Sara Shepard’s latest, an upscale mystery about four heiresses to one of New York’s most prestigious diamond companies, will appease fans with an insatiable appetite for her Pretty Little Liars series. Set in a Gossip Girl-style society, the novel follows the lives of the Saybrook family and the tragedies that have mysteriously surrounded them since the establishment of their company. The Saybrooks have never taken their “curse” seriously … but when their seemingly perfect cousin Poppy commits suicide and an ominous threat saying “one heiress down, four to go” is left in her wake, the Saybrooks must watch out for their lives.
Though it is, essentially, a Gossip Girl–Pretty Little Liars hybrid, The Heiresses is thrilling and enjoyable to read. It’s difficult to categorize; it is not quite a young adult novel, per se, but rather a book for adults and/or mature YA readers. Part of this is because the characters themselves are adults and have problems far less petty than those of the Pretty Little Liars girls. Still, the novel, though riddled with sex, lies, fraud and other adult problems, seems to be geared toward upper-age young adults.
Overall, The Heiresses is an intriguing story full of twists and turns, perfect for a summer read. Unfortunately, it appears as though the novel will progress into a series (but hopefully, it won’t drone on to the point where even the biggest fans are frustrated by the growing pile of books in the series, as with Pretty Little Liars). In contrast to PLL, though, The Heiresses is fulfilling on its own and won’t need sequels to keep readers’ interest.
Rated: High. There’s a handful of uses of the f-word and lots of sex and violence, though nothing too graphic. There is one gruesome passage where a character is reflecting on what might have happened on impact to a cousin who jumped off a building, but other than that, there was nothing too descriptive in the way of gore.