Cover Girl: Spencer Hastings (portrayed by Alexandra Bowen)
Tag Line: Never trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret.
Back Blurb: Everyone has something to hide. Especially high school juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna.
Spencer covets her sister’s boyfriend. Aria’s fantasizing about her English teacher. Emily’s crushing on the new girl at school. Hanna uses some ugly tricks to stay beautiful.
But they’ve all kept an even bigger secret since their friend Alison vanished.
How do I know? Because I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they’ve kept. And guess what? I’m telling. -A
How It All Started
Rosewood, PA, three years ago, the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Enter the Liars, the It-Girls of prestigious prep school Rosewood Day: Alison DiLaurentis, Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, and Hanna Marin. Ali D is the Queen Bee, the one every girl loves to hate but secretly wants to be. Beautiful, charming, and as two-timing and vicious as a snake. Ali lives next door to Spencer, who has a converted barn-turned-guesthouse that Spencer’s older sister Melissa lives in. Melissa just graduated and is headed abroad, so the five girls have it to themselves for the night.
The girls are being followed by dorky Mona Vanderwaal. They bluntly reject Mona’s invitation to hang out, then head to the barn only to run into Melissa and her super hot boyfriend, Ian Thomas. Spencer’s angry because she was promised the barn tonight. Ali makes a snide comment about Melissa and Ian making the cutest couple, and doesn’t Spencer agree? Melissa stalks off with Ian and Ali proceeds to make references to Hanna being fat and Emily being a lesbian, and also makes fun of Aria’s pig puppet, Petunia, who “advises her on her love life.” Ali and Spencer have a disagreement, Spencer tells her to take a (chill) pill, Ali counterattacks by insinuating that maybe Spencer should be the one taking a pill. Spencer verbally kicks her out of the barn, and Ali promptly walks out the door. Spencer has a change of heart and runs after her, but she is already gone. That is the last time anybody ever saw Alison DiLaurentis.
The girls are all questioned by the police, but there are no leads. They all wonder: Do they need to tell the police about The Jenna Thing? They did something terrible to someone a few years ago, but only the five of them know about it. Over the next few years, nobody hears from Ali, and the Liars are sad, but relieved. Nobody will ever know about The Jenna Thing.
1: Oranges, Peaches, and Limes, Oh My!
Present day. Some out-of-towners have moved into the DiLaurentises’ old house, which they vacated nine months ago. Emily’s mom sends her over with a welcome basket. There are some boxes of Ali’s old things out on the sidewalk. Emily meets Maya St. Germain, a hippie-ish black girl from California. Maya invites Emily upstairs to her room, Ali’s old room, to smoke the reefer. Emily’s a good girl, but wants to impress Maya, so she takes a hit. Maya asks about the girl who used to live there, and Emily laments on how the girls all split up after Ali vanished. Emily’s not sure why, but she’s drawn to Maya in a way she can’t describe.
2: Icelandic (and Finnish) Girls Are Easy
Aria and her family are returning from Iceland, where her father Byron was on a two-year sabbatical. Byron is a professor at Hollis, a nearby liberal arts college. The whole family’s a little artsy and kooky. Ella and Byron are non-traditional and have their kids call them by their first names. Aria has never really fit in. She finally started to find some confidence in Europe, and has decided to go with “Icelandic Aria” as her new persona. Aria’s little brother, Mike, is stoked about lacrosse tryouts, which are the same afternoon. Aria’s mom, Ella, suggests that Aria drive Mike even though she doesn’t yet have a driver’s license. Aria drops off Mike just in time to see her old crush, rich hottie Noel Kahn. Icelandic Aria nonchalantly flirts with him and then takes off.
Aria heads to a local bar to kill time. The bartender looks at her twice but serves her an Amstel. Across the bar is a hottie with messy dark blond hair and blue eyes. He’s drinking Scotch and buys one for Aria. His name is Ezra. The two get drunk and bond over their love of classical art and English literature, then make out in the dirty bathroom in the back of the bar.
3: Hanna’s First Toggle
Since Ali’s disappearance, the previous chub that was Hanna (referred to as “Pig” by Ali and Hanna’s own father) now has a svelte frame, flawless skin, luscious brown hair, and the popularity to match. She and Mona Vanderwaal, who has gotten contacts and learned to control her frizzy blonde hair, are now the It-Girls of Rosewood Day. Hanna has never revealed how she’s managed to lose so much weight–-she throws up everything she eats.
