Cover Girl: Hanna Marin (portrayed by Sarah Dewey)
Tag Line: Beauty is only skin deep.
Previous Book: Pretty Little Liars (#1)
Back Blurb: Four pretty little liars have been very bad girls.
Spencer stole her sister’s boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya…as much more than a friend. Hanna’s obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn’t I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I’ll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I’ve got enough dirt to bury them alive. -A
How it Really Began
Rosewood, PA, four years ago. Every town has that one weird, creepy boy. Rosewood’s creep is Toby Cavanaugh. And he lives right across the street from Ali and Spencer.
The Liars are in Ali’s living room trying on each other’s clothes. They’re in various states of undress when Toby appears at the window. Ali screams, and they all feel understandably violated. Toby runs off and Ali decides they need to get even. He spends most of his time in his treehouse, so they should swipe one of his fireworks and light it next to the treehouse window to scare him. The Liars reject the idea because it’s dangerous, but Hanna gives in to Ali’s charm and agrees. Ali says that she’ll do it, but the rest of them can watch from her house.
Alison heads across the street, but it’s 10:30 at night, so the girls can’t see much. Suddenly, they hear a loud Boom! and a fire erupts in the Cavanaughs’ backyard. Spencer and Ali run outside when the paramedics arrive and hide in the bushes to watch. Aria, Emily, and Hanna stay behind. The paramedics carry someone out of the treehouse, but it’s not Toby. It’s his stepsister, Jenna.
Ali assures the girls that nobody saw her, so there’s no way they can get caught. The next day, Toby confesses. Jenna was hit in the face with the firework and it blinded her. She’s so traumatized that she can’t remember what happened. Toby is sent to reform school. Ali forces the girls to promise to keep The Jenna Thing a secret, or else they’ll all be in serious trouble. She makes friendship bracelets with their names on them, symbolizing their promise to always stay together and keep the secret, until the day they die. Ali dies less than a year later.
1. And We Thought We Were Friends
Present day: The girls leave Ali’s funeral and meet to discuss the disturbing messages they’ve received. They all got the same text at the funeral: I’m still here, bitches. And I know everything. -A.
They think A might be talking about The Jenna Thing. Toby and Jenna had both attended Ali’s funeral. Spencer privately recalls her memories of the incident: when she and Ali were outside, she confronted Ali about whether she hurt Jenna intentionally. Ali denied it and then Toby approached them. He said he saw Ali and he was going to tell. Ali threatened that if he told, she’d tell Toby’s parents what she saw him doing while he was in the treehouse. Spencer doesn’t know what he was doing, but it was enough for him to take the fall. He vowed to get revenge on Ali, who then revealed to Spencer what Toby was doing. Ali then threatened Spencer into keeping that particular secret and not telling the others that Toby saw Ali.
The girls suspect that Toby might be A because he has reason to hate them. When the cops questioned them after Ali’s disappearance, none of them mentioned Toby was one of Alison’s enemies because they were afraid of getting in trouble for The Jenna Thing. Now, as they’re trying to figure out exactly what A knows, they are each too afraid A is going to reveal their other secrets. Spencer wants to tell them about the confrontation with Toby, but she thinks the others will hate her and is afraid of what A might do to her. Instead she suggests that if they get any more messages, they tell each other. The others say they’re not worried about it, because they are each afraid of A targeting them individually. Spencer gets in her car and gets another text: Spence, I don’t blame you for not telling them our little secret about Toby. The truth can be dangerous–-and you don’t want them getting hurt, do you? -A
2. Hanna 2.0
Mona picks up Hanna to discuss “Foxy,” the upcoming charity ball. It’s a major deal in Rosewood. Hanna had told everyone she dumped Sean, but in reality he dumped her before she stole his car and crashed it. She desperately wants him back, but tries to maintain the front that she’s over him, even to Mona.
Hanna arrives home to an unexpected visitor: her father. He wants to discuss the incidents with the car and shoplifting. Ms. Marin slept with Wilden so he would drop the charges, but Sean’s father wants to settle his matter privately. He’s a plastic surgeon and just opened a burn clinic. Hanna is to volunteer there until the debt is settled.
