pretty little reaction: there's baggage, and then there's what the liars are lugging around

6.17 We've All Got Baggage | Photo Credit: Freeform

6.17 We've All Got Baggage | Photo Credit: Freeform

Sorry for the break last week--things were crazy busy, but I'm back and ready to discuss this week's PLL! Before we dive in, I just want to give one more shout-out to the awesome Haleb flashback scene we got last week. It definitely made me yearn for them. And it, combined with what we saw this week, has me feeling very confident a reunion is in our future. I don't want Spencer to get burned, but...meh. She can get back with Toby. Speaking of whom, where's Toby? Definitely not a part of this week's drama, but next week...oh, I have a feeling it's getting good :)

You can't trust that guy, Em | Photo Credit: Freeform

You can't trust that guy, Em | Photo Credit: Freeform

  1. So my question about Liam knowing who Ezra really is to Aria was answered quite clearly--he definitely didn't know. But he does now! Ezra seems to handle the whole book thing okay, then Liam and Aria work things out (he never even brings up the creepiness factor! Good man, that Liam. I guess.) Oh and Aria's parents get married, and well, basically everything's a wash for her this week. Expect new drama next week, probably related to her prodigal brother, at least, I kinda hope so.
  2. Man, I love a good Emily freak out. Nobody does wide-eyed losing it like Em. Also her reaction to Spaleb was classic. Do not want to see. And then there's the whole Damien thing. I totally forgot about Damien until memory was jogged by the whole reporter thing. Right. That guy. He's definitely up to something other than an article, right? I mean, he has to be. Could he be Devil Emoji? Or, Black SUV? (more on that below)
  3. Hanna's good at planning other weddings, but not her own. Clearly a sign. Also, "This is happy"? No it's not. (And did you notice Hanna's reaction to seeing Spaleb together? And how Hot Caleb removed his arm from around Spencer as soon as he saw Hanna? Haleb is so coming back.) 
  4. Apparently Devil Emoji and Emily are going to have a baby together. Isn't that nice? Oh wait, no, it's totally creepy. But maybe Emily should take a look through that baby name book. If she leaves it up to Devil Emoji, that kid is going to be named Pizza Slice or Smiley Poop. Actually, Smiley Poop isn't a bad name for a baby...
  5. The Hanna and Melissa flashback was intense. I kinda love these two together. Can we please see more of them two at odds? Also, how many times is this show going to try and make us believe Melissa is guilty? We know better by now, PLL. That said, I wonder what Melissa is up to...
  6. Okay, Emily officially needs to stop going to creepy A-related (Devil Emoji-related) places by herself. She gets herself nearly killed every other week. And why does she think the roof is a good place to hide? OBVIOUSLY,w whoever is in the Black SUV totally knows she's up there. This is the most bizarre cat and mouse game I've ever seen. Em, next time just run into the forest. Cars can't drive through trees. 
  7. What are Hanna and Aria wearing at the wedding? Just. What. Aria's is kinda okay since she's officiating, but a black leather crop top and matching skirt? I know Ella wanted something different, but seriously? Also, I kinda thought Byron and Ella would break apart after their kiss and Magic Mike would be there. Not stupid Liam, who is kinda boring now that any drama related to him is mostly over. 
  8. Hot Caleb takes the fall. Always our hero. Of course. And then Spencer's mom kicks him out. I don't think Caleb secretly did it, and I don't care for him taking the blame to save Spencer (the campaign overall is fine), but I'm definitely a fan of him not being in that barn anymore. Hooray for no more totally awkward honeymoon phase scenes between Spaleb. I am so done with those. It felt like a brother and sister waking up for coffee and makeouts. Gross. Also, this totally sets the scene for the Haleb reunion. Dare I dream that Hot Caleb will show up at Lucas's condo looking for a place to crash? DARE I DREAM?
  9. Ali and what's his face (Dr. Something) want to get married. Well, we knew this was coming, but I have to say, I wasn't expecting it now. They seem giggly and happy. And hey, Aria might as well. She's got an officiating resume to build up! Maybe she can marry Haleb next? :P
  10. Okay, the two "As" thing. Emily seems to think that Black SUV and Devil Emoji aren't the same person. I don't necessarily agree that they have to be two different people. Couldn't Devil Emoji just have shown up to find that murder weapon and then Emily was there and he/she wanted to scare Em off so they did, and then when she got the weapon, he/she grabbed it for his/her own purposes? The show seems to want us to believe there are two people here. So even though I don't agree there's enough evidence to support this, I'm going to go along with it. Which brings me to my next question--which "A" is eating wedding cake and programming a universal remote? I don't even know what we're supposed to make of that...Figuring out how to program a universal remote makes me think the person is old and out of touch with technology, but that's not true. Those things are hard! 

    Until next week!

Prettiest Little Quote of the Week:

"Well, I think it's fate. People who are meant to be together take a break and then find their way back to their first love." -Hanna (of course, I picked this one...)


friday5 for February 5, 2016

As I mentioned in a post on my Facebook author page yesterday, it's been a busy week. More than busy. Plus, I'm recovering from this cold that doesn't seem to want to go away. I guess recovering isn't actually the right word then. Enduring? Kinda. Anyway, I had to do a bit of condensing with regards to bloggie things this week. Sorry about that. Hopefully, we'll be back to normal as of Monday, but for now, here's the Friday5, including a mini version of this week's Pretty Little Reaction!

1. Let's talk Gilmore Girls revival, because I don't think we've touched on that yet and the four episode (more like four movies given their length) series began filming this week. There's a lot of information swirling out there right now (like this great rundown). For once, I'm actually somewhat trying to limit my exposure to too many details, because I want to be surprised. But oh man, this interview with Lauren Graham has got me so excited: 

Photo credit: NBC

Photo credit: NBC

2. Another favourite comic book universe is coming to prime time--X-Men, and FX, the network behind the adaptation, subtitled Legion, has announced that Aubrey Plaza, Dan Stevens, and Jean Smart will be joining the cast. Any thoughts on these choices? Personally, I see a lot of potential, but the scripts will have to be just right. Will you watch when Legion premieres? Or are you getting prime time comic book adaptation fatigue?

Photo credit: FX via THR

Photo credit: FX via THR

3. So, Rupert Grint upset many a Harry Potter fan this week when he predicted that Ron and Hermione probably eventually got divorced. I mean, he had to have been kidding, right? Joking around in a self-deprecating, of-course-Ron-would-fail-at-marriage kind of way? Yeah, that must be it. Cause in reality, I don't see Ron and Hermione, my favs over even HP himself, ever letting go of each other... 

Photo credit: Warner BRos.

Photo credit: Warner BRos.

Look, I know Ron and Hermione had their ups and downs--they were still children when they first fell in love! They had a lot of growing up to do!--but they'd both come a long way by the end of Deathly Hallows. Did they probably argue a lot? Of course. That's part of their spark! But you can't convince me these two wouldn't continue to love each other enough to work through any problems they might have as a married couple.  

4. As promised, here are my top impressions from this week's episode of Pretty Little Liars--again, sorry about the abbreviated edition! If you want to avoid spoilers, please go right ahead and skip to the Noteworthy New YA.

