Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Released: December 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Series
Pages: 307
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

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?


This is my first time reading a Sara Shepard novel. I've been watching Pretty Little Liars, but still haven't checked out the series. I had planned to, but when I read the synopsis to The Lying Game, it just seemed a bit more intriguing.

Right at the beginning we know one thing is certain: Sutton Mercer is dead. She's still stuck on Earth though, and having to always stick around her twin sister who never knew even existed named Emma. A big information dump is given about Emma in the first few chapters. I guess it's so the reader gets the down low on her before she transforms into Sutton's life.

One thing that kind of bothered me a bit from the beginning is how Emma just  jumped right into finding her long-long twin sister before she knew she was dead. She saw a snuff video of Sutton, and what looks to be her possible murder then she gets messages from "Sutton" saying she wants to meet up, but even says: Things could be dangerous. Yet, that part of the text doesn't really seem to cross Emma's mind too much. It bugged me that she was more nervous about meeting her twin instead of I dunno being freaked out that things COULD BE DANGEROUS!

When Emma tries to tell people that Sutton is dead, confirmed by creepy texts messages she's getting, no one wants to believe her. As the reader and Emma both find out, Sutton is known for her pranks. Her and her "friends" have a sort of club called The Lying Games. For the past years, they've always tried to out-do one another, topping each prank after prank. So when Emma goes around saying her name is Emma, and Sutton is really dead, everyone thinks she's lying. Now Emma knows she has to stick around to find out who really killed her long-lost twin sister.

Sara Shepard's writing style is fast paced. She gives you the basics you need to know about characters, and keeps the questions and the need to know what's going to happen going. Sutton is in a way telling you the story because she can see and feel everything Emma is feeling as she tries to solve this murder. Since Emma's parts are written in third person, sometimes when Sutton's voice popped up, I almost forgot she was the narrator.

You do get the sense of characters, but it seemed to be more built up over the mystery and plot of Sutton's killer, what Emma should do next, and who to trust. Plus many small questions thrown out here and there like the disappearance of a guy named Thayer. The mysterious guy named Ethan who doesn't give anyone the light of day, but does for Sutton. These girls who are supposed to be Sutton's friends, but it seems they all need to just watch their backs from one another instead.

I did like this book, and I do plan to read the next one. The only downfall I saw was at the end of it, I felt kind of cheated. I know this is a series with many different questions crammed into the beginning, but it seemed like there should have been a bit more answers than what was given in the end.

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cheryl said...

hmm.. I have to say this book does sound pretty cool but I know you and when you are this questionable about a book it makes me kinda iffy lol. Maybe I will wait on this one and see how you feel about the second book. I have too many books in my "To-Read" list to add another that already is on my "Wondering if I should bother" list lol.

Laura said...

I would suggest reading the Pretty Little Liars series. I personally thought it was much better than The Lying Game.

Thanks for the good, honest review!

prophecygirl said...

I'm looking forward to reading this. I've read the first PLL and