3. Is There an Amish Sign-Up Sheet Somewhere?
Emily meets up with Maya for some alone time, debating whether to tell her about A’s text and The Jenna Thing. Maya asks her to be her date for Foxy. Emily is afraid because she still doesn’t know if she’s gay. She receives another A text: Em! Still enjoying the same kinds of *activities* with your best friends, I see. Even though most of us have totally changed, it’s nice to know you’re still the same! Gonna tell everyone about your new love? Or shall I? -A. Terrified, Emily tells Maya that she likes her, but all they can be is friends right now.
4. There’s Truth in Wine…or, in Aria’s Case, Amstel
Ella and Byron are fighting because Byron isn’t going to be home for dinner again. He says he has to catch up on work since returning from sabbatical. Aria decides to drown her sorrows in liquor and invites Mike along. They head to a bar near Hollis, and neither the bouncer or bartender cards them. As they play Ping-Pong, Byron walks in with Meredith, the student he was cheating on Ella with. Aria tries to get Mike out before he can see Byron, but isn’t fast enough. Byron doesn’t know he’s been caught, but Mike is furious and storms off without Aria.
5. A House Divided
Spencer is plagued by The Jenna Thing. She thinks about the few times she saw Toby afterward, and how sinister he looked. Could he be the one who murdered Ali? Also, what is she supposed to do about Wren? Her family hasn’t spoken to her in days, not even after Ali’s body was discovered. She heads downstairs to see dinner has begun without her, and they have company: Ian Thomas. Spencer sits down only to be ignored throughout dinner, then finally begs Melissa to talk to her. Melissa refuses, as do her parents. Ian tries to break the tension with Spencer but it angers Melissa.
6. Charity Isn’t So Sweet
Hanna heads to the burn clinic to begin her volunteering and runs into Mona, who says she’s visiting a friend. Hanna makes up an excuse so Mona won’t know why she’s really there. She sends Sean a text, hoping to patch things up, and steals some painkillers she finds in a cabinet. She didn’t tell anyone she would be there, but someone must know because she gets an A text: Hannakins: Mopping the floors at Bill Beach won’t help you get your life back. Not even you could clean up this mess. And besides, I know something about you that’ll guarantee you’ll never be Rosewood Day’s it girl–-ever again. A. Hanna responds to the text, insisting that whoever it is doesn’t know anything. A responds: I know it all. I could RUIN you.
7. O Captain, My Captain
Emily recently decided she doesn’t want to swim anymore. She does it because all her siblings are star swimmers and her parents expect it of her. But she doesn’t enjoy it; she wants to explore other hobbies and interests. She meets with Coach Lauren before a big meet to resign, but Coach says she was going to make her the team’s captain. Emily is stunned. Her two oldest siblings are on full scholarships and neither of them was captain! She reconsiders and agrees to stay.
Emily’s ex-boyfriend Ben follows her into the locker room. He makes comments about Emily being gay, and she denies it, afraid he might be A. He tells her to prove it and forces himself on her. She begs him to stop and suddenly Toby Cavanaugh appears in the locker room. He scares Ben into letting go of Emily. Apparently Toby swims for Tate, the school that was visiting for the meet. He asks if she’s ok, but she runs, thinking maybe Toby is A. How else would he know about the situation with Ben and Maya?
8. Even Typical Rosewood Boys Soul-Search
Aria tracks Mike down at lacrosse practice and tries to talk about what happened at the bar. He refuses to acknowledge the situation because he’s afraid of their parents divorcing. He insists on practicing, even though it’s raining, so Aria has no choice but to drive away. The car suddenly stops running when a storm starts brewing. Unfortunately, Aria forgot her cell at home.
Sean Ackard, Hanna’s ex, pulls up in a silver Audi and asks if Aria needs help. She uses his phone to call her parents, but neither answer. She has a panic attack and Sean hands her a bag to to breathe in. Aria is embarrassed, but Sean says his stepmom has panic attacks. He tells her his mother died in fourth grade. Aria is desperate to get the secret of Byron and Meredith off her chest, so she spills to Sean. They bond over their shared love of philosophy, and Sean admits that even though he’s in the Virginity Club, he wants to have sex.
9. Someone’s Allowance Just Got a Whole Lot Smaller
Straight-A Spencer gets a B-minus on a test, her worst grade EVER. Her teacher then tells her how much he enjoyed having Melissa in his class, rubbing salt into the wound. He suggests some extra reading to bring her grade back up, so she heads to the local bookstore.
While at the store, she gets a call from Wren. She misses him terribly, but knows it’s a bad idea to see him. She asks if they can wait until the whole ordeal with Melissa dies down and try again in a few months. She knows it’s the right thing to do, but she’s heartbroken.