  1. As I feared/suspected, Spencer and Hot Caleb didn't just kiss. They went for it. Like, went for it. Under the category of small mercies, I'm glad Hot Caleb was asleep during that morning after scene. I really didn't want to see AM canoodles between these two.
  2. In other news, PLL has finally found a way to make me feel for Toby. I might even be starting to like the guy. Or maybe I just want him to dump the new chick, and conveniently step in to soften Spencer's fall when Hot Caleb inevitably gets back with Hanna. Either way, he's miles from where he used to be back in the Creeper Toby days. And yet, I miss him being creepy too... this is clearly my head-cold speaking now. I'll leave it at that. 
  3. What is wrong with me that I actually like Aria's yellow zebra sweater? Is she... growing on me? First Toby and now Aria's wardrobe? Hmmm. I don't feel like I have a fever, but maybe I do!
  4. Hanna's fiance is definitely likable. That doesn't mean I want her to be with him, but calling a lawyer when your girl confesses to evidence tampering? He's clearly the smartest person in the liars' lives right now. If--scratch that--when Hanna gets back with Hot Caleb, I hope they keep Jordan around just for his logical coping methods. 
  5. Is Aria's dad the killer? I don't think so. But of the suspects they've hinted at so far, I think he's the one I'd most like to see actually responsible. He's definitely not the creeper in the old man mask though... was that supposed to look real? Cause it definitely looked like a mask. New A doesn't appear to have the big budget that old A did. 
6.14 New Guys, New Lies | Photo credit: Freeform

6.14 New Guys, New Lies | Photo credit: Freeform

5. Noteworthy New YA: ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers

With shades of Game of Thrones and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a tale of love, lies, and vengeance. Fans of Kristin Cashore and Rae Carson will devour the flawlessly crafted action and inventive world building.
Seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana is a trained assassin. She was born into one of the nine clipper Families in the kingdom of Lovero who lawfully take lives for a price. As a member of the highest-ranking clan, loyalty to Family is valued above all, but that doesn't stop Lea from getting into a secret relationship with Val Da Via, a boy from a rival clan. Despite her better judgment, Lea has fallen in love with him; but she's confident she can anticipate any threat a mile away.
Then she awakens one night to a house full of smoke. Although she narrowly escapes, she isn't able to save her Family as their home is consumed by flames. With horror, she realizes that Val and his Family are the only ones who could be responsible. Devastated over his betrayal and the loss of her clan, there's just one thing on her mind: making the Da Vias pay. The heart of this assassin craves revenge.

-Courtesy of Indiebound

Happy weekend!

pretty little reaction: oh, what a tangled web we weave

6.12 Charlotte's Web | Photo credit: Freeform

6.12 Charlotte's Web | Photo credit: Freeform

Things are quickly heating up PLL--both on the murder mystery front, and the personal relationship front. We may not have 'A' to worry about anymore, but Rosewood continues to be one of the worst places to live ever. Remind me again why the none of the families of these girls moved away during the five-year time jump? I hesitate to say they deserve it at this point, but man, they certainly aren't trying to avoid the drama...

Photo credit: Freeform

Photo credit: Freeform

  1. At the beginning of almost every half season of PLL, I find myself wondering, who's the misdirect going to be this time? We had evil Creeper Toby, evil Ezra, and of course the girls have all looked suspicious at various times. Well, for 6B, at least for now, it seems Aria and Ezra are suspects #1 and #2 (or #2 and #1). Aria is suspiciously anxious to get back to work (though really, I don't blame her for that), and her actions the night Charlotte was killed are definitely suspect. That said, the killer isn't Aria, you guys. It's just not. Charlotte's neck was broken, and if nothing else, I can't imagine little Aria pulling that off. I'm 99% sure it isn't Ezra either.  
  2. Ugh Spencer and Hot Caleb. So we really need to keep at this? Can't we just pretend those tension-filled moments between them last week were all a dream? I'm soooo over it. I have always been okay with these two as friends, but please don't take advantage of our fragile Haleb hearts, PLL. I get that we need some kind of plot device to keep Caleb around (and now it seems that he'll be helping out the Hastings campaign--geez, talk about having your work cut out for you!). He needs to be there so he and Hanna can fall back in love, but this stuff with Spencer just feels wrong. It's a betrayal. I'd rather see him with some random new girl than Spencer. 
  3. Wtf is going on with Emily? Clearly, a lot. She didn't finish school, which is understandable with her dad dying and the fact that college isn't for everyone, but apparently she's sick with some mystery illness that her mother doesn't know about, and her doctors don't seem entirely on top of either. Does she have cancer or are we just jumping to conclusions?
  4. Sara Harvey's hands are the new Jenna's eyes. Do they work? We may never know.
  5. Hot Caleb and Jordan. Oh Jordan, why did you have to be such a charmer? Okay, so we've now got two great guys for Hanna. Girl has excellent taste in men. But sorry, Jordan, you seem really sweet and... well, it's not you, it's me. I'm a diehard Haleb fan. You understand right? I mean, you saw that moment between them in the storage room, right? There's still a spark there. More than a spark. So Jordan, I certainly hope you have some deep dark secret that makes this easier, because we the viewers are going to have to break up with you regardless. Seriously, Jordan seems super nice and all, but he can never understand Hanna's world the way Hot Caleb does.   
  6. On the subject of cute new boyfriends, Aria's bookish boy is pretty adorable himself. I was never really an Ezria fan, aside from kind of feeling like they deserved each other, but it definitely feels like this new guy is just a placeholder. 
  7. Hanna is probably doing the right thing by protecting Aria, and ultimately deleting the security footage of Aria leaving the hotel. But it's easy for me to say that because we know it wasn't Aria. Knowing how PLL usually goes, Hanna is going to pay the price for that cover-up... I just hope Hot Caleb is there to help.
  8. Sara Harvey is the creepiest creeper who ever creeped.  
  9. I'm not buying the chemistry between Spencer and Hot Caleb. I was a Buffy/Angel fan, but I never once denied the chemistry between her and Spike. Spencer and Hot Caleb seem more like siblings who are giggling about hat time they accidentally hooked up. GROSS, RIGHT? Yeah, unnatural and gross. Spencer needs to stop talking to Hot Caleb like he's her boyfriend. At least he seems to be sleeping on the couch...for now. If Haleb aren't reunited by the end of this half season, I'm gonna have to throw someone from a bell towel after snapping their neck.
  10. Who is the mystery person getting in the car at the end? Is this our new 'A'? What shall we call, them? B? Hmmm. Until next time!



