|“||The lie that started it all.||”|
— Quote of the Book
Ali's Pretty Little Lies is a prequel and a second companion book by Sara Shepard and was released on January 2, 2013. However, various stores in the United States and Canada sold it in late December, 2012.
The book is told in Courtney's point of view, not Spencer's, Aria's, Hanna's, or Emily's, so it gives us a better look inside her brain and what Courtney was thinking. It gives us more insight on the night Courtney died and what she thought of the Liars. It also gives more sense to all the things that have happened to the Liars and Rosewood. Under the dust jacket on the front of the hardcover book it says "I'm Ali and I'm fabulous".
In Detail Summary
In the beginning, Alison and Courtney had started off as best friends, doing everything together and sharing a "twin connection," as others would describe it. Though as time progressed, Alison was always jealous of her more popular sister and forced Courtney to impersonate her, at the same time tormenting Courtney to the point that the girls would begin to fight, leading to screaming matches in the playgrounds and Courtney locking Ali in the bathroom stall during school. Courtney would always pretend to be her sister because she was forced to, from introducing herself to the UPS man as Ali, to showing up to Ali's Saturday art classes. The final straw was when the DiLaurentises found Courtney trying to choke her sister because Courtney suffered enough, and doctors were called and examinations were performed. Ali had passed the tests, but Courtney had panicked and the doctors had diagnosed her with paranoid schizophrenia. Courtney denied the diagnose and claimed that Alison threatened her and forced to impersonate, but no one believed her (however, this statement was actually true). The DiLaurentises had moved to Rosewood and they sent Courtney to the mental hospital aka Radley.
Several months later, the DiLaurentises relocated to Rosewood, changing their last names from Day-DiLaurentis to DiLaurentis to hide their past due to Courtney. Courtney, currently at home, spies Ali talking to her brother, asking him if he had seen her A-for-Ali ring. Courtney changes into an similar outfit to Ali's and goes downstairs, where she sees Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily arguing. Curious, Courtney asks her sister about it but Ali brushes it off and starts provoking Courtney, and the two quickly get into a fight. Jason intervenes but Ali pushes him out of the way, causing him to fall into the bookshelf and break a plate.
Alison walks up the stairs while Jason storms out the house. Courtney realizes that it is her chance to trick her parents into thinking that she is Alison and Alison is Courtney. She goes outside and meets the Liars, until her parents force Alison into their car and drive off to the Preserve, thinking that she is Courtney.
Now, Courtney has to carry out her new life as Alison. She puts on Alison's initial ring and reads Alison's diary to find out about her life and friends. She realizes that she can't be friends with Naomi and Riley because they could find out her true identity. Courtney decides to ditch Naomi and Riley for Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily. She quickly becomes friends with them and also increases their popularity greatly. High As Alison, Courtney creates a special bond with her four new best friends and she meets an old friend of Alison's, Nick Maxwell. They flirt and Courtney slips Nick her number. Courtney told Ian Thomas that if he kissed Spencer that she would kiss him. Ian kissed Spencer, but then when a drunk Ian tried to forcefully kiss Courtney, Nick saw and dumped her.
Courtney needs constant full attention from the Liars, but they somehow betrayed her friendship.
Spencer did not tell Courtney about Melissa's party. However Courtney makes the deal with Ian to impress Spencer. Courtney sees Ian passionately kissing Spencer from the window, but Spencer decides to keep it a secret. When Spencer admitted the kiss, Courtney urges her to confess to Melissa.
Hanna makes a friend named Josie behind Courtney's back and they speak ill of her. Courtney makes Hanna watch Josie making out with Sean Ackard at the end-of-school party.
Aria does not want to talk about her family problem. Courtney accidentally sees Byron making out with Meredith. When Aria told her family was going to Iceland, Courtney leads Aria to find out Byron's affair.
Emily refuses to tell who her crush is and runs away twice. Courtney finds out Emily loves her. Emily admits to being in love with Courtney, and Courtney reads a passionate letter that Emily wrote her.
The day after Nick broke up, Courtney behaves especially nasty to the Liars. Three days before the sleepover, Alison returns home and starts tormenting Courtney. Courtney becomes paranoid.
At the sleepover, when Courtney was hypnotizing the Liars she saw Alison out the window of the barn. Then, Spencer and Courtney got into an argument, in which Courtney stormed out. Spencer called her back and chased after her. She gave Courtney a gentle shove. Courtney, trying to get Spencer to go away because she didn't want her to see Alison, told Spencer about how Ian only kissed her because of a deal. Now, Spencer was furious and pushed Courtney to the ground. Courtney got up and ran away.
