Gotta secret? Can you keep it? Well, you know the rest. While everyone is trying to figure out who “A” is, we at Quirk Books are flagging every book reference we can catch. In anticipation of the seventh (and final!) season, here’s a round up of our favorite Pretty Little Liars literary references.
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
In season one, Ezra gives Aria a copy of Winesburg, Ohio as a way to escape from life in Rosewood. This 1919 short story cycle focuses on the life of George Willard, following Willard from childhood through young adulthood. This novel was well received by critics despite reservations about its moral tone. Funny – we have the same reservations about Ezra’s relationship with Aria.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Season one is full of rose colored flashbacks, so we’d be bereft to leave out Emily’s memory of Alison reading Great Expectations and the kiss that followed a brief discussion of Charles Dickens’ London and the characters that inhabit it. We have to admit, Dickens’ professions of love are the ultimate aphrodisiac. “I loved her against reason,” Alison quotes, “against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”
Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov
In season two, Hanna admits to stealing Alison’s copy of Lolita when she sees how obsessed Alison is with the Nabokov novel. Later, the girls learn that Alison often paraded as her alter ego Vivian Darkbloom, a moniker Nabokov himself used when he inserted himself into his novels. Vivian Darkbloom (an anagram of “Vladamir Nabokov”) appears not only in Lolita, but also Ada, or Ardor.
Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
In season four, Hanna starts binging mystery novels. The novel that gets her hooked? Along Came a Spider – the first in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series. Mystery novels turn Hanna into a regular bookworm and who can blame her? Her life is basically a never-ending whodunit. Hanna runs into Detective Holbrook while building up her TBR and the he attempts to seductively recommend his favorite mystery novel to her. Go away, Holbrook. Nobody wants you here. Not when there are more than twenty other Alex Cross thrillers to read.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
In season five, Spencer lays out a plan of attack against A using tactics she learned in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Widely regarded as the definitive work on military strategy, Spencer rallies the troops by quoting “A wise commander takes measures to always let his opponent react to the wrong set of circumstances.” Sounds exactly like A’s game, if you ask us.