrets, the mysterious person from the group who knows the secrets but you don't know who it is yet. I liked some of the characters Duffy, Lilly, Vanessa and Jagger. And I felt sorry for Sheridan.  But by the end I was a little sick of a few of them and this is one of those books where you scream mentally at the characters to not do what they just did. So many things happened by the end that had totally changed their lives around. 

And now you just want the next book to be out so you'll know what happens since the book ended on quite the cliffhanger. I think that readers will be able to relate to at least one of the characters as they are all really different. There are five POVs which could be difficult for some people. There were a few times that I got messed up but the writing styles were really different usually. Except Sheridan's and Lilly's. If you don't do well with multiple POVs I'm not sure you'll like this book as much. 

But it really is just like a watered-down PLL book. With three girls and two guys with one of them sabotaging their secret journals instead of four girls and a mysterious A. It was pretty exciting and I read it pretty quickly. In my opinion it got a little annoying towards the end as the characters got thigh deep into trouble. But it was still pretty good. I'm looking forward to the next book and if y'all like drama, secrets, and PLL I would definitely recommend it! And by watered-down I mean not as dirty secrets. The content wasn't as high.  

I'd give it 3 out of 5 flowers because I did get a little annoyed at the end.

Sara Bennett happens to be a slightly crazy girl. A slightly nerdy girl. A slightly strange girl who likes being that way.  A slightly obsessed girl when it comes to things she loves. A girl who cries when reading books. A girl who desperately wants her own personal library. A girl who is a total bookworm. A girl who would rather read than watch reality tv. A girl who wants to be an author someday. A girl who loves her Savior. And a girl who just loves to read.


  1. I see what you are saying about the annoying factor for sure... but I still enjoyed this book much more than I thought I was going to. I totally agree that this is definitely a younger girls version of PLL. The secrets are far less scandaless. I still found them addicting though!! I had a lot of fun reading this book and definitely want to read the sequel :)

  2. These can be frustrating reads sometimes because you want to make the characters grow up and realize things but at the same time, very true to how a real teenager can and does act.

    Great honest review!

  3. That is too bad that it is just like a different series. I guess I shall be staying away from this one.

    Thanks for the great review!

  4. Hmmm ... I actually quit watching PLL because it all go old quick for me, so a younger version of that ... yeah, I don't think I could do it. Hope you'll enjoy the next book more.

  5. Oh yikes. This is most definitely not my cup of tea. Good on you for giving it a chance.

  6. I won a copy of this book, and really need to read it. Thank you for the wonderful review!


Hi! Thank you so much for commenting, I read each and every comment and love reading them :) Also, I'll comment back as soon as I can. Happy Reading!