pretty little reaction: i think caleb rivers might be cheating on us

6.11 Of Late I Think of Rosewood | Photo credit: Freeform

6.11 Of Late I Think of Rosewood | Photo credit: Freeform

Welcome to the Pretty Little Reaction, an evolved version of the Pretty Little Recap. Let's face it, we didn't come here to learn what happened on PLL, we came here to freak out about it, and I'm hoping this new format, which will be a rundown of the 10 biggest talking points from each new episode, will give us plenty to freak about. So let's get to it! Season 6B premiered last week, and we only have a few more hours in the day before episode two hits us like a freight train. There's much to discuss--here are the top ten reactions I had while watching:

photo credit: freeform

photo credit: freeform

  1. The five-year time jump. Did it work for you? It sooo worked for me. These actresses are getting older, so it makes sense to have them not only graduate high school, but also skip over the mess that is the TV college years (cue flashbacks to season 5&6 of Dawson's Creek. Shudder.) Having the girls out of high school opens up more plot lines, more drama, less parental meddling, and more..binge drinking? Okay, more on that in a bit, but suffice to say, I'm on board with this time jump.
  2. The downside of the time jump? Realistic break-ups. Geez, PLL, you pick this topic to finally ground yourself in reality? Yeah, okay, a lot of high school couples don't survive post high school, but Haleb?!? Come on, people! If anybody could do it, these two could. And I know I can't be the only one who wants to see the missing years of them in NY. Yes, I'm happy with the time jump, but I want more happy Haleb. And that means she needs to ditch the finance (or maybe he will turn out to be creepy and suspicious? Who isn't on this show?) and get back with Hot Caleb ASAP!
  3. Ali wants Charlotte out of the hospital and into the frying pan. Nope. Not a good idea, Ali. I know you love your sister (for some reason), but you can just go on and continue to visit her like a normal relative of a psychopath. Thank goodness Aria (of all people) had the balls to call out how insane this idea is. Sadly, it didn't accomplish much.
  4. The girls almost all seem to be living the life five years in the future, which is pretty unbelievable considering everything they went through in their high school years--should they really be that well adjusted? But then there's Emily. Her dad died, and clearly college didn't work out. Though it doesn't make a lot of sense that the other girls are so well off in their careers, I'm glad the show has at least given us Emily and her less-than-ideal situation. I can't wait to find out more about what happened to her over the past five years, which is saying something, because Emily's plotlines often bore me. 
  5. Radley is a hotel now. Wise business decision? Maybe not, but I generally back Ashley and her crazy ideas, and furthermore, think of the drama that can happen with a hotel at their disposal! Late night hook-ups! Hotel parties (see below)! All kinds of crazy hijinks you wouldn't expect to happen at anyone's actual home! Can we please have a Haleb reunion in the honeymoon suite? Oh! Oh! And can the hotel please be haunted with real ghosts? 
  6. Speaking of hotel parties, how much fun was it to see the girls get legally drunk together? Good times. If these girls are going to live glamorous lifestyles, I want to see some of the poor decisions that go along with that. That said, with Spencer's past drug addictions, and Hanna's problems with alcohol during season... (too lazy to look it up), I hope they are in better control overall. I don't want to see another substance abuse storyline on this show. I just want them to drink for fun like regular twenty somethings. 
  7. So Charlotte gets out, and then immediately dies. Did anyone see this coming? I admittedly didn't. And I admittedly don't entirely believe she's dead. But time will tell. Clearly we have a parallel story happening here in the time jump. Okay. I'm on board. 
  8. Okay, I've been putting this off, but let's talk about the stupid elephant in the room. What the mother-loving eff is up with Spencer and Hot Caleb? If those two are secretly together, I am going to throw things at my TV. A drunken one night stand that they both regret? That I could get behind, but these two are clearly still close, flirty even, and that is not okay. Nor is it indicative of any guilt or shame on either of their parts if they did indeed hook-up. I have a feeling we'll learn more about this duo very soon, but in the meantime, I'm going to throw up in my mouth a little bit, and then pray that Haleb's reunion is so hot it burns the memory of Spencer and Hot Caleb from our minds. 
  9. Sara Harvey. She's still around, and she's still creepy as all get out. I don't know what her role is in what happened with Charlotte, but clearly she has one. That actress does a good job of looking haunted--could make for some fun stuff down the road.
  10. Another murder. Another accusation for our girls. I'm not surprised the episode ended this way, given the parallels to the pilot, but I admit, I didn't specifically see it coming. Of course the girls are suspects, but at the same time, come on, haven't these liars actually earned a little trust by now? No? Okay, let's see where this goes. 


welcome to the new

Welcome and hello! I'm so happy to have you here at the new! As promised earlier this month, the fresh, new look of this site is only the beginning; I have lots of fun stuff in store for the coming weeks and months. But today, I wanted to use this post as an introduction to the new site, where you can find info on my books, and a few other goodies, including the archive of all my old blog posts (which, disclaimer, successfully migrated over, BUT the formatting is super wonky in some, so if you do happen to go back and read anything prior to 2016, please forgive the formatting oddities).

The blog is also where I'll be continuing to keep you guys updated on any news, and of course, in addition to some tba new features, it'll also be home to some returning favourites...

Coming soon:

New editions of The Writer's Arsenal!

New editions of The Friday5!

And of course, new reviews of Pretty Little Liars, in the form of the revamped Pretty Little Reaction (formerly the Pretty Little Recap).

The new season just kicked off with a major 5 year time jump, and it definitely feels like the perfect time to dive back in with an all new recap format. Watch for the first PLR post soon, as I catch up on the season 6B premiere in anticipation of this week's all new episode!

Photo credit: Freeform

Photo credit: Freeform

I hope you guys love the look and feel of the new site as much as I do. I'm excited to use this space to share pieces of myself and my writing with you, as I forge ahead with my ambition to become a published author. I'd love to hear what you think of the new site–please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

the dog's breakfast

Where did all these cookies come from? Photo credit: Zorik07
This post has gone through several incarnations--actually, I shouldn't even say it was a single post because at one point it was going to be three different posts, but as the title suggests, I've decided to throw up my hands and cobble them together into some sort of Frankenpost.

It's been about three months since my last update, and though most of the people reading this will probably have some idea of what's been going on with me because of Facebook, I figured I might as well post a rundown here for posterity's sake. And it being Friday and all, let's do this Friday5 style, shall we?

But only kinda.
1. I'm moving to the country (gonna eat a lot of peaches...does anybody even remember that song?) Yep. Let's get the biggie out of the way first. We all know how stressful and time consuming moving can be. Throw on top of that the fact that we weren't exactly planning on moving (until we suddenly fell in love with a house) and, well, let's just say everything is a bit chaotic at the moment. If I'm not chasing my children around (my actual full time job), I'm making lists and checking them twice--wait, that's not right--it's more like making spreadsheets and cross-referencing everything eight thousand times. And packing, and scheduling, and packing, and painting, and packing. I won't bore you with all the details, but on top of the usual moving stuff (and our family has doubled in size since we last moved), there's also all the getting our current house ready to sell in a timely manner stuff, because again, we weren't exactly planning on this happening...

2. Which brings me to update #2: because of the sudden decision to move out of the city, I've also made the extremely difficult decision to not return to my position as an assistant editor at Harlequin. I have A LOT of thoughts and feeling about this decision, but rather than wade too far into the deep end, I'll sum them up as best I can by saying this whole moving/not returning to work thing has been very bittersweet. I'm definitely excited about our new home and the opportunities it presents (see #3 below), but Harlequin (specifically MIRA, and then HQN) has been my home away from home for seven years and there aren't enough positive words in the dictionary to describe the amazing, talented people I'll no longer be working alongside. I'm going to miss them tremendously. So yeah, BITTERSWEET. 

