Many people first heard of "Pretty Little Liars" when it became a television series in 2010. However, "Pretty Little Liars" actually began as a book series by Sara Shepard in 2006. It is a 16 book series featuring Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Aria Montgomery and Emily Fields.
I began the series back in 2009 and I was extremely excited when I found out that the books would be turned into a TV show. However, after the first episode, I could tell that there were a lot of differences between the books and the show. With the show coming to an end after season seven, I would like to show how different the show and the books are from each other.
To start, Spencer Hastings is blonde, but, in the show, she's a brunette. Hanna Marin is a brunette, but, in the show, she's blonde. Emily Fields is a strawberry blonde, but, in the show, she's a brunette.
Then there are the rest of the characters.
While Ezra Fitz leaves Rosewood in book four after getting fired from the school for being with Aria, he reappears in book 10, "Ruthless," for a little bit and then is mentioned in book sixteen, "Vicious." However, he is still in the show. In the show, he resigns from Rosewood High instead of being fired and eventually gets a job at Hollis. In the books, he never knew Allison DiLaurentis, but in the show he had a relationship with her at one point.
Darren Wilden makes it all the way through the book series, eventually becoming engaged to Melissa Hastings and is about to have a child with her. In "Killer," Emily investigates his past and finds out that he was a part of an Amish Community, which is never mentioned in the show. He eventually retires from the police force and becomes a security guard. In the show, he is shot and killed by Charlotte DiLaurentis.
Toby Cavanaugh commits suicide by drug overdose in book one. He briefly has a relationship with Emily. In the show, he and Spencer have a relationship and he becomes a police officer. He is in every season.
Jenna Cavanaugh is the biological sister of Toby in the books, but, in the series, she is known as Jenna Marshall and is his step-sister. In the books, Jenna has an art class with Aria and tells her that she and Alli planned for "The Jenna Thing" to happen. She says that she was sexually abused by Toby and that her parents would send him away if he kept setting off fireworks. In the end, she went blind. She eventually is murdered by Alli. In the show, she has an eye surgery so that she can see again, but she started losing her sight again. She was almost murdered in the show, but was not. She also once had a relationship with Noel Kahn, but in the books she did not.
Mona Vanderwaal, in the books, is revealed to be best friends with Jenna Cavanaugh and becomes the first A to get revenge on them for blinding her. She was there for "The Jenna Thing" and has a scar from it. She found Ali's diary and that's how she knew so much about them. Eventually, in book 4, "Unbelieveable," Mona gets pushed off of Floating Man's Quarry and dies. In the show, Mona is also the first A, but she became A because Ali and the others bullied and rejected her. She also believes that they stole Hanna from her, who was her only friend. She has person put in a mental institute. Later on, Mona starts finding proof that Allison could be the new A and is thought to be murdered, but is not.
In the books, Alison DiLaurentis is thought to be dead. However, in book eight, "Wanted," it is found out she has a twin named Courtney who switched places with her one day. Eventually Ali comes back and kills Courtney. In books five through 16 she is A along with her boyfriend Nick. It is found out in book seven, "Heartless," that Spencer's father cheated on his wife with Ali's mom and is Ali and Courtney's father too. Eventually, when the girls are about to go to prison for Ali's death, Emily fakes her death, finds her, and Alli finally gets arrested. In the show, Ali is also alive, but has no twin. She is also being stalked by A, who is found out to be Mona Vanderwaal. Later, Alison was wrongly accused of Mona's death.
Courtney DiLaurentis in the books is Ali's twin. Courtney was much move loved then Ali, so Ali, who was mentally unstable, frames Courtney as being mentally unstable and gets her put away. However, when Courtney comes home, she switches places with Ali as revenge. Finally, when Ali comes home, she kills Courtney for getting her locked up. In the show, Ali has an adopted sister who was originally her cousin named Charlotte DiLaurentis. Charlotte is transgender and was once a boy named Charles. She was sent away to a mental institute because she wanted to be a girl and because, at one point, he almost accidentally drowned Ali. Charlotte is found out to be A.
The books have much more content as well, with there being 16 books. I would most definitely recommend the books over the show because you get much more information.