|“||The truth hurts.||”|
— Quote of the Book
Wanted is the eighth book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard, which was published on June 8, 2010 by HarperTeen. Aria is featured on the book cover. Under the dust jacket, the front cover of the hardcopy book reads "Be careful what you wish for. -A"
Back Cover Summary
In Rosewood, estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl's wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing...
Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets.
Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store.
In Detail Summary
Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer are shocked to learn of the existence of Alison's twin sister, Courtney, when she's introduced at a press conference. Courtney had spent her life in institutions due to "health issues" and her existence was kept secret by her family. She's finally released and goes home to Rosewood, where she attempts to resume her sister's life and begins tentative friendships with Ali's old friends at Rosewood Day.
"Courtney" later reveals that she's actually Ali; the real Courtney had pretended to be her on the night of Ali's disappearance, and she was the one who was killed by Billy Ford. When she tried to tell her family who she was, they didn't believe her because Courtney was notorious for pretending to be Ali, and sent her back to the institution in Courtney's place.
Emily is the first to know when Ali surprises her with a passionate kiss in Emily's bedroom, claiming the she had been hoping to "do that again." Of course, Emily is thrilled and promises to keep it a secret until Ali is ready to tell the other girls about her identity. Ali invites Spencer and Emily to go dancing at a club, which they snuck into with fake IDs. After dancing and realizing that, for the first time in a while, she is relaxing and having fun with her friends, Spencer is shocked when Ali sat her and Emily down to talk to her about her real identity. At first, Spencer is angry at Ali for not letting them know years ago that she was still alive. However, Ali tearfully apologizes for teasing her before she went "missing" and reminds her that, since finding out that Spencer's dad and Alison's mom had an affair, they are technically half-sisters. Spencer forgives Ali and the three girls dance, feeling like they are all friends again, like in the old days.
The next to know is Hanna. "Courtney," Kate, Naomi, and Riley come with Hanna when she invites them to a fashion show in New York City. Hanna had received the tickets in a letter from her mother, and wanted to impress the girls to become a part of their popular clique, after having broken up with Mike for earning the embarressing nickname, Skidz. When the tickets are handed to the man in front of the door, he rejects the girls, telling them that the tickets are fake. Naomi, Kate, and Riley are appalled, and tell Hanna that she's "never going to be popular at Rosewood Day again." Hanna calls her mother, who tells her that she had never sent any tickets, leaving Hanna to believe that it had been Billy Ford, the man who had been accused of murdering Alison, Jenna Cavanaugh, and Ian Thomas, and being the second A. Frustrated, Hanna sits down on a nearby bench. "Courtney" follows her and sits down by her, trying to make her feel better. When Hanna calls herself a loser, "Courtney" tells her that that is "the stupidest thing [she's] ever said," to which Hanna replies, "You've known me for two days." "Courtney" says that she has known Hanna for much longer, revealing her true identity. Hanna feels amazing, knowing that Ali can finally see Hanna's makeover, compared to the overweight "geek" with braces that she used to be. Ali offers Hanna a plan to take down Kate, Naomi, and Riley and help Hanna regain her popularity at school, which Hanna accepts.
Finally, Aria finds out about "Courtney's" true identity in the woods. From her bedroom window, Aria sees Spencer's sister, Melissa, suspiciously running around the neighborhood at night. Aria goes outside to investigate and tries to catch up with Melissa to see where she's going. However, Aria ends up in the woods, having lost sight of Melissa. Instead, she finds "Courtney," sitting on the edge of a wishing well. "Courtney" mentions drawing it on her Time Capsule Flag because it was the only place that was just hers, revealing her true identity. After apologizing for teasing Aria about her family dysfunctions, Ali says that she wants her, Aria, and the three others to all be friends again, asking Aria to "just think about it." Before Aria can respond, Ali walks away, leaving her alone in the woods. With Ali gone, Aria thinks about sincerity of Ali's apology, taking into thought her convincing act of pretending she'd never been to Rosewood Day and never seen Noel Kahn's house before. Aria also wonders if Ali is just trying to get Aria to open up about the problems in her family to tease and torture her again. Before she can think anymore, Aria stumbles upon something buried deep beneath the soil. She digs it up, revealing a tattered envelope of two blurry Polaroids. One is of the five girls at their end-of-seventh-grade sleepover. The second picture is of the same thing, but, because of the camera angle, it shows what was happening outside the barn, revealing a reflection of someone with blonde hair and feminine features, meaning someone else had been watching that night. The next day, Spencer sees the photos and realizes that the girl in the reflection is Melissa.
The girls are thrilled that Ali is back, and jump at the chance to go with her to the family's house in the Poconos after a school dance. On the way there, Spencer gets a frantic call from her mother telling her that Melissa has disappeared. Spencer had begun to believe that her sister was the one who killed Ali and that she may be after the rest of them, but once they arrive at the house it's revealed that Ali is the killer. They discover that the girl they were friends with years ago was actually Courtney, and the real Ali was stuck in an institution. She had killed Courtney for ruining her life, attempted to kill the girls in the forest fire, tried to have them arrested, and is now going to kill them by setting the house on fire.