3. The decision to make the above life changes has left me with the occasional sinking feeling this might end up being a huge mistake, but for the most part, something about it just feels right. Call it a gut feeling. Part of that has to do with us settling in a nice little community just as my daughter is about to start kindergarten, but it also has to do with the opportunity it presents regarding my ambition to build a career as an author. Writing has always been something I've dreamed I'd one day get to devote my primary (work) focus on, and now I have the chance to explore that. Is it a huge gamble? Definitely. But sometimes you have to take a chance, and bet on yourself. This next phase of our lives feels like the right time for me to do that and if it doesn't work out, it certainly won't be for lack of effort or drive. Please keep your fingers crossed for me :)

4. Speaking of writing, that brings me to my next update: my WIP, THIS HIDEOUS HEART is finished, and while I don't usually like to talk about the submission process on this blog, I'll just say that it's out in the world, looking for a home. I'm really happy with how this one turned out (not that I'm not happy with how all of them turned out) and I really, really hope I'll get the opportunity to share it with you some day soon! My next project is the one I'd been working on before the lightbulb that was THH went off, stealing all my attention away. It's a summer camp story--I was a HUGE fan of summer camp style stories as a kid (Baby-Sitters Club Super Specials anyone?) and I can't wait until the bulk of this moving stuff is out of the way so that I can dive in. It's a contemporary YA romance, with hints of mystery, humour and a lot of heart. The working title is, SUMMER CAMP SUCKS WHEN YOU'RE FAT, and it fits the tone of the story so well I don't plan on changing it anytime soon :) More updates on that to come. And in fact, more everything to come. Once this move is over, I'll be in the position to actually, truly, once and for all, get back to a regular blog schedule--another benefit of all these life changes.

5. Okay, this has nothing to do with me specifically beyond the fact that I'm totally hooked. Can we please talk about iZombie? Because I'm in love. I knew I would totally dig this show because, hello, Rob Thomas is a supercrazyawesome genius, but he has somehow surpassed my expectations, meshing the best elements of Veronica Mars with Warm Bodies. In true Rob Thomas style, season one ended with a bang, and I can not wait for season two. So good, you guys. SO GOOD.

Bonus TV-related bullet point: Yes, I'm loving PLL's #summerofanswers. The drama is at an all time high, and my Haleb shipper heart is giving Hot Caleb all the awards for best boyfriend ever. If I can manage it, I'll try to do a Pretty Little Recap or two in the coming weeks, especially if something truly explosive happens. But no guarantees. Seriously, you guys should see all the boxes and moving crap surrounding my desk right now....

So, that's all for now. I'll be back with more in the coming weeks/months/etc, hopefully with an update about SUMMER CAMP SUCKS's progress, and maybe a taste of THIS HIDEOUS HEART since I'm proud and want to share. Until then, I'll just shamelessly sign your yearbook with, "Have a great summer!" ;)

i'm not dead

I'm not. I swear. If I were dead, would I be able to type this? Probably not, but then again, do we even have a definitive answer on zombies retaining the typing skills they had in life? Maybe tackle that one next, Robert Kirkman.

Anyway, yeah, not dead, just busy.

With this:

Baby H is keeping me plenty busy as he develops fun, new skills!

And this:

It's hard to get things done when a doll has been put to bed and is snoring on the ottoman. And no, I can't move her. The daughter will know/throw a fit if I move her. 

And this:

New WIP: This Hideous Heart, a YA re-telling of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

So yeah, that's what I've been up to. And as a result of being busy with all that, I haven't had free time to blog, not even to do a Pretty Little Recap, though yes, I have been keeping up with the show and will probably make time to recap the finale. (Mini recap time! Hot Caleb was missing for too many episodes, but was awesome when he returned; wow, Spencer was really spicing things up in the UK; the scene with the guy suddenly rising up in the burn ward was freaky as hell and I'll have nightmares for weeks; Ali with no makeup in prison is refreshing and awesome; and holy crap, Hanna is in jail, and Hot Caleb is basically the fourth liar now. Whew!)

All of this is to say that I'm on a mini blog-hiatus while I get a few things sorted out. Primarily the first draft of my WIP, because the two kids? Not much to be sorted there. That's just life. But I'm very excited about the new book, THIS HIDEOUS HEART. It's coming along really well, and so far I'm mostly on track to meet my self-imposed first draft deadline of the end of March. But I need to neglect other things to stay the course, and yeah, blogs and recaps are part of that neglect because again, the kids can't be ;)

I will definitely share more about the new book once I have a synopsis to post, and in the meantime, I'll leave you with a bit of good news about another book of mine, Skin Deep, has been shortlisted for the the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards! In an industry as challenging to break into as publishing is, it really is very exciting and such an honour to be recognized this way :)

S'all for now! xo

pretty little recap: bad ideAs across the board

5.19 Out, Damned Spot
This week's episode didn't just bring the drama, it was also full of life lessons. So grab a pencil and some paper cause you might just learn something from the liar's many mistakes...

Maybe don't give out free DNA samples when someone is trying to frame you? Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. One thing that wasn't a mistake in this episode was some honest-to-goodness continuity! Emily can't give blood because of her trip to Haiti. More than anything, that just gets me wondering if this was all planned and there's a very specific reason they needed Emily to be unable to give blood. I guess time will tell on that one...

2. My only other main highlight of the week was the scene between Ezra and Hanna regarding her Dad and going to college. I've said it before, but I'm really enjoying the different character interactions we're getting to see this season. This one made for a really touching scene.

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Let's get right into it cause there were a lot of mistakes this week--first and foremost: Girls, why are you giving blood when someone is trying to frame you for murder? That just seems like a seriously #badidea.

2. Aria cheating on a test. Oh Aria. When will you learn? A is almost definitely going to use anything stupid you do against you down the line. #badidea As a sidenote, can we talk about Andrew? That guy suddenly looks like he's 35! For a moment there I thought he was a student teacher or TA or something. I don't remember him looking that old the last time we saw him.

3. Talia is married. Oh Talia. What were you thinking? That is way too big a secret to try and keep from the girl you've been hitting on/kissing. The situation being complicated is all the more reason to tell Emily up front. Why drag her into something messed up when all Emily deserves is to have a nice, normal relationship for once. Is that really too much to ask? Keeping your marriage a secret is a #badidea Also, I don't buy "he's my BFF" as a reason for marrying a guy when you're a lesbian. Can't you just be BFFs?

4. Spencer and Jonny. This guy is clearly up to something, I just don't know what. I think the liars seriously need to stick to the tried and true guys in their lives. You know, the guys the show has already tried to convince us could be A and then proved weren't A, so they've basically been vetted for life. Between Andrew, Johnny and Talia, I think we can conclude that hanging out with someone new is a #badidea in Rosewood.

5. When a motorcycle is about to run you down, get off the road. Running in a straight line so the bike can continue to chase after you? You guessed it. It's a #badidea

6. BONUS Mistake: When Andrew says, "Do either of you drive stick?", Aria had a perfect window to say, "Well, Emily sure doesn't..." but she totally missed the mark. Dammit, Aria!

