Cross My Heart, Hope To Die
by Sara Shepard
Okay, so this review is by no means mini. I usually try to keep reviews to long series like Sara Shepard's short and sweet as not everyone reads them or has read as far. Anyway, I kind of had a lot to say about this book :) I hope you enjoy despite the length!
Maybe I expected a bit too much from this book. After having experienced the amazing ending Shepard presented in Pretty Little Liars Book Wanted (review here) she kind of went back to her genius status in my mind. Frankly, with the PLL series there were some bumps along the road, but the four Lying Game books have always kept me on the edge of my seat. They usually are fast-paced, full of juicy gossip, intrigues and affairs and they never fail to surprise me.
This one...had its flaws. Cross My Heart, Hope to Die was by no means bad. It just wasn't as amazing as I thought it would be. The main reason for this was probably the plot. The story just didn't seem to pick up. Emma wandered from one place to the other, had to deal with (in my opinion) completely random and time wasting boy problems and some weird girl whose reasons for existence are still beyond me.
Maybe everything that happened in this book was necessary for the next one. I could very well imagine some of the apparently random events in this novel becoming important in book number six - at least, I hope they will.
In addition to a dragging plot I felt like Emma's development didn't go into the direction I wanted it to go. She was bitchy and way too impulsive for her usual self for a second, and the next she turned back into the old Emma - only a much more - and annoyingly so - judgemental one.
To keep it short: I found her annoying most of the time.
Apart from the plot and Emma herself, though, this book was still enjoyable. I liked getting to know Becky a bit more, and the Mercers, too - and getting a break from Sutton's / Emma's friends. Don't get me wrong, I like them as characters. They are this weird mix of spoiled teenagers and caring friends and self-conscious girls that makes them very realistic. It's nice to get some more information about Emma's new family, too, though.
Lastly, there is Ethan. He scores extra points for this novel simply by being that perfect boyfriend and supporting Emma no matter what.
The ending was a bit blah for me. I found parts of it incredibly predictable and boring - and the last few pages threw me off the hook. Oh my, oh my. I can't even...it was absolutely not what I thought would happen, it caught me off guard and it also made me really, really sad - and longing for the sequel.
All in all, I'd say this book is worth reading even if it does in no way offer the same amount of mystery, suspense and juicyness that the previous Lying Game novels came with. I hope this is a filler book, though and cannot imagine what Shepard will pull of in the next book!
RATING: 2/3 Smarties