They're able to escape after stumbling onto Ian's body hidden in a closet and releasing a bound, gagged and drugged Melissa, who Ali had kidnapped and was planning to kill as well. Ali is trapped inside the house and it's assumed she died in the fire, although her body is never found. After learning that her ex-husband shipped Hanna off to a mental institution, Ashley Marin transfers back to Rosewood and kicks Hanna's father, Isabel and Kate out of the house, thrilling Hanna. Hanna and Mike get back together, and Meredith goes into labor, giving birth to a girl named Lola.
Aria and Noel get back together after it's revealed that Ali kissed him, not the other way around, and Ella breaks up with Xavier after learning of his inappropriate behavior towards Aria. Spencer's father proclaims that even though he and her mother may not get back together, things are going to change for the better in their family, and Spencer and Melissa grow closer after almost being killed.
Emily buries everything she can find that reminds her of Ali at Courtney's grave, hoping she can finally find closure, but is unsure of whether the noises she hears at the cemetery are real or imagined. And somewhere, a new girl starts her senior year at an anonymous school, a girl whose name just so happens to be an anagram of Alison DiLaurentis...It's Laura St. DeLions .
Prologue: Look Again (All the girls)
- A Broken Home (Spencer)
- The Secrets Now Buried (Aria)
- Hanna And Mike, Power Couple (Hanna)
- The Blonde Bombshell (Emily)
- Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Crazier (Spencer)
- Freak No More (Hanna)
- Noel Kahn, Rosewood Welcome Wagon (Aria)
- Some Stripping, No Teasing (Emily)
- Secrets, Secrets Everywhere (Spencer)
- A Ticket To Popularity (Hanna)
- A Sympathetic Ear (Aria)
- Dreams Really Do Come True (Emily)
- Blast From The Past (Spencer)
- Revenge Is The New Black (Hanna)
- When You Wish Upon A Well (Aria)
- If Not Now, Em, When? (Emily)
- Who’s Afraid Of The Bad, Big Sister? (Spencer)
- Two Fashionistas, One Cunning Plan (Hanna)
- The Biggest Question Is Emily’s Life (Emily)
- It’s All About Letting Go (Aria)
- Blush, Bonding And Breakdowns (Spencer)
- Take That, Bitches (Hanna)
- Hurts So Good (Emily)
- Missing Persons (Spencer)
- True Colours Shining Through (Aria)
- A Reinvention Of The Past (Hanna)
- Best Friends Forever (Emily)
- What Dreams May Come (Spencer)
- The Letter Under The Door (Aria)
- Life Ends With A Bang, Not A Whimper (Emily)
- The Remaining Pieces (Spencer)
- Hanna Marin, Truly Fabulous (Hanna)
- Aria Montgomery, Typical Rosewood Kook (Aria)
- Spencer Hastings’s Beautiful, Imperfect Life (Spencer)
- Emily Fields Puts It All To Rest (Emily)
Epilogue: Those Who Forget The Past (Anonymous)
Hanna is having an issue with regaining her popularity. When she finds Kate, Naomi, Riley, Mason, and James, in Steam without Mike, she gets suspicious. When she asks what has happened, Mason shows her a picture. Its a picture of Mike's gym locker. Inside, is his stuff, and front and center, D&G underwear, with skid marks. They start calling Mike Skidz, and he is unpopular, just like Hanna. She breaks up with him to regain popularity, but gets back together with him, realizing it isn't worth it. Kate is still calling her "Psycho" and is trashing Hanna.
Aria is suspicious of Courtney, and doesn't believe that Courtney is who she seems. She's very insistent on avoiding her. At the same time, she is having problems with Meredith and Byron. Meredith is having a baby soon, and Mike is resentful on spending time with them. She also has to avoid her mom because of Xavier, after he tries to grope her in the past books. Courtney and Noel are also spending a lot of time together. She thinks something is going to go on, like Alison and Noel being in a relationship. At the Valentine's Day dance, she sees Noel and Courtney kissing. Courtney calls out Noel, making it like Noel advanced onto Courtney. After it's revealed that Courtney was Alison and Alison was Courtney after the Time Capsule Flag thing in sixth grade, Noel tells Aria that Courtney kissed him, and Aria believes him. They kiss, and get back together.
Spencer is having a hard time with her parents and Melissa. She finds out that, a picture in her father's Yale yearbook, a picture that she thinks is Olivia, pregnant with her, is Jessica DiLaurentis, pregnant with Ali and Courtney. She finds emails from her dad to her. It's revealed that Spencer's father impregnated Jessica at the same time Olivia was pregnant with Spencer, from an egg from her mother and sperm from her father. She reveals it at dinner, thinking her mother knew, and that it was a motive for her to kill Ali. When she realizes her mother never knew. She kicks her father out, becomes upset with Spencer, and she and Melissa ignore her for a bit. They talk to her again, but are still mad at her. At the Poconos house, she finds Ian's body and a kidnapped Melissa in the closet. In the end, Spencer's parents tell her and Melissa while they are not yet getting back together that they are going to eat dinner once a week.