Pretty Little Mysteries

1. Not a lot of big reveals this week and not a lot of big questions, but I do find myself wondering why Hanna's extremely wealthy dad can't just pay for both girls to go to school. Cause seriously, he can afford it.

2. Where was Hot Caleb this week? Sure, I enjoyed seeing him in the short clip of video at the end, but that's just not enough Hot Caleb. #badidea giving him a week off, PLL.

3. What is Mike up to? As much as I hope he's truly up to no good, I'm starting to think that's not the case. Still, I feel like he's such a throwaway character. I want to see them go somewhere bold with him!


pretty little recap: double feAture

5.17 The Bin of Sin & 5.18 Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me
I'm finally at the point in my mat leave where I'm playing a bit of catch-up on appointments--haircuts, trips to the dentist, and more trips to the dentist after the x-ray revealed the beginning of a cavity and a wisdom tooth that needs to be pulled (at least it's my last one and I'll never have to go through it again!). But the most painful part is that I fell behind on my PLL viewings! But never fear, I'm all caught up and ready to recap the last two episodes in one! In honor of this PLR double digest, I'm changing up the format a bit--but only a bit--with a new section called, Pretty Little Mysteries. Now that it's here, I don't know how I've gone so long without it :)

The liars have perfected their suspicious glares. Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. Hooray! Aria has finally come clean about that stupid letter she wrote. And Ezra is... okay with it? No wait, he's broody. Oh Ezra, isn't it a little too late to be regretting your relationship with a highschooler now? She's almost in college. Maybe just leave things be? These two were this close to acting like a mature, adult couple for once, but then Ezra had to bring the drama.

2. The old, abandoned ice cream factory, where the major scare of the week goes down. Oh PLL, stay you. Stay you forever. Seriously, who comes up with these delicious twists?

3. Team Haleb. Seeing these two work together as such a strong duo is definitely a highlight, but I do have one reservation--there's so much A-related drama going on that we never get to see these two be fun-cute. Sure, they're continuing to express their love in terms of how far they'd go to protect each other, but I miss the days of shower hijinks and passionate Haleb makeouts. Can we have a few of those thrown in from time to time too? Or have things gotten so dire on this show that nobody has fun anymore?

4. Talia is (hopefully) not someone to worry about. With all these new mysterious characters showing up in Rosewood all the time, it's nice to see that someone might just be a legit love interest without any strings attached. That said, this is PLL, so things could change at any moment, but I'm definitely warming up to Talia. Maybe not as much as Em seems to be, but she hasn't tried to drown Em yet so I'm already a bigger fan of her than I was of Paige. Sidenote: is it just me, or does it seem like Emily takes more breaks at work (or wanders into the backroom, or messes around after hours) than she spends time actually working? I know we the viewers don't want to just watch her working, but that doesn't mean she isn't taking an exorbitant number of breaks...

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. The flip-side of the Team Haleb coin is the Hanna's plan to begin with. Liars, repeat with me once more, tampering with evidence is never a good idea. And yet, they always try. I'm glad Hot Caleb decided to back Hanna up, because she was clearly going to go through with it either way, and at least he could help her to make fewer mistakes that she might have otherwise (love her, but this is Hanna we're talking about). I'm even happier that Copper Toby was on the scene to shut things down before Haleb could get themselves into trouble.

2. Emily, Emily, Emily. You call that an attempt to rescue you friends from freezing to death? She was behaving as though she somehow knew everything was going to work out. If I was Aria or Spencer I would be pretty pissed at Em's weak attempts to get that door open. Maybe give it a little more elbow grease next time, Em.

3. Okay, we need to talk about the hairy elephant in the room. Hot Caleb's teenstache has reached a point where it's no longer acceptable. It needed to be gone like two episodes ago. I love you to death, HC, but seriously it's time to shave the lip toupee.

4. Quick Pretty Little Mistake shoutout to Aria's leopard print chiffon dress (see above pic). Love the silhouette, hate the material. Aria, you are not welcome to the jungle.

5. Let's take a quick moment to address Spencer's college dilemma and I'll make it real simple: Spence, your mom is right. Go to college. Cause here's the thing: even when you don't know what you're going to do with your life, you don't stand to lose anything by going to college. If you change your mind later and decide to do something else with your life, you can very easily do that, but at least you will also have a college degree in your back pocket. The one thing you can't do down the line is suddenly have a college degree when you didn't go. See? Simple. Everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Just go to college.

6. Hanna may be a rebel, but she was really taking a risk when she got out of her car after the cop stop. If it'd been me, I'd have driven off when the officer appeared to have disappeared, but no, Hanna heads out into the dark with her (lead pipe?) and confronts the threat. Risky behaviour, even if she eventually come off as a bit of a badass.

Pretty Little Mysteries

1. Is Mona really in the barrel? Unless I missed something, we still don't know for sure. But Copper Toby does. Copper Toby, it's your by-the-book new career in law enforcement that first started to endear you to me, but come on, share your secrets!

2. Mona's friend, Lesli. Do you trust her? I definitely don't. There's no way Mona had a good friend that she never, not even once, mentioned to former-BFF Hanna. No way. Plus, could she have been any quicker to throw Mike under the bus?

3. Speaking of Mike (and his trick or treats--???), we once again witness the true magic of PLL--being able to take your viewer from not being sure who to suspect to definitely, absolutely, positively suspecting that Mike is not only up to something, but is definitely, absolutely, positively working with Ali. But that doesn't make him one of A's minions if you, like me, don't think Ali is A. So that's a bit of a snag in this plot, but here's what I love about the possibility that Mike is up to no good: unlike when the finger was pointed at then-Creeper Toby and Ezra, the show could actually go there with Mike. He's a minor enough character that they could make him bad without back-paddling down the road. I, for one, would love to see this happen. But again, him seeing Ali makes me think something else is happening here. I just don't know what.

4. And finally, Johnny. Oh Johnny, what the hell is up with you and your wacky inventions? This guy might as well be named plot device at this point, but here's the real mystery: since when did The Brew turn into a makeshift community centre were random weirdos can just solder away on their latest hobby project? Johnny has access to the Hastings' barn--why doesn't he just do his work there? I simply don't understand. Did Ezra sign off on this? I'm so confused.


pretty little recap: a bArrel of fun

5.16 Over a Barrel
One of the things I love about PLL is how, for an ABC Family show, they aren't afraid to push the boundaries of all things creepy and sometimes downright horrific. It's gonna be a while before I stop envisioning Mona sludge... let's recap!

Haleb can handle the drama. I hope. Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. Hot Caleb the Hacker is always amazing, but Hot Caleb the MacGyver is on a whole other level! If loving someone more because they can pick a lock with a soda can is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Is there anything this boy can't do?

2. Team Spencer and Hot Caleb. Again, I don't want to see Hot Caleb linked romantically to anyone but Hanna, but I am definitely loving the fact that we're getting to see him interact with some of the other liars in interesting ways. This particular pairing is all win when it comes to detective work, but seriously, let's keep it to that, cause I don't wanna see the love quadrangle drama/fallout that would result from a Spencer/Hot Caleb hook-up. 

