No Spoilers. If you have watched the show and/or read the books, then you will already know all of this. And if you have already read all of the books, please do NOT give me spoilers.
I loved the book but I can't say it was a favorite. Maybe that's because I've already started watching the show, so the first 3-4 books will probably be things I pretty much already know, but with a few more details than the show can give. I can actually say I like the look of the characters in the show better than in the book (the descriptions given). They all fit better to me in the show (maybe because that's what I'm used to now).
As always, some things about the books changed when they made the show (beyond how the girls look). I can give it to Sara Shepard, her writing style is simple but really good. She gives just enough detail for you to understand what's going on without over doing it. She makes you want to read it. The chapters in the book aren't that long. In the book and in the show, I think my favorite is Aria. I don't know why. I like a little about everyone though. Spencer is the outspoken, I don't care what you think kind of person. Hanna is learning to be comfortable with herself but still has her struggles. Emily, although she fights a lot of who she is in the beginning, begins to just say Forget it, I'm just going to be me and be happy with that. Aria, like the other three, has her struggles but she seems to be coming into herself as well.
I won't go through what I like and dislike about all of the characters but I will say that of all the boyfriends, I love me some Caleb!...But so far, he hasn't shown up in the books (just started book two). I still kind of like Ezra but questioning him and his intentions and still think he is way too old for Aria. But I can say that Toby is running a close second with Caleb, but I'm still wondering about him too.
I went into the T.V. show not sure what I would think but ended up loving it, that's what made me want to read the books. I hope I can get through them before the end of season 5, or at least through enough of them to be ahead of it and know what may happen before the end of this season (at minimum). That is, if they don't make drastic changes. But, seeing that I do not have cable or satellite (and refuse to get them right now, I am still one episode behind right now and may just wait until they put the whole season on Netflix before I watch them all).