Hanna and Mona are at the King James Mall, drinking wine on one of the patio terraces. Hanna is frustrated because her yummy, All-American boy-toy Sean Ackard has taken a virginity pledge. Hanna wants to do it because she thinks it will make Sean tell her he loves her. Hanna and Mona decide to have some fun, so they ditch their wine and go on a shoplifting-spree at Tiffany’s, walking out free and clear.
4: Spencer Walks the Plank
Spencer and her folks are at a fancy restaurant on a boat, waiting for Melissa. Spencer’s lawyer parents just bought Melissa a condo in Philly as a gift for graduating from U Penn a year early and being accepted to Penn’s Wharton School of Business. Spencer and Melissa have always been overachieving rivals, but somehow, Melissa always manages to one-up Spencer, and has secured the position of favorite daughter amongst their parents.
Melissa shows up with Wren, her new English boyfriend, who studied medicine at Oxford. The folks flank Melissa and shut out Spencer and Wren. The two share a cigarette off the boat and more than a few flirting phrases. Wren seems more into Spencer than Melissa. As they return to dinner Mrs. Hastings insists that Melissa and Wren stay in the barn and commute to school while the condo is being renovated. Spencer is furious because she was promised the barn, but has no choice but to give in.
5: Starts and Fitz
Aria strolls into Rosewood on the first day of school. Noel flirts with her but she’s still on cloud nine from her rendezvous with Ezra. She sees Hanna and Mona for the first time in two years, and is stunned by their transformations. She is even more stunned when she walks into her English class, and Ezra, the hottie she made out with in the bathroom bar, is her new English teacher. The two make eye contact and Ezra drops the papers he’s holding and declares, “Holy shit.” At that moment Aria receives a text message that says: Surprise! I wonder what your pig puppet will have to say about this…-A
6: Emily’s French Too!
Emily ditches her boyfriend, Ben, to walk Maya home after school. Emily expresses her frustration with her family. She has three older siblings who are all stars in the pool. Carolyn is a senior and has been scouted by Stanford, and her oldest siblings Jake and Beth are at the University of Arizona on full swimming rides. When Emily is leaving, Maya flirts with Emily and gives her a kiss on both cheeks, “like the French.” Emily kisses back, then Maya goes for another, really close to Emily’s mouth. Em runs back to school for swim practice and finds a handwritten note in her locker: Hey Em, Sob! I’ve been replaced! You found another friend to kiss! -A. Emily doesn’t know who the note is from, but the only other friend that she’s ever kissed is Ali.
7: Spencer’s Got a Tight Posterior (Deltoid)
Ian Thomas is hired as Spencer’s new field hockey coach. All the girls are ogling his sculpted derriere except Spencer, who’s trying not to. After practice, she decides to take a relaxing dip in her hot tub. Thinking nobody’s home, she strips to her bra and undies and gets in. Just then, Wren walks out of the house, wearing only boxer briefs. Spencer is mortified, but he gets in so she starts to flirt with him. She suddenly gets a cramp in her neck. Wren, who’s a med student, insists on massaging her back. She obviously likes it, but then freaks and runs inside.
Her e-mail alert pings and she has a message titled: SAT vocab. It reads: Spencer, Covet is an easy one. When someone covets something, they desire and lust after it. Usually it’s something they can’t have. You’ve always had that problem, though, haven’t you? -A. After reading the note, Spencer runs to the window to see if anybody was around. She spies a flash of blonde hair in the neighbor’s upstairs window. It was the same window as Ali’s old bedroom.
8: Where are the Damn Girl Scouts When You Need Them?
Sean is at Hanna’s house studying, but Hanna is trying to get down and dirty. He resists her advances and gets up to leave, but says he’ll take her to Noel Kahn’s party on Friday. She hangs out with her miniature pinscher, Dot, and reflects on her sad family life. Her mom is a MILF who’s a successful career woman, but with little time for her, and her dad had left after the divorce four years earlier. Mr. Marin started dating a less attractive woman named Isabel from Annapolis, MA, who has a Melissa-like teenage daughter, Kate. When Hanna had first met Kate, she took Ali with her for moral support. Both Ali and Mr. Marin called Hanna a pig in front of Kate. That was the last time she saw her dad, and the first time she made herself throw up.