3. Hanna standing up for her man! It's nice to see Hanna have a solid reason for some of the not-so-wise things she does. Who can argue with a girl driven to protect her hottie boyfriend from being framed? Hanna is often portrayed as so flighty (which we love about her) so it's nice to see her acting strong here, both with protecting Hot Caleb and dealing with her Mom (which we'll discuss below...).

4. I hesitate to include this, but okay, Copper Toby and Spencer are actually kinda cute playing Scrabble. Until they start fighting.Which I'd have been loving a year ago. Oh, this show...

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Said it before and will said it again, the liars need to stop committing incriminating acts in writing. Yes, Aria really shouldn't have written that letter, but am I the only one who thinks the whole receipt thing was a little too ridiculous? I mean, this show constantly knocks against the limit of suspending your disbelief, but am I really supposed to believe that A somehow hacked into what appears to be a fairly basic, probably not too customizable, cash resister and programmed it to print out that receipt at the exact moment Aria was there waiting to be devastated by it? Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch. Even for PLL.

2. Okay, let's talk about the adulterous elephant in the room. Pastor Ted is back. Did you guys conveniently forget about him too? Cause I definitely did when Ashley and Jason hooked up last week, but yeah, now we're in a bit of a mess. Ashley, what were you thinking? I realized this week that she and Hanna have a bit of a Lorelai-Rory dynamic going on sometimes--except that Hanna has very little in common with Rory and Ashley isn't nearly as funny as Lorelai. Cause there's nothing funny about cheating on your boyfriend and then keeping him dangling on the line after he proposes, Ashley. Nothing funny about that at all.

3. I like Emily, I really do, but her storylines are sometimes the worst. This new chick at The Brew is beyond weird, which isn't helping Emily's case, but can we please get Emily back into an interesting storyline? We finally got rid of Paige (at least for now), so now is the time for her to get out there and do something exciting! Please, PLL, give her some juicy secret from her past or SOMETHING.

4. Why are the liars continuing to assume Ali is behind everything when she'd clearly be so limited from prison? At the very lease they should be assuming she has a network of people doing her dirty work for her, and in that case, why aren't they doing more to track these people down? Hacking into cash registers? Planting incriminating evidence? If Ali is doing all this from prison, the correctional facility she's in really needs to tighten their restrictions... 

5. Johnny. Yeah, what's up with that dude. I don't know what else to say about him yet--but was he hitting on Spencer? I don't like assuming that any opposite-sex pairing on this show (or same-sex in Emily's case) spells potential love interest, but that's how these shows seem to always go. I see Spencer with Hot Caleb and I think, "hells no!"I see Spencer with Johnny and I think, "what is going on here?" So yeah, what is going on here, Johnny? I don't trust you and your delightful homemade paints!

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Okay, that scene in the storage locker was tense. I could immediately tell the hazmat suit was empty, but Tyler Blackburn's delivery of the line about there being someone in there with them had me convinced there was someone there. Maybe it's just that part of my brain that convinces me someone is chasing me up the basement stairs at night, or is looking back in at me through a darkened window (ahh!), but the whole "there's someone inside the house!" thing totally freaks me out every time. Well played, PLL

2. Is Mona in the barrel? I don't know if I believe it.  Or maybe I just don't want to, but I know PLL would go there. "Should we open it?" No. No, you don't open barrels that might have sludge bodies in them. How would anybody be better off if you did that? Thankfully, Spencer and Hot Caleb, private eyes, decided to leave the barrel as is, but reporting it to the police is starting to not look like an option because...

3. The storage locker is in Hanna's name. And based on her reaction, she had nothing to do with it (which, I think we knew). Another plot by A to frame the liars? Or something else entirely? The safeguards on Mona's laptop have me wondering what else Miss Vanderwaal set up prior to her death. I have a feeling we're going to be hearing from Mona from beyond the grave for a while to come...


pretty little recap: i guess they rAn out of stuffing...

5.15 Fresh Meat
This week's episode flew by. Lots of action and lots to talk about! Plus, a major nickname change has finally happened..... 

It was never my intention to like you, Toby... but ah geez... Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights 

1. Copper Toby. That's right, he's officially made the jump from Creeper. What can I say? I dig that Toby has a semi-noble purpose now. Plus, the guy gets points anytime he's in a BFF scene with Hot Caleb. He's tipped the scale...for now. Don't do anything creepy, Toby. I've got my eye on you.

2. "You're a really good liar." Heh. I love little nods like that. But what is up with this new Johnny dude who will be conveniently renting Melissa's old room? I'm immediately suspicious. Besides, didn't The OC teach us to not trust randos named Johnny? 

3. Lots of Hot Caleb time. Even if he is messed up in this murder weapon business (see below), I love it when Hot Caleb gets involved in the main plot instead of just being Hanna's main squeeze (not that I mind him being TV's hottest boyfriend either). Much like his scenes with Aria last week, I totally dug his scenes with Spencer and Copper Toby. Hot Caleb has good chemistry with anyone. I probably shouldn't be surprised.

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Okay, let's talk murder weapons. Obviously, there's whats right, and then there's what's best for the liars (and the plot!), but any plan that puts Hot Caleb's life in danger is not good in my books! Hot Caleb is not meant to be a literal! Also, how long can the liars possibly go on messing with evidence before they get into serious trouble?

2. Emilly randomly deciding to be a catering business. What a strange plotline. One minute she's convincing Ezra to let her do it and the next she's in the kitchen surrounded by vegetables. Am I the only one who is picturing the missing scene of her at the grocery store just throwing everything she sees into the cart with no plan as to what she's actually going to cook? And then she acts all hard done by. And then all offended. Are we supposed to be on Emily's side with this? Because I'm not. She's being a total B. And Paige is so not worth it.  

3. Aria's letter to Jackie, the super convenient admissions board member. Aria has been doing pretty decently in my books lately, but this college stuff is making her crazy. I get it, she's freaked, but desperation rarely leads to wise decisions and this one was downright stupid. Why haven't the liars collectively learned that anything they write down can and will be used against them in a court of A? How many times does that have to happen before they get it??

4. Spencer and Copper Toby fighting. I wasn't sure where to put this. Previously, when Copper Toby was still Creeper Toby, it definitely would have been a pretty little highlight, but now that's he's made the transformation to Copper Toby? He's a lot worthier of Spencer's time and affection than he was before. So stop fighting guys, okay?   

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Stuffed animals filled with...meat? Need I say more? What is even happening here? Why does the most effed up stuff always happen to Hanna when she's alone? In related news, all of the liars should definitely be in therapy. 

2. Jason and Ashley WHAT??? Granted, I started to get vibes early on in the episode, but really, who can say they saw this coming? Clearly not Hanna. 

P.S. I'm still 100% convinced that Ali didn't kill Mona and isn't A. I highly doubt anyone out there buys that theory, especially after she received that note in her OrangeistheNewBlack jumpsuit.


pretty little recap: the glass is dArker on the other side

5.14 Through A Glass, Darkly
A Very Vanderwaal Funeral. Photo credit: ABC Family
It really hasn't been that long thanks to that wicked fun Christmas special, but PLL is back for season 5B and I am super stoked about its return! I love the way this show breaks up its seasons. The hiatus never feels too long and whenever a half season starts up, I always get this feeling of, "More new episodes already? HOORAY!" It's also kind of necessary because let's face it, the more tangled the lies get, the more complicated the backstories, the more none of us would be able to remotely remember what's going on if there were really long breaks between half seasons.

