- Date: October 3, 2006
- Type: Book
The story introduces an exclusive group of friends: "Alison DiLaurentis", the perfect yet manipulative queen bee, Aria Montgomery, an independent girl who is considered to be the oddball in Rosewood, Emily Fields, a swimmer who holds secret feelings for Alison, Hanna Marin, who strives to be thin and popular like Alison, and Spencer Hastings, an overachiever who is brave enough to stand up against Alison's manipulative ways. Alison mysteriously disappears during a sleepover with the girls in the summer before 8th grade. The story then jumps 3 years later, when the girls are living their own lives and don't speak to each other. Aria returns to Rosewood from a 3 year trip to Iceland with her family and comes back much more sophisticated than before she left. She meets and makes out with a guy in a local bar who is revealed to be her English teacher, Ezra Fitz. Emily befriends the new girl in town, Maya St. Germain, and soon develops romantic feelings for her. Hanna is the new popular girl in town alongside the former nerd, Mona Vanderwaal. However, she and Mona sometimes shoplift though both can clearly afford their steals. Hanna battles the urge to turn back to bulimia, and struggles to manage the stress of keeping her queen bee status. Spencer continues to struggle in her long-standing rivalry with Melissa Hastings, her perfect older sister. Problems occur when she begins to feel attracted to Melissa's new boyfriend, Wren Kim, when he is introduced to the family. Throughout the story, the liars get messages threatening to reveal their secrets of the present and past, including a terrifying incident the girls refer to as "The Jenna Thing". They automatically believe it is their missing friend, Alison, because she is the only one each of them confided in regarding their darkest secrets. However, they are shocked when the police find her corpse buried in the gazebo of her former house. The book ends with the liars receiving a text at Alison's funeral saying, "I'm still here, bitches. And I know everything. -A ". The girls have made up at this point.