Just as Hanna is thinking about how at least her mother lets her drink wine, a police officer named Wilden shows up. He says he’s got a surveillance tape of Hanna shoplifting. A shocked Ms. Marin tries to pay him to leave them alone, but he cuffs Hanna and takes her down to the station.
While waiting for the detective, Ms. Marin insists that Hanna give her the items she stole (she never even took them off). Ms. M gives them to the police, says it was a misunderstanding because she was going to buy the items for Hanna, and can’t we just let this slide? As Ms. M discusses the situation with Wilden, Hanna gets a text: Hey Hanna, Since prison food makes you fat, you know what Sean’s gonna say? Not it! -A
9: Not Your Typical Student-Teacher Conference
Byron asks Aria if everything is ok, because it’s very hard keeping a secret. The secret Aria is keeping is the fact that she caught her dad cheating on her mom with one of his students three years ago. Ali and Aria had stumbled upon the two of them making out in his car while on a trip to the campus bookstore. Byron asked her to keep a secret, promising it would never happen again. Begrudgingly, Aria obliged, not wanting to hurt her mother.
At school, she heads to Ezra’s office before class. They have a talk about their weird situation, and Ezra says it can’t happen again because he could get into a lot of trouble. Aria is devastated. As she walks out of the office, she hears a familiar laugh, and swears that it sounds exactly like Ali.
10: Single Girls Have Way More Fun
Maya insists Emily ditch swim practice to hang out. Emily tells Carolyn she’s tutoring for Spanish. Emily asks if Maya left a note in her locker, and Maya says she didn’t. The girls head out into the woods to a small pond with a waterfall. Maya says she might break up with her long-distance boyfriend in California, and suggests Emily do the same. Single girls have more fun, and they should be single together. They strip to their bras and panties and jump in.
Maya leads Emily to a cave underneath the waterfall. Maya admits she wants to break up with Justin because she’s not sure if she likes girls or boys. Emily reveals that she was very close to Ali, and Maya is living in her old bedroom. They kinda hug and get close to kissing until they realize that there’s a group of freshman boys, including Mike Montgomery, outside in the pond. Emily books it and heads back to school.
11: At Least Sweet Potatoes Have Lots of Vitamin A
Hanna and Mona are hanging at Mona’s parents’ country club, playing Spot the Fake Boobs. Hanna orders sweet potato fries, saying they’re to take home for her mom. They decide to check out the guys on the golf course, and Hanna recognizes one of them as Detective Wilden. Apparently, he had gone to Rosewood and was in the same class as Melissa. Mona thinks he’s hot, and dubs him “Mr. April,” because the Rosewood Police should totally make a calendar.
Mona says she’s going to ask Wilden to go to Noel’s party. Hanna has no choice but to admit what happened. She flips out and takes off. While driving home she devours the entire box of sweet potato fries. When she gets home, she immediately runs to the bathroom to purge the fries before her mom gets home.
12: Mmm, Love That New-Test-Score Smell
Spencer receives her PSAT results in the mail: 2350 out of 2400, a full 100 points higher than Melissa’s score. She decides to wait for the perfect moment to reveal her news so Melissa will be jealous. Melissa brings Wren over for dinner. Spencer announces that Ian Thomas is her new field hockey coach, which angers Melissa. Spencer’s parents let her drink wine, so she enjoys a glass or two while her family plays Star Power. It’s a game where everyone talks about their greatest accomplishment for the day, and they decide a winner. When Spencer gleefully divulges her test score, Melissa turns green with envy. Her parents insist on celebrating with a special reward for the accomplishment. Spencer admits what she really wants is to move into the barn. Her parents agree and Melissa is furious, but knows she doesn’t really have a choice. She and Wren will move into the guest bedroom, and Spencer will move into the barn. Spencer is so proud that she vows to remember this day for the rest of her life.