Pretty Little Highlights 

1. Mrs. Mona's Mom freaking out on Ali and smacking her good. Yeah, I don't buy into the idea that Ali killed Mona cause that would be too easy, but I do think Ali needed a good smack so win?

2. Creeper Toby as a cop. I never thought the day would come when I could get behind anything Creeper Toby, but I actually kinda dig him as a cop. Maybe it's the uniform and haircut. But probably it's just the fact that the liars finally have someone "on the inside". Regardless, I'm this close to calling him Copper Toby instead of Creeper Toby. But let's not get ahead of ourselves..  

3. Hot Caleb and Aria: The Master and The Hot Mess. I have no good reason to like this pair together (not like, together together, cause team Haleb all the way), but Aria as Hot Caleb's hacker apprentice is actually kind of amusing. It's entirely possible this was a one-off scene, but with Aria asking for Hot Caleb's help regarding college rejections, it sounds like a B-plot to me!

4. The charges against Spencer being dropped. Thank goodness that's over. I'm not a huge fan of storylines I definitely know aren't going to play out for the worst. It feels like a waste of time. Spencer was never going to actually go down for murder. (Ali probably won't either, but there's at least a better chance of something bad happening to her than to Spence.)

5. "They don't allow fireworks in prison." Classic Hanna. Welcome back.

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Bringing in Old Lady Ravenswood. Hanna, I know you don't always make the best choices, but come on, that woman isn't even secretly creepy. She's full-on, outwardly going-to-get-you-abducted-by-a-religious-cult creepy. I know you're desperate to find out what really happened to Mona, but how about some good old fashioned liar-style detective work?

2. Emily's plan to leave Ali's hair at the crime scene to save Spencer. Em, your heart is in the right place, but your plan is terrible. And illegal. Kids, just say no to planting evidence. 

3. Aria not even trying to fight back against A and his/her nail gun. If your life is on the line, you don't just say, "please don't do this", you struggle and try your damnedest to escape. You kinda deserve to die, Aria. Plus, did I miss something or was there no follow-up to this scene? 

4. Em and Paige. I'm so bored with this couple. How many times have they sat around being sad together? I'm over it. Can we please move on? Em deserves better.

5. Ali not just darting around the liars' blockade while trying to escape. They're not a brick wall, Ali. Put a little more effort into your getaway next time.

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Is it just me or does Jason look really different now? (And I don't mean different actor different.) Jason's hair is still super pouffy--classic J-pouf--but something (the facial hair?) about his face looked totally off to me. Like, beyond the facial hair. I didn't recognize him at first. Maybe he just looks older? I just don't know. 

2. The video of Mona being attacked. Again, I don't think it's Ali on the tape, even if her alibi isn't real, but it's still brutal to watch cause it's Mona and we love/hated her. 

3. Ali actually being arrested for Mona's murder. This isn't really that much of a ZOMG WTF moment cause I think we all know she'll be out in no time, but I'm a little surprised the show went there during the first episode back. Are we going to get an Orange is the New Black-esque storyline this season? :)

4. Mike having emotions. Could Aria Jr. actually be evolving into a multi-dimensional character with... feelings? Colour me shocked.

Bring on the new season!


pretty little recap: 'tis the seAson...for murder and stuff!

5.13 How the 'A' Stole Christmas
It's been a long wait PLLers (especially since Baby H being born in the summer resulted in no recaps for the first half of season 5!), but the bitches are back, forgoing their usual Halloween episode for something a little merrier and more stabby. Okay, probably not more stabby, but definitely as stabby, plus there were thrills, chills, and Santa boxers (oh my) so let's get to it!

If you want your stars to look like teens, maybe don't dress them as though they're on Dynasty. Photo credit: ABC Family 

Pretty Little Highlights 

1. This episode was so delightfully over the top. It was everything you'd expect from a PLL holiday special and more. The Ghost of Mona Past (or was she Mona Future? Or all of them in one?) was great, especially her crazy, hot mess, glam ghost look. Work it, Ghosty Mona. 

2. I'm not normally one to dig anything Creeper Toby does, but the shout out to Rear Window (or as I associated it, the 'Bart of Darkness' episode of The Simpsons) was very cool. And really, that was just a general PLL decision. Not a Creeper Toby one. He was just doing what he does best. Being a creeper.

3. Umm, I'll just leave this here:

Photo credit: Lindsey Shaw's twitter
4. Hot Caleb and Hanna making with the charity. And Hot Caleb's elf costume. It's official: he's adorable year-round.  

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. I'm again weirded out to say that I can't really bag on Aria too much this week. Aside from not doing anything stupid/ill-advised, she was the only Liar who appeared to be wearing something even remotely youthful to Ali's Ice Ball. Seriously Em, what is up with that dress? It makes you look 35. Don't get me wrong, Shay looks gorgeous in it, but I am not buying her as a teenager in that dress...

2. Oh Hanna. I love you girl, but rule #1 when you break into someone's house as part of a major plot is to always keep your cell handy. How many times do you have to be attacked by crazy hooded people before you learn that lesson?

3. Am I the only one who found it super weird when the Liars and their paramours were snowed in and Ezra was at the head of the table as though he was the dad? Like, it's one thing for him to hang with Aria, but in scenes like that he's basically just some older dude hanging with a bunch of teenagers (most of whom are or have been his students!). Isn't it weird when they're chatting about school gossip and Ezra's all "Mortgages! 401Ks!" Or is that just me?

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Creepy mask staring at Hanna and Spence after Hanna gets knocked out. NOT COOL.

2. Ali's teamsters are willing to go behind her back. Or are they? Was it all part of a bigger plan? I'M ALWAYS SUSPICIOUS OF YOU ALI'S TEAMSTERS!

3. More creepy masks as Ali's minions provide a diversion. Stop with the masks and dolls already, people! But no, don't. Because we love how creepy it is. 


5. A decorates a mean Christmas tree. What? I found it kind of shocking. That would have taken some serious time. How did he/she manage? 

I'm certain there were more things worth mentioning, but my viewing up the episode was a bit chopped up due to teething Baby H, and now he's crying to get up from his nap, so I'll leave it at, bring on season 5b!


pretty little recap: the night she (almost) died

4.23-4.24 Unbridled, A is for Answers
And we're back. After a botched recording of last week's episode, I'm back this week to recap the last two episodes of season 4b! A lot went down in these two so we'd better dive in lest we find ourselves buried alive! (How's that for topical PLL humour?)

Freaking out is what they do best. Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. Jason is back! Too bad I don't remember much about Jason's storyline after so long, but I've always preferred bringing back old characters to introducing news ones. So I'll call this a highlight.

2. Travis is no substitute for Hot Caleb, but I do really like the guy and hope he can somehow stay on the show even after Hot Caleb returns next season (!). He is good boyfriend material for someone, just not Hanna. Or Emily. Let's not go there, PLL.