When Spencer tries to pay for her books, all of her credit cards are declined. Her parents canceled them without telling her. Furious, she calls Wren back and tells him she changed her mind.
10. Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Sean won’t return any of Hanna’s calls, so she decides to confront him at a V Club meeting, which is held at the YMCA. There she runs into Naomi Ziegler, one of her and Mona’s enemies. Hanna makes an excuse about meeting someone so Naomi doesn’t know why she’s really there.
Sean is shocked when he sees Hanna. She puts on the front that she’s interesting in practicing abstinence because she’s had a change of heart, because this is what she thinks Sean would want to hear. Sean is obviously uncomfortable and tells Hanna she shouldn’t be here, but she sticks to her guts and squirms through the embarrassing meeting. Afterward, she apologizes about the car, and Sean seems appeased because Hanna’s volunteering at the clinic. She asks if he’s still going to Foxy, and he says he might just go with the guys. Hanna tells him to save her a dance. Maybe, if she can control herself, she can be with Sean again. Or it could be the other way around and Sean won’t be able to control himself. Either way, she’s determined to get him back.
11. Didn’t Emily’s Mother Ever Teach Her Not to Get in Strangers’ Cars?
Emily is biking home and hears someone call her name. She turns to see who it is and skids on a patch of wet leaves. She takes a rough fall and is scraped up and bleeding. Toby rushes over; he was the one calling for her because she had dropped her purse. He insists on helping her up and bringing her to his car where he has some band-aids. Emily is scared. Are the locker room incident and this related? Is Toby following her because he’s A? Toby insists on driving her home because she’s bleeding. Emily refuses but then faints at the sight of blood gushing from her leg.
Emily wakes up in Toby’s backseat. The car is moving. She screams and tells him to pull over. He says she passed out and he didn’t know what to do, so he lied her down in the backseat and put her bike in his trunk. He thought he would drive her home. Emily is terrified, and Toby is obviously hurt. He apologizes and explains that he had volunteered for the EMS unit in reform school and now wants to rescue anyone who needs help. Emily realizes that she’s probably overreacting; his intentions were good. They are only a mile from her house, so she lets him drive her.
As they’re driving, Emily looks at Toby and realizes he’s changed. He’s still brooding, but in a very handsome way. He’s taller and stronger, and actually talks, unlike before. They start to chat, and she sees that Toby is actually really nice. Normal, even. For a second, Emily thinks Toby might ask her out, but he just says he’ll see her at the next swim meet.
12. Next Time, Stash Emergency Cover-Up in Your Purse
Spencer wakes up in Wren’s bed at 6 a.m. She had told her parents she was staying at a hockey friend’s house for the night. She decides she is ready to have sex and Wren is the right person, so she does it for the first time with him. Afterward, she realizes she’ll be late for school, so she rushes home to shower and change, thinking nobody will be there. But Melissa is. Melissa tells her she wants to talk about the Wren thing, and she’s really sorry for how she treated Spencer, considering what happened to Ali. Spencer is suspicious, because Melissa is never this nice. Melissa notices the huge hickey that Wren left on her neck, but doesn’t know who it’s from. Luckily, Andrew Campbell, Spencer’s academic rival who is crushing on her, calls to check in because she wasn’t in class. Melissa waits expectantly, thinking this was the boy Spencer was with. Spencer plays it off, and decides to ask him to Foxy, so Melissa won’t suspect anything.
13. A Certain English Teacher is Such an Unreliable Narrator
Aria approaches Ezra before class, hoping to talk about their situation. He suggests a “fresh start,” meaning they forget about everything that happened. Aria is hurt because she has feelings for him, but there’s nothing she can do. Noel, who’s been crushing on Aria, tells her Sean was asking about her, and asks Hanna if she’s still seeing Sean. Hanna says it wasn’t working out between them. Noel and his boys then start gossiping about how Mr. Fitz (Ezra) has a girlfriend in New York, but “gets serious ass” from tons of girls from Hollis. Aria starts to feel sick and runs to the restroom. Then she gets an A text: Naughty, naughty Aria! You should know better than to go after a teacher, anyway. It’s girls like you who break up perfectly happy families. -A. Aria leaves the restroom and passes the trophy case, where the students had set up a memorial for Ali. Stuck on the case is a Post-it note that reads: P.S. Wondering who I am, aren’t you? I’m closer than you think. -A.
14. Emily’s Perfectly Fine With Taking Ali’s Sloppy Seconds
Emily is at the Tate swim meet, unable to get the incident with Toby out of her head. She recalls a memory of Ali telling her she was dating an older guy, someone who was super hot and really “bad.” Ali wouldn’t tell who because the girls would freak. It was also the first time she impulsively kissed Ali. But who was the mystery guy? Did Ali mean bad, as in reform school bad? Toby had certainly turned out to be majorly cute, and Ali liking him would make sense, because she was on a bad-boy kick. Emily is still trying to figure out whether she’s gay, and Maya has been calling her non-stop, but she’s ignored her. She decides that to prove she’s not gay, she should go out with Toby.
Toby is getting ready for his swim, so Emily goes to talk to him and thank him for helping her the night before. They have some awkward but nice conversation, and he kisses her. She’s a little surprised, but decides she liked it. The yearbook photographer is taking photos of the swimmers, and gets a shot of her talking to Toby. His coach calls him to get ready for the relay, and then Emily gets a text: Emily, how about this picture of you for the yearbook instead? You wouldn’t want this to get around, would you? -A. Attached is a picture from the photo booth Noel’s party of Emily and Maya kissing. Emily is shocked. Hadn’t Maya taken those photos with her when she left? Could Maya be A?
15. She Steals For You, and This is How You Repay Her
Hanna and Mona are at the mall shopping for dresses for Foxy. Mona is going with Noel’s brother Eric, but Hanna doesn’t have a date. She’s still holding out for Sean. Mona tries to get Hanna to steal some shoes, but Hanna refuses. Ms. Marin calls and tells Hanna to come home because her father is coming over. Hanna told Mona a while back that her dad was dead, because she planned on never speaking to him again. Hanna tells Mona the truth, and Mona is hurt because Hanna had kept it a secret. Just then, Naomi and her friend Riley Wolfe show up, and mention Hanna working out at the Y. Mona realizes that Hanna had lied about that too, so Hanna comes clean about going to the V Club meeting, and that Sean had actually dumped her. Mona is angry. When her friend Celeste calls, she gives Hanna the shoes she just stole and ditches her.
16. Nice, Normal Family Night at the Montgomerys’
Aria is at home and recalls a freaky moment she had with Toby a few years ago. It was the summer after The Jenna Thing, and Toby had returned home from boarding school. Somehow they ended up in a drama workshop together and were paired up. Aria was freaked about having to talk to him and thought he was accusing her of being involved, but then he put on a sincere smile. But could Toby be A? Could it be Hanna? Ali might have told Hanna about Aria’s parents, and Hanna might have found out about Sean picking up Aria when her car broke down.
Aria’s still upset about Ezra, but Sean seems interested, so she summons up the courage to give him a call. Unfortunately she gets his voicemail, so she leaves a message about a writer he might like, hoping he’ll call back.
Aria heads down to dinner, and everyone seems on edge. Mike is acting out, and Byron says he has to go finish some stuff at the office. Mike decides to leave too, so he can practice lacrosse. Ella is hurt, and asks Aria if Byron has been acting strange. Aria says no, and Ella asks Aria if she would tell her if something is going on. Aria says she would, and feels horrible for lying. She heads up to her room and her computer beeps with a new message: A A A A A A: Two choices: Make it go away or tell your mom. I’m giving you till the stroke of midnight Saturday night, Cinderella. Or else. Not sure how? Here’s a hint: Strawberry Ridge Yoga Studio. 7:30 a.m. Tomorrow. Be there.
17. Daddy’s Little Girl Has a Secret
Hanna’s dad shows up an hour late and makes comments about how she looks different. They are not compliments, so Hanna is still convinced her parents divorced because she was fat. Mr. Marin makes a half-assed apology for not being there for her, and that if Sean gave her up, he isn’t worth it. Hanna is irritated, but Mr. Marin tells her he’s staying in Philly for the weekend, booked Hanna a suite at the Four Seasons, and made reservations for them at Le Bec-Fin Saturday night. Hanna has been dying to go to the glamorous French restaurant for years, but Saturday night is Foxy. Mr. Marin says the offer is only good for Saturday, but Hanna is so desperate for his attention that she agrees to blow off the dance. She’s ecstatic until he leaves and she gets a text from A: Four simple words. Hanna. Marin. Blinded. Jenna. What would Daddy think about you if he knew that? I’m watching you, Hanna, and you’d better do what I say. -A.