13: Act One: Girl Makes Boy Want Her
In English class, Aria is giving an oral presentation. Noel repeatedly interrupts her flirtatiously. Ezra cuts her off because she’s rambling, and calls on another student. Aria interprets this as jealousy. She gets a text from A: Aria, Maybe he fools around with students all the time. A lot of teachers do…Just ask your dad! -A. Aria freaks. The only person who knows about that is Ali.
14: That’ll Teach You to Google-Stalk When You’re Supposed to be Studying
Spencer decides to Google Wren Kim. Andrew Campbell, her academic rival, catches her, and asks if he’s her boyfriend. She says no, and he invites her to Noel Kahn’s party. Spencer suspects Andrew might be A and turns down his invitation. When she’s leaving the library, she runs into Emily, noticing Emily is still wearing one of their old friendship bracelets. Spencer recalls The Jenna Thing, a prank gone horribly wrong. Jenna’s stepbrother Toby had seen Ali do it, but Ali had seen Toby do something much worse. She blackmailed him into not telling on her, because she would tell on him. Spencer is the only one Ali told about seeing Toby. The other girls still think nobody saw them.
15: Insulting His Masculinity is Such a Deal Breaker
Emily is at swim practice. Ben, who’s also on the swim team, insists they hang out tonight. He gets touchy-feely, and she’s mixed up over her feelings for Maya, so she blows him off and he gets mad. During a race, she beats him, and loudly proclaims that she’s faster than him. Humiliated, he glares at her and storms off. Emily doesn’t go after him.
16: Never Trust an Invite Without a Return Address
Hanna’s at home, moping because Sean won’t come over. Ms. Marin walks in and gives her a Tiffany’s bag. Inside is the earring and bracelet set she stole. Ms. M tells her there’s a letter in the mail for her. It appears to be an invitation. Inside is a note: Hanna, Even Daddy doesn’t love you best! -A. Enclosed is a printout of a private school’s online newsletter. The article has a photo of Kate, who was a guest speaker at a benefit, with her mother and Hanna’s father. It describes him as Isabel’s fiancé. Hanna’s heart sinks, thinking she’s the reason her father left. He wanted a perfect daughter, not the chubby mess Hanna used to be. She checks the envelope, but sees no return address. Ali is the only one who knows about Kate.
17: Duck, Duck, Goose!
Aria chooses Noel to be her partner for an English assignment, thinking it will make Ezra jealous. Ezra stops by to talk to her while they are working. They “accidentally” brush pinky fingers. Aria turns to Noel and boldly suggest that the play they’re writing have a sex scene in it. Noel asks Aria to come to his party tonight. Ezra overhears everything.
18: Where’s Our Old Emily and What Have You Done With Her?
Emily and Carolyn drive home from school. Mrs. Fields catches the girls as they walk in, and Carolyn books it up the stairs. Mrs. F says she got a call from Coach Lauren, who said that Emily had been missing practice. Carolyn had told their mother Emily was tutoring, so Mrs. F called the school to find out. She demands to know where Emily was. Emily admits she was just hanging out with Maya. Mrs. F lectures her on lying and how she can’t be running around with friends if she’s supposed to be swimming. Emily heatedly says she had no choice but to sign up for swimming, and she doesn’t want to do it anymore. Mrs. F says she’s going to call Emily’s father so he can talk some sense into her. Mrs. F says that this is because of Maya, and she doesn’t want Emily hanging out with Maya anymore because of “cultural differences.” In other words, Emily cannot hang out with Maya because she’s black.
19: Spicy Hot
The night of the Noel’s big party, Spencer decides to spend it alone in her new barn bedroom. She’s aching from her grueling field hockey practice that afternoon, so she heads into the main house to grab some Icy Hot. She closes the bathroom door, pulls down her sweats, and starts applying it to her back and hamstrings. Suddenly Wren barges in and apologizes profusely, saying he thought it was the bedroom. He offers to lube up her hamstrings and gives her a massage. Wren leaves when Mrs. Hastings calls from downstairs that Melissa is on the phone for him.
20: All Emily Needs is a Light Saber and a Black Helmet
Emily is grounded for lying, but her parents hope maybe Ben can talk her into sticking with swimming, so they allow her to go to Noel’s party with him. She apologizes about the thing at practice, and he says everything’s cool. Ben takes off to say hi to his buddies, and Emily runs into Aria. Aria asks if there has been any news about Ali’s disappearance while she was in Europe. Emily says no and then Maya shows up. They make introductions, then Maya leads Emily away with a bottle of Jack that she stole from the Kahns’ liquor table. They head out into the woods.