3. Emily and Hanna searching the bedroom in their wedding gowns. I think they could have done more with this, but it was pretty funny seeing them flail around in those giant skirts.

4. Paige and Emily are officially on the outs and yeah, for me, this is a highlight. Now that Ali is back, I'm curious as to where the relationship between her and Em might go, but I think I'd prefer to see Em with someone more worthy of her time. You know, someone who isn't emotionally abusive or tried to drown her.

5. Hanna and her cookies. Love her. 

6. Shifting into finale territory, really, Ali's entire story was a highlight for me so I'm not going to break it down. I loved seeing all the old faces and as someone who needs things to be neat and orderly, I liked seeing the flashbacks to that fateful night all laid out in chronological order. Of course, that's assuming you believe Ali. I think in this case, I do. But I do still have a lot of questions about that night...

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. Aria. Tartan dress. Yeah. I think that covers that.

2. The contrived charity fashion show storyline. I feel like this is just another one of those tropes that teen dramas use to get the main characters all together in one place in gorgeous clothing and then, drama ensues. Sure, there are a lot of similar tropes that I'm okay with (I've spoken before of my love of the theme dance), but the charity fashion show always feels extra contrived.

3. Spencer going into the woods when a) she's wearing a wedding dress and b) she was scheduled to walk the runway momentarily and c) why do these girls keep thinking it's a good idea to wander into the woods like that?? That said, I totally called the fact that it would be some part of her bridal outfit that got caught in the bear trap on account of her not screaming bloody murder when it happened.

4. The Spencer drug storyline needs to end. Now. Can we please move into Season 5a without its extra baggage? Thanks.

5. Oh Ali. You're not the smartest of the liars, but really, with everything you did the night you died, now that we get to see it all play out, it's no surprise you got a whack to the head. Why does nobody on this show ever just ask for help with anything? I get being scared, but come on, you're making it so much worse.

6. Do I even have to point out the fact that Mrs. D burying her own daughter is possibly the biggest mistake anyone in Rosewood has ever made? But I still don't understand if she did it on purpose or by accident or what. But there were an awful lot of hints that she was protecting someone else... another child perhaps?

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. The finger bones in Spencer's corset belt thing. Holy crap! How did she not see those when she put it on? Like, what really happened out in the woods? Cause Spencer looks way more banged up that I would have thought...

2. So we now know that Mrs. D is the one who put Ali in that grave (or... was it even Ali?). We know she was concerned about something earlier in the evening too, when she was on the phone. Perhaps another child escaping from Radley? Maybe. We know a lot of blonde girls who look similar were involved. We know a lot of these people are known liars. So where does that leave things? Still pretty up in the air, but I do feel like we're getting closer.

3. The biggest ZOMG WTF moment of the night was, of course, Ezra getting shot. But what was he doing there in the first place? And is he going to live? (I'm thinking yes.) Whoever did the shooting is clearly athletic and dangerous. The body type looked like a man, but it's hard to say for sure. Hanna sure did look like a BAMF with that gun though! My pulse was definitely racing throughout the confrontation.

4. And for our final scene we have someone (the same someone who shot Ezra?) dragging a knocked out (dead?) Mrs. D into an open grave before shoveling dirt on top of her. Ruh oh. Things aren't looking good for Mrs. D. Maybe she, like everyone else in this town, should have spilled her secrets while she still could...

And that's it for Season 4b! That seriously flew by. I'm not sure when Season 5a is set to debut, but it'll probably be close to when I go on mat leave, which means potentially more timely recaps...or at least more timely viewings. The reaction post is another story, but I think it'll be doable. Hooray!


pretty little recap: nowhere to hide

4.22 Cover For Me
Things are still tickling along at a slower pace this week, but I have a feeling it's building to something big. That's how PLL tends to do it and I have faith they'll continue to raise the stakes. But with PLL, even a relatively slower episode is full of quality entertainment...

Such a sweet, intimate moment for a one night stand... Photo credit: ABC Family

Pretty Little Highlights

1. Aria continues to impress. She's more laid back than we've seen her in ages and her clothes, while still not exactly "mainstream" aren't half as bizarre as they usually are (at least until she returns to Rosewood, then ick). Free spirit, recovery-mode Aria seriously isn't half bad. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this season has me liking her. Mostly. And her hot fling was kind of adorable in a hope-they-used-protection kind of way.

2. The Hanna and Emily dynamic duo. With Spencer and Aria both off in their own states of rehab, it's up to Emily and Hanna to take care of business. Love Hanna's sassiness as always, but Emily was spot on in this episode too, confronting Ezra and digging into the whole Crazy Mona stitch. 

3. Ali's mom is surprisingly crazy. Yes, we have officially been thrown on the mom-as-A train, which always colours perception of anyone on this show, but more often than not, it's a mislead. Mrs. D's comment about fresh sheets was just weird. And the whole situation that happened while Hanna was on her date was super sketchy. I don't think Mrs. D is the killer (cause Ali = alive or not, somebody died...), or even A, but she is up to something (more on this below).

4. Do the liars' SOS texts remind anyone else of the RALLY messages they used to send on Ghostwriter? Bit of an aside, but hee :)   (And seriously, Spencer's mom, you don't know what SOS means? Remind me to never hire her lawyering skills.)

Pretty Little Mistakes (a.k.a What Aria Did)

1. The Spencer drug storyline is getting old. Seriously, she's too smart for this. I know it's not unheard of for overachieving high school students to go down a bad path, but we've seen many times before that Spencer puts her brain ahead of her emotions. Any drug storyline with her is unlikely to have ever been this explosive. And really, I don't know what she's so worked up about.  A mandatory vacation with extra time to sleep? Piles of dirt in the bed side, it sounds pretty good to me. 

2. Hanna's many boys. It's not that these boys aren't adorable and charming (and sure, mysterious, but who isn't in Rosewood?), but for reals, Hot Caleb needs to come back stat. Ravenswood is cancelled, so what's he still doing there anyway? (as an aside, I do hope we get a mini wrap-up of how Ravenswood would have ended if we'd been able to see it with our own eyeballs.) Also, I feel bad for Travis. Can we maybe hook him up with Aria instead?

3. Flying to NY to return an advance? It's probably because I work in publishing and no better, but the way the industry is portrayed on TV is always frustratingly inaccurate. Haven't these people heard of mailing cheques? Online banking? Did Ezra show up at the publisher's HQ with a sack with a dollar sign on it filled with singles?

Pretty Little ZOMG WTF?!

1. Aria told Ezra to leave town. And she meant it. I never thought I'd see the day. Of course, now that Ezra is all mysterious and interesting, I don't want him to leave town! I have a feeling/hope that this isn't over.

2. Mrs. D in Spencer's room! What the hell??? At first I thought Spencer was hallucinating again, except that she didn't see her, only the viewer did, so seriously, what is up with that woman? Creepy. 

3. What's with the wedding dress? I didn't see the preview for next week's (I guess this week's) episode so no spoilers please, but I can't think of anyone who is poised to get married.... Hmmmmm....