18. Surround Yourself With Normal, and Maybe You’ll Be Normal Too
Emily and Carolyn are outside waiting for their mom to drive them to swim practice when Maya shows up. Maya confronts Emily about ignoring her, and Emily asks her if she showed anyone the pictures from the photo booth. Maya says no. Emily tells her that she’s met someone else (Toby) and thinks she likes him. She’s getting free tickets to Foxy and she’s going to ask him to go. Maya is obviously upset. Mrs. Fields comes out and sees her. She tells Emily that it’s time to go, and Maya loudly tells her “You can’t change who you are, I hope you know that.” In the car, Emily tells her mother about asking Toby to the dance. Mrs. F doesn’t want her going, but Carolyn sticks up for her and tells her what a great swimmer Toby is, so she agrees to let her go.
19. Watch Out For Girls With Branding Irons
Aria shows up at the yoga studio and runs into Meredith, who doesn’t know who Aria is. She tells her that her name is Alison. Meredith mentions drawing class, and Aria inquires about her being a grad student. They have a pleasant conversation about Meredith’s hobby, which is welding branding irons, and Aria is surprised because if the circumstances were different, she might really like Meredith. She is even more surprised when someone else she knows shows up: Spencer. Aria asks what she’s doing there, and Spencer is confused and tells her she’s in the yoga class. Is this a set-up? Could Spencer be A?
20. Laissez-Faire Means “Hands Off,” BTW
Spencer is stressed out and tired from sneaking around with Wren. She’s starting to worry because she can’t get in touch with him, but he’s a med student and has a packed schedule. When he finally calls, she tells him she’s taking Andrew to Foxy as a cover-up. Wren gives her a hard time and tells her they’ll hang out soon. First, Spencer has to get her Econ paper finished early to bring up her grade. There’s no way she’ll turn it in on time, but A has a task for her: Want the easy A? I think you know where to find it. -A. Spencer knows exactly what A means. Melissa took all the same classes as her and kept all her essays on the family computer. All Spencer has to do is change the name and email it to her teacher. But is this a trap? Is Melissa A? While she’s debating what to do, A sends her another message: P.S. You hurt me, so I’m going to hurt you. Or maybe I should hurt a certain new boyfriend instead? You guys better watch out–-I’ll show up when you least expect it. -A
21. Some Secret Admirer…
Hanna is watching Sean’s soccer game, wondering if Mona’s going to show up. Mona has been ignoring her since the incident at the mall. Hanna goes to talk to Sean during halftime so she can tell him she’s not going to the dance. He says he might not go either because he doesn’t have a date. Sean says that next week they should get dinner so they could talk. Hanna instantly brightens until Naomi and Riley show up and start grilling her about whether she and Sean are together. Hanna notices someone left a note next to her spot on the bleachers. She unfolds the note and it says: Hi again, Hanna! I just want you to read Naomi and Riley the sentences below just as they’re written. No cheating! And if you don’t, everyone will know the truth about you-know-what. That includes Daddy. -A. Hanna is terrified. What she has to say will ruin her: I tried to get in Sean’s pants at Noel’s party, but he dumped me instead. And, oh yeah, I make myself throw up at least three times a day. Hanna knows she has no choice. She quickly blurts out the words so Naomi and Riley can’t decipher them, and runs off.
22. You Can’t Handle the Truth
Aria is in her room cyberstalking Meredith Stevens when Sean calls, wanting to hang out. He picks her up and they head to the train tracks to drink some Captain Morgan Sean swiped from his parents. They talk about sex and Aria admits she did it once in Iceland. She’s never told anybody. Sean asks her to go to Foxy with him, as friends, of course. Aria is disappointed at hearing the word “friends,” but says she’ll go. She tells him about Meredith, and how she wants to tell her to stay away from her dad. Sean says he’ll go with her for moral support. The two drive to the address Aria found on the internet and she knocks on the door. Meredith answers and Aria tells her who she really is, and that the affair needs to stop. Meredith says she’s sorry, but she and Byron are in love.
23. Next Stop, Greater Rosewood Jail
Before the dance, Spencer emails her stolen essay to her Econ teacher. Melissa comes in and tells her there’s a cop at the door looking for her. It’s Detective Wilden and he wants to ask her questions about Ali. Spencer tells him she’s already told the cops everything she knows when Ali disappeared. Wilden asks if anybody hated Ali. The truth is, A LOT of people hated Ali. But Spencer doesn’t reveal anything, especially about Toby, because she doesn’t want to incriminate herself in The Jenna Thing.
24. $250 Gets You Dinner, Dancing…and a Warning
Emily and Toby head into Foxy, which is held in an old English countryside mansion. Toby sounded excited and Emily is hoping she can date Toby, befriend Jenna, and somehow make things right with her, even admit her involvement in her accident. But now that’s she with Toby, it doesn’t feel right. She breaks away from Toby to go to the restroom and Ben corners her, threatening to tell everyone she’s gay. He forces himself on her again and she knees him in the groin. Maya shows up and says she saw what happened. She tells Emily she’ll wait for her, no matter how long it takes.
25. The Surreal Life, Starring Hanna Marin
Hanna is meeting her father at the Four Seasons. He says he has a surprise for her. To her dismay, the surprise is that Isabel and Kate will be joining them at dinner. Hanna’s heart sinks when she sees the three-karat Tiffany diamond on Isabel’s finger and that Kate is more slim and beautiful than ever. She tries to hide her disappointment and play nice to please her father. She spends dinner listening to Tom and Isabel gush over Perfect Kate’s latest accomplishments. She takes a restroom break and gets a text from A: Since you followed my orders so nicely yesterday, consider this a gift: Get to Foxy, now. Sean’s there with another girl . -A
Hanna is devastated. Kate walks in to check on her. She asks if she’s ok and actually seems sincere. Hanna decides to give Kate a second chance and tells her about Sean being at Foxy with another girl. Kate encourages her to go and says she’ll cover for her, because she kind of owes her one for not being nice to her before. Hanna opens her bag to see how much cash she has for the SEPTA back to Rosewood, and Kate spots the stolen Percocet. Kate asks if she can have one because she needs something if she’s got to sit through a boring dinner listening to Hanna’s dad ramble. Hanna gives Kate a pill and takes off.
26. At Least She Doesn’t Have to Sing Backup
Spencer and Andrew show up to Foxy. Andrew really likes Spencer and is under the impression that she likes him too. Spencer steps away when Wren finally calls. She tells Wren she was worried and she’d rather be with him than with her lame-ass date. Andrew overhears the conversation. She tries to explain and let him down easy, but he’s obviously mad because he really likes Spencer. He takes off and she follows him to apologize. Then she spots Toby. A said that they would be there when she least expects it. Is Toby A?
27. Aria is Available by Prescription Only
Mike scores a ticket to Foxy, which is a big deal since he’s a sophomore. He should be having the time of his life, but Aria can see that he’s hurting. She’s obsessing over what to do; A says she has to reveal the news tonight. She’s going to ruin her family. Sean notices she’s acting weird, so they go out to the parking lot to talk. They make out in his car instead. Aria then discovers a note left on the windshield by A: Don’t forget! Stroke of midnight!
28. It’s Not a Party Without Hanna Marin
By the time Hanna arrives at Foxy, she’s completely lost it. She runs around in a rage looking for Sean and screams when she sees him with Aria. She calls Aria a bitch, and Sean steps ups and explains to Hanna that he and Hanna are just friends, and he’s with Aria now. Hanna cries and screams and insults Aria while Sean tries to calm her down. Humiliated, Hanna runs to the restroom. She looks at herself and realizes A did this to her. A is controlling her, and Hanna is letting her. She also realizes this means A is at Foxy.
Mona comes in to check on Hanna. The two are making up when Spencer barges in, insisting she needs to talk to Hanna alone, and it’s an emergency. Hanna tells Mona she’s sorry, but Mona is obviously angry because it must be another secret Hanna is keeping from her.
29. Let it All Out
Spencer leads Hanna out of the restroom and grabs Aria. Hanna says she refuses to go anywhere with Aria and the two start bickering. Spencer intervenes and says they have to find Emily because she’s with Toby, and Toby is A. Spencer admits A sent her a note, and Hanna is angry because Spencer had said that if anyone got another message, they would tell each other. Technically, the others never agreed, but if Spencer didn’t say anything, she was putting them in danger. Aria and Hanna admit they got notes, too, and Spencer finally reveals that she saw Toby the night of The Jenna Thing. Aria and Hanna are furious, because keeping that secret is what pushed Toby into wanting revenge in the first place. If Spencer had told in the beginning that Toby was being blackmailed, he never would have taken the blame and never have wanted to hurt them. Toby is A, and he’s with Emily. They need to find her.
30. Cornfields are the Scariest Place in Rosewood
After leaving Maya in the restroom, Emily asks Toby if they can just go. Toby says he’s glad because he can tell that she’s not really having a good time. As they drive away, it starts to rain. Emily tells Toby that Ben tried to hurt her again. Toby gets angry, and she tells him why Ben was doing it. Emily admits out loud for the first time that she’s gay. Toby asks why she’s so afraid to admit it, and she says she’s scared. People will make fun of her. Suddenly Toby stops the car, and Emily gets worried. Toby just stays silent. Is he upset because he liked her, and she told him she was gay? Is he homophobic?
Toby asks if she’s ever had anybody make fun of her, if she knew what it felt like. He laments on how everyone in Rosewood used to make fun of him and how Emily and her friends used to to tease everybody. He said they did it simply because they could. Emily tries to apologize, and tells Toby she thought he was over it because he and Ali dated the next year. Toby seems surprised that she would think that; he can’t even say Ali’s name because of what she did to him and Jenna. He says “he’s glad that bitch is dead.”
Emily puts the pieces together. Toby knew what they did, and he hated them for it. He hated Ali. He killed her. Toby is A.
31. Like Hanna Would Steal an Airplane–-She Doesn’t Even Know How to Fly!
Spencer, Hanna, and Aria are desperately trying to find Emily. Hanna thinks Wilden might be there, so she says they need to tell the cops. Spencer says that if they go to the cops, they’ll have to tell them about The Jenna Thing, and the cops will think they killed Ali. They decide to split up and if they don’t hear from Emily soon, they’ll just call the police and leave an anonymous tip that they saw Toby hurt her. Then they would not have to reveal specifics.
Hanna gets on the SEPTA to head back to Philly. She recalls the time she ran into Jenna at a party at Ali’s. She looked right at Jenna’s face, but Jenna couldn’t see her. She mouthed the words “I’m sorry” to her. Hanna is shocked when she gets to the hotel and realizes Kate didn’t cover for her, she told on her. Mr. Marin is furious. He pulls out the Percocet that Hanna gave Kate and tells her to explain it. Kate smirks at Hanna, and Hanna screams at her father for ignoring her for four years. He says that maybe her mother can talk some sense into her, and Ms. Marin shows up to take her home. Hanna says her mother won’t talk to her either, she’s been sleeping with a cop, and she’s also too busy to pay any attention to her. She begs her father to let her stay, put Ms. Marin pulls her away to take her home.
32. Emily Goes to Bat
After realizing Toby is A, Emily gets out of the car and runs through a cornfield and the woods leading to her house. It starts storming before she gets there. Luckily, the back door is unlocked. She gets inside and then Spencer calls. Emily tells Spencer Toby is A. Spencer says she figured it out and they were looking for her. Thunder strikes and the line goes dead. Suddenly, Toby is pounding on her sliding glass door, begging her to let him in. He says he’s sorry for how he reacted, he just got really upset seeing all those people who were so mean to him long ago. Emily tells him to go away, and she knows what he did to her (“her” meaning Ali). Toby seems shocked. He asks how she knew, and that he was so young, she just doesn’t understand. He begs her to listen, but then runs into the woods behind her house.
Emily dials 911, but the line is dead. She left her purse with her keys and cell in Toby’s car, and nobody is home. She’s alone. She grabs a baseball bat and hides in the shadows on her front porch, ready for when Toby comes back.
33. Who’s the Naughty Sister Now?
The next morning, Spencer gets an email from her Econ teacher. He’s very impressed with the work she turned in, which is the work she stole from Melissa. Overwhelmed with everything that has happened, she calls Wren for support. He tells her it’s not going to work out between them because she’s too young and he’s seeing someone else. Spencer is devastated because she lost her virginity to him.
Suddenly Melissa shows up at Spencer’s door. She asks how it went with Andrew at Foxy. Out of guilt, Spencer confesses she’s been seeing Wren, and that if Melissa hates her, she understands. But Melissa isn’t mad. She smirks and tells Spencer she already knows because she got an anonymous tip (probably A), and while Spencer was at Foxy, Wren was in Rosewood. With Melissa. But she’s not going to see him again. And Spencer probably won’t, either.
34. See? Deep Down, Hanna Really is a Good Girl
The next morning, Hanna steps out of her bedroom to find Wilden in her hallway, naked except for Hanna’s fluffy white towel around his waist. He tells Hanna he used her bathroom to shower because her mom was using hers. Apparently he stayed over. Hanna is disgusted, but tells him she thinks Toby killed Ali. Wilden says the police had suspected Toby before, but he had an airtight alibi for the night Ali was killed, and that Hanna looks cute in her jammies. His walkie-talkie goes off and another police officer says they need him because they found a body. Hanna asks if it’s a girl’s body, but he tells her to tell her mom he’ll call her and takes off.
35. Special Delivery
Aria wakes up and realizes her time is up. She was supposed to tell Ella about the affair by midnight. When she got home nobody was there and she eventually fell asleep. She hears sounds in the kitchen so she goes in and sees Ella stabbing herself in the hand with a fork. Ella says she got an anonymous letter this morning and Byron confessed to the affair. Ella accuses Aria of keeping the secret from her for four years, and tells her she can’t be near her right now. Ella runs upstairs to her room.
Spencer calls Aria, but Aria just screams at her. Spencer just ruined her life. If she hadn’t kept the secret about Toby, he wouldn’t have killed Ali and he wouldn’t have told Ella. Spencer tries to get her to understand. Aria sort of does. After all, she kept Byron’s secret to protect her family. Spencer asks if she’s heard from Emily, because Spencer’s mom had driven by Emily’s house and saw three cop cars outside.
36. Just Another Slow News Day in Rosewood
Aria, Spencer, and Hanna all arrive at Emily’s at the same time. An ambulance just drove away, and a news reporter says something about a dead body. Carolyn is outside talking to the cops. Hanna spots Wilden and he tells her to leave. Then Emily walks out of her house. She tells the girls that Toby’s body was found in the woods. He must have OD’d on some pills. She tells them what he said about being glad Ali is dead. Spencer confesses to Emily what she had confessed to the others last night: that Ali blackmailed Toby into taking the blame for The Jenna Thing. Hanna interjects, saying Toby didn’t do it because of what Wilden said. Aria and Emily question how Ali was able to blackmail him. Ali had told Spencer what she caught Toby doing, but forced her to keep that a secret. Before Spencer can tell, Jenna Cavanaugh walks into Emily’s yard with her seeing-eye dog and asks for Emily. She gives her back her purse that she left in Toby’s car, along with a note, telling her it’s from Toby.
37. String Bracelets Are So Out, Anyway
Jenna says the note was found next to Toby’s body. He wrote a suicide note, and part of it was for Emily. He explains that he promised Ali to keep a secret for her if she kept one for him. Ali promised the secret would never come out, but after talking with Emily last night, he realized it had. What he did to Jenna was the biggest mistake he ever made, and he can’t live with it anymore. He’s done.
Emily is stunned. What does Toby mean? They were the ones that hurt Jenna, not him. She gives Jenna back the note, breaks down, and tells Jenna how sorry she is for teasing her so long ago. Before the accident, they were so mean to her. The other girls apologize too, and Jenna says it’s ok. They truly are sorry, but they don’t say that it’s also for being involved with her accident.
When Jenna leaves, Spencer summons the courage to tell them what really happened that night: Toby was molesting Jenna. He was trying to get her clothes off and Jenna looked terrified. Ali was so shocked that she misaimed the firework and it flew into the window, causing the explosion that blinded Jenna.
The girls are all horrified, especially Emily. Toby thought that his secret was outed because of her, and that’s why he killed himself. And poor Jenna. She was being molested by her stepbrother, and the girls ruined her life. How can Emily forgive herself? Toby is dead because of her.
The other girls leave, and Emily goes into her room. She retrieves her phone from her purse and sees that she has a new message: Poor, confused Emily. I bet you could use a big warm girl hug right now, huh? Don’t get too comfortable. It’s not over until I say it is. –-A
What Happens Next…
A scoffs at the readers. Did we really think Toby was A? He had it coming. And so do the Liars. Aria is having trouble keeping track of her boyfriends. A is going to help her make a decision. Emily has kissed two people who are now dead. Everybody has dumped Hanna, and it’s only going to get worse for her. And Spencer, she’s so smart but her brain goes a little fuzzy when she tries to remember the night Alison disappeared. A’s going to help her remember.
Next Book: Perfect (#3)
Which cover do you like the best? Sound off in the comments below!