21: Hot Girls–-They’re Just Like Us!
Sean’s got his dad’s BMW 760i for the night, but he’s not in a great mood. He ditched Hanna to socialize, leaving her to drink and smoke cigarettes by herself. When he reappears, she lures him into the woods with the intention of getting him all hot and heavy so he’ll break his stupid virginity pledge. But he won’t budge. Hanna doesn’t understand, doesn’t he love her? He says he doesn’t know, he just wants to wait, and for Hanna to have more respect for herself. He says he’s just trying to be choosy about sex, and Hanna is not the one he wants to lose his virginity to.
Sean takes off to go swimming in the pond. Hanna grabs his car keys from his jacket and decides that tonight is a gorgeous night for a drive.
22: Beer Baths are Good for the Pores
Noel got a photo booth for the party. Maya and Emily duck inside with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Emily decides to tell Maya about kissing Ali so she can get her secret off her chest. Maya decides to share something about herself, and shows Emily a scar on her wrist. Maya used to cut herself. They both are on the verge of tears, so they hug, and start to kiss. Things get pretty hot until the curtain opens–-on the other side is Ben. He calls them both f*cking dykes, throws his beer at them, and runs off.
23: Icelandic Aria Gets What She Wants
Aria’s at the party as Noel’s quasi-date, but is bored out of her mind. She decides to call Ezra, who is drinking alone at home. He invites her over. They both admit they want each other, that Ezra was jealous of Noel, and they cuddle naked all night, talking. When Ezra gets up to use the bathroom, Aria gets an A text: Aria, That’s some kind of extra credit! Love ya, A. P.S. Wonder what your mom would think if she found out about your dad’s little, uh, study buddy…and that you knew! Aria flips and books it home.
24: There’s More Than Just Shoes and Jeans in Spencer’s Closet
Spencer ditches the party to enjoy her new digs and study. She dresses a little sexy, just in case Wren happens to stop by, which he does. He says Melissa is in the main house, asleep. They flirt shamelessly and start making out. They both get naked when Wren says he needs to use the bathroom. While waiting for him, Spencer gets an IM: A A A A A A: I already told you: Kissing your sister’s boyfriend is WRONG.
Spencer frantically looks around to see who’s spying on her. The only person who knows she’s ever kissed Melissa’s boyfriend is Ali. Ali knew Spencer was messing around with Ian back in seventh grade and threatened to tell Melissa. Spencer threatened to tell about The Jenna Thing, because nobody actually saw anybody except for Ali. Wren comes back into the room to proceed with the sexy time when suddenly Melissa shows up at the door. Spencer throws some clothes on and Melissa icily commands Wren to follow her back to the house.
25: Student Drivers These Days!
Drunk Hanna swipes a Ketel One from the liquor table, gets into Sean’s car, and picks up Mona, who’s stoned out of her mind. They’re joyriding when a Porsche pulls up, revving its engine, wanting to race. Hanna’s completely wasted, but decides to go for it. She hits 100 around a blind curve when a deer runs out in front of her. She slams on the brakes but crashes into a telephone pole, totaling the car. Luckily, she and Mona are saved by the airbags and relatively unharmed. They get out of the car and run off.
26: Do U Love Me? Y or N?
The next morning, Emily is hungover and confused. Is she really gay? She decides to get out of the house and grabs her bike. Stuck inside the spokes of the front wheel is a letter that she wrote to Ali three years ago professing her love for her. On the back is a handwritten note: Thought you might want this back. Love, A.
Emily wonders if it came from Maya. Maya just moved into Ali’s old room, which still had some of her stuff. She remembers that Aria had asked about Ali, so maybe she knows something. Did Aria leave it? Before Emily can decide, her parents come out and tell her to get back inside because she’s grounded. Emily gets on her bike and rides away.
27: Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Dead!
Aria is having a nightmare of zombie Ali returning from the grave, asking if Aria liked her texts. Emily shows up at her door, crying. She nervously asks Aria if Ali had ever said anything to her or the other girls behind her back, and Aria says no. Emily doesn’t know what to do, so she takes off as quickly as she arrived. Aria is left wondering if Al had told the other girls her own secret.
28: Brad and Angelina Actually Met at the Rosewood Police Station
Hungover Hanna is trying to put the puzzles pieces together of what happened last night. Wilden shows up at her door and accuses her of stealing Sean’s dad’s car. He takes her to the police station. Ms. Marin shows up and insists she’s going to “take care of it.” As she’s waiting for her mother to talk to Wilden, Hanna checks her phone and tries to figure out where the heck Mona is, and if she’s in trouble, too. She’s got some missed calls from Mona and Sean, and a dreadful text message: Remember the KATE toothbrush? Thought so! -A
The first time Hanna had made herself throw up, she had stuck Kate’s toothbrush down her throat. Ali had walked in on her, but promised not to tell anyone. Nervously, Hanna tries to respond to the number, thinking it’s Ali. Suddenly the police station is buzzing with activity; something big happened, and Wilden is needed at the scene.
29: Good Morning, We Hate You
Spencer heads into the main house, expecting it to be empty, but is greeted by her disgusted family. Her parents don’t give her a chance to explain. They tell her they are mortified that she is their daughter and she is to move back into the house immediately so Melissa can have the barn. Wren had left during the night. Melissa calls her every nasty name in the book and tells her she never wants to see her again. Spencer is devastated. She heads out to collect her things when she hears sirens and an ambulance headed very close to her house.
30: The Circus is Back in Town
Emily is pedaling away from Aria’s house and decides to head to Maya’s. When she turns down Maya’s street, she hears sirens. Maya’s house is surrounded by ambulances and police cars. Emily is terrified that something had happened to Maya until Maya runs out and breaks the news: Ali’s dead body has been found.
31: Hell is Other People
Aria is at home with her parents, who are trying to make sense of the situation. Ali was buried under some concrete that had been poured after her disappearance. Maya’s family was excavating it to build a tennis court, and her mother had spotted the body. It was identified as Ali’s because of the ring on her finger, but the coroners still need to do DNA tests. Aria is very shaken, so Byron offers her a Xanax. Druggie Mike says he’ll take the Xanax. Aria can’t handle anything right now, so she drives to Ezra’s house.
Expecting to find comfort, Aria is surprised when Ezra is furious with her. Apparently she had left her cell phone there, and it had kept going off with A texts all night. Ezra tried to shut it off and saw the texts. He is livid because somebody found out about him and Aria, so he starts screaming like a madman and tells her to leave. She tries to tell him about Ali but he won’t listen. Aria is stunned, but has no choice but to leave.
32: A Fallen Star
The next day Spencer is back in her old room thinking about the day before. When she realized what happened she had fallen to the ground in complete shock. Andrew had come and put a blanket around her. When she returned home, her family cruelly ignored her. When her parents and Melissa leave, Wren shows up to check on her and make amends. He obviously wants to continue seeing her, so he says he’ll get in touch.
33: Rosewood’s Finest
Hanna is at home, watching the news coverage and bingeing on Cheez-Its. Suddenly Ms. Marin comes stumbling in with Detective Wilden. The two are making out while Wilden is trying to take off her skirt. Hanna suddenly realizes this is what her mom meant when she said she’d “take care of it.”
34: Fancy Meeting You Here
Mr. and Mrs. DiLaurentis return to Rosewood for the funeral. Mrs. D wants all the girls to sit together, unaware that they are no longer friends. The Liars all try to make the most of the uncomfortable situation, chatting and beating around the bush until they all reveal that they’ve been receiving the disturbing texts from A.
35: Just You Wait
The funeral begins and some unexpected guests show up: Toby and Jenna. Jenna has a seeing-eye dog. The Liars all leave the church together when a police detective corners them and says they’ll have to bring them in later for questioning. When he leaves, all four girls receive the same text message at once: I’m still here bitches, and I know everything. -A
What Happens Next…
A short narrative from A, telling the readers that he/she bet we’d think she’s Alison, but she’s not (for simplicity, I’ll refer to A as female, because she’s a total nasty bitch like Ali). A knows everything, and she’s going to have some fun.
Next Book: Flawless (#2)
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