Emily still doesn't want to let go of seeing Ali in the woods. When she finds out about Courtney, she thinks this is a chance for her to get together with Courtney. So they start flirting, and Courtney and Emily end up hooking up. After Courtney (revealed to be Ali) is "killed" in the fire, Emily realizes she has to let go of the past...
Messages from "A"
- Main article: A's Messages in the Books
To All Four Girls
To: Four Bitches. From: A.
Once upon a time, there were two beautiful girls named Ali and Courtney - but one of them was crazy. And as you know, with a few magical twists of fate, Ali became Courtney for a while. But what you don't know is that Courtney became Ali, too.
You heard me right, Pretty Little Losers...and it's all because of you. Remember when you stalked me in my backyard for the Time Capsule Flag? And remember that girl who trotted out to the lawn and talked to you? That wasn't me. As you so astutely figured out, Courtney was home switching from the Radley to the Preserve that weekend. And oh, how poor widdle Courtney didn't want to go. She had her neat, crazy little life at Radley...and she didn't want to start over in a hospital.
If she had to start over somewhere, it was going to be Rosewood. And start over she did. She was supposed to go to the Preserve the very morning she saw you skulking around my yard - and man, did she jump on the chance fast. One minute she and I were arguing - I was so happy she was on her way out - and the next she was out in the yard, pretending to be me, talking to you guys like you were BFF's. Talking about my flag as if she hadn't been the one who'd stolen it first and ruined my masterpiece with that stupid wishing well. And how was I supposed to know that everyone - my mom, my dad, even my brother - would think it was me out there and Courtney inside? How was I supposed to know my mom would grab me and say it's time to go, Courtney? I pleaded with her that I was Ali, but my mom didn't believe me, all because Courtney took my A-is-for-Ali ring when I wasn't looking. My mom yelled outside to the girl who wasn't Ali that we were leaving, and the girl who wasn't Ali turned, smiled, and said, Bye!
Off we went. Courtney got my perfect life, and I got her wrecked one. Just like that.
She ruined everything. She put her lips all over Ian Thomas. She nearly got arrested for blinding prissy Jenna Cavanaugh. She ditched Naomi and Riley, the coolest girls at school. But the very worst thing she did in my name was chosen four new best friends in their place. Girls she knew I would never look twice at, girls who weren't special in any way. Girls who she knew would fall all over her, desperate for the opportunity to be in her exclusive club. The girls who'd help her get everything she wanted.
Any of this sound familiar, ladies?
But don't worry. This little fairy tale can still have a happy ending for me. I saw to it that my sister paid for what she did. And now, so will you.
I tried to burn you. I tried to make you crazy. I tried to have you arrested. I've even messed with you this week - surprise! I flung myself at Aria's boyfriend. I sent Hanna fake tickets to a certain fashion show. I let Em believe there was a happily-ever-after for us after all. Smooch! And Spencer...I have a surprise for you. Look closely! It's right under your nose.
I suppose I should thank Courtney for her meticulous diary keeping. It helped me - and Mona - so much. It's all led up to this big moment. The curtain's about to go up, bitches, and the show is about to begin. Get ready to meet your maker. It won't be long now.
A (the real one)
- Hanna and Mike: Desperate to be popular again, Hanna dumps Mike, who is also getting a bit low in social status. The two reunite by the end of the book.
- Aria and Noel: Aria is suspicious of Noel's friendliness towards "Courtney". Aria's had a crush on him since middle school and Ali was the only one who knew it. Ali also went out with Noel after Aria told her and the girl is now worried that he might be attracted to Courtney. She catches them kissing at the Valentine's Day dance and breaks up with him. However, they get back together after the truth about Courtney (Alison) is revealed, when Aria finds out the Alison kissed Noel first.
- Ali and Noel: Ali (known as Courtney to everyone else) kisses Noel at the Valentine's Day dance in order to get Aria to go to the Poconos with her and the rest of the girls. Her plan worked so well that Aria broke up with him on the spot.
- Ali and Emily: Ali kisses Emily and tells her the 'truth' about her identity. Emily is ecstatic to have her friend back and wants to have a real relationship with her. However, by the end of the books she learns that Ali is not the girl she knew and loved.
Notes and revelations
- Courtney and Alison switched lives in sixth grade, and Alison went to the Preserve while Courtney stayed in Rosewood.
- Ian's missing body is found in the DiLaurentises' Poconos home, revealing that Alison has killed Ian.
- Billy Ford was cleared of all charges, for killing Courtney, Jenna, and Ian.
- It is revealed that Wilden did not kill Leah Zook.
- Alison was revealed to have killed Ian, Courtney, and Jenna out of anger, and was the second A.
- Meredith and Byron's baby is born, a girl named Lola.
- Laura St. DeLions is introduced at the end of this book.