Alison appears and began threatening and taunting Courtney. Then the two girls began wrestling on the ground. Ali tries to kill Courtney, but Courtney momentarily delays her. At that moment Alison saw someone else come and pushed Courtney into the hole for the gazebo. In the few minutes before Courtney died she recognized both voices, her sisters and another one. They have planned the murder all along. Alison and her accomplice covered Courtney's body with dirt.
Alison goes back to the house and tries to convince her parents that she really is Alison. But the next day, her parents find out she is not wearing her initial ring and the Jenna Thing bracelet, and assume she is Courtney. Then the Liars come and tell Mrs. DiLaurentis they don't know where "Ali" is. The construction crew pour concrete into the hole, unaware that Courtney's body is lying in it. Mrs. DiLaurentis thinks that "Courtney" did something horrible to her twin sister, and tells Alison to pack and then drove her to the Preserve. Alison sees Spencer on her driveway, and vows revenge with the help of the mysterious person.
During most of the book Courtney is referred to as Ali, and Ali as Courtney.
Back Cover Summary
It's the end of seventh grade, and "Alison DiLaurentis" and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. "Ali" runs her clique with an iron fist, and she's got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria and Spencer to keep them in line. But "Ali's" hiding a dark secret secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She's desperate to keep the perfect life she's worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences.
Set in the weeks leading up to "Ali's" murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: "Ali" herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began—and how "Alison DiLaurentis'" life ended.
- It is discovered that when they were kids, Alison was jealous of Courtney because Courtney was more popular, so Ali tormented her and demanded to switch lives. Courtney had enough so she fought back only to put the blame on her. So when their parents had them checked for any signs of illness Ali passed (because of her acting skills) and Courtney failed (because of panicking) and Courtney was sent to a mental institution. This was Ali's master plan to get rid of Courtney.
- Apparently, Courtney was not actually insane. The letter in Wanted makes it seem that Courtney was insane, ruined her sister's life for petty reasons, and deserved to die, while Alison was her innocent victim, but in reality (and based on this book) it is exactly the opposite.
- Courtney didn't really have feelings for Ian; she liked an old friend of Alison's, named Nick Maxwell. She just pretended to like Ian, initially in order to convince him to kiss Spencer, but later to hurt Spencer's feelings in revenge for Spencer pushing her. Nick was the older boy she was dating that summer, not Ian, as her friends thought.
- When Alison killed Courtney, an unknown person was there. Courtney recognized his/her voice because she'd heard many times before. When Courtney realized who it was she asked herself "Why?".
- As a possible hint, Courtney smelled a whiff of cigarette twice after she left the barn.
- Courtney always considered the Liars her best friends and loved them, even when being rude and obnoxious to them.
- Courtney continued to write on Alison's diary as a cheat sheet to "Ali's" life. Alison took the diary and hid it somewhere.
- Tripp was briefly mentioned as Alison's boyfriend and tutor.
- Tabitha was Alison's roommate before Iris.
- The real Alison had a companion when she killed the real Courtney which is later to be revealed as Nick.
- On the book cover, the fans speculate that the right half is Courtney and the left half is Alison based on the angle of the faces and hair color. (Depends on which way you are looking at)
- Courtney is referred to as "Ali" and Ali is referred to as "Courtney" except in the prologue and the final chapter of the novel.
- Alison thought Spencer was a bitch.
- Courtney knew Emily loved her before their kiss in her treehouse.
- Courtney knew Aria's dad was having an affair before they caught him in his car.
- It is revealed that the sleepover was on Thursday, June 20 (according to Heartless).
- In the real world, Mona's favorite show Fear Factor (June 11, 2001 – September 12, 2006) was usually aired on Mondays or on Tuesdays.
- Camp Ravenswood was mentioned in this book.
- Courtney was 13 years old when she was murdered by Alison.
- Alison and Courtney's birthday is on June 6th, 1994.
Jason: I'm not on anyone's side.
Courtney: Careful, doughnuts will make you fat. Alison: So will mental hospital food, schizo.
Aria: Pigtunia wanted to go for a ride. How could I say no?
Aria: Oh my God, he wants to go to a flea market with me!
Courtney [to Emily]: Well, maybe weird in a cute way.
Courtney: Whatever I say, goes.
Emily: Sometimes I can't even believe I know you.
Courtney: C'mon, Spence. You'd be nothing without me.
Courtney: And my friends—I don't even know them anymore.
Alison: Looks like our family tree has a lot of rotten apples.
The Unknown Person: Of course I made it. I'll always be there for you.
Alison: Say your goodbyes.
Courtney-as-Alison: I'm Ali, and I'm fabulous