December 9, 2010

Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: The Lying Games, Book 1
ISBN: 0061869708
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

*ARC provided by the publisher via GoodReads giveaway.

For more information please visit Sara Shepard's website.

I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.


The Lying Game is the debut novel in Sara Shepard's newest series The Lying Games. Once again, Shepard proves she's a master in the art of suspense and mystery that keeps readers coming back for more. I think it extremely safe to say that if you were a fan of her popular Pretty Little Liars series then this is another one for you!

The characters are once again a cliche of elite, trendy rich girls who do and say whatever they please. In this particular case they cope with suburban boredom by spicing life up with 'The Lying Game', a game in which the members commit pranks that are always just a step above the last. Supposedly unaware of Sutton's murder or of her long lost twin sister stepping into her life, these girls prove to be a likable assortment that at times seem extremely sinister and suspect. No matter how much information we are given about them there is always something that leaves us questioning their motives and every action.

Emma herself is quite the contradiction to this new world that Sutton called home. While those around her are frivolous and often cruel, Emma is at heart a kind and gentle person. She doesn't like the games that these girls live their life by and yet because of threats against herself she must pretend to be her murdered sister Sutton, their queen and mentor. Despite Sutton being merely a specter at the sidelines of the story, we still come to find out a lot about her and her world getting a nice sense of how her personality conflicts with that of her twin Emma. It was fun watching Emma react in the role of Sutton, doing and saying things that she never considered possible. Now in the role of her sister she has more then she ever imagined: a family, a home, and friends who may or may not like fact friends who may have even killed her twin. Yet, despite pretending to be someone else, Emma manages to hold onto her own personality letting it peek through the veneer of Sutton. Her tenacity and intelligence in trying to find the killer is endearing as she constantly puts her own life in jeopardy for a family member that she never even knew existed. Having to rely on twisted half truths and barely connected history that she could scavenge from Facebook she delves into the life of her sister fully aware that those around her are not to be trusted.

The well written world that Shepard created in The Lying Game is another realm of extravagance full of glamour. The concept of the Lying Game itself is perfectly suited to its high school environment with the juvenile sense of fun that the characters get from tormenting those around them being nicely captured. The sense of rivalry between the students is nicely developed as is the feelings of unease that seems to linger around the atmosphere. All of the hidden secrets lurking within this world create a wonderful ambiance of mystery and suspense that gives the novel a wonderful fast pace and leaves you craving more well past the final pages.

The premise itself was also refreshing if not completely unbelievable, but that's part of what makes this such a fun read. The paranormal aspect of actually getting to hear from Sutton's ghost was interesting yet at times proved difficult when reading the novel. Occasionally deciphering who the narrator was when the point of view shifted without warning between Emma and Sutton was difficult. While I love having Sutton's ghost lingering by giving commentary of Emma's life and her own thoughts about who she was and about her old friends, it could sometimes prove confusing when Sutton would refer to herself meaning Emma or when flashbacks occurred without warning. Overall, this didn't prove much of a deterrent to the story.

Overall, this was a enjoyable and extremely entertaing read! If you are in the mood for a YA thriller that promises to be yet another enthralling series that will keep you guessing, then this is the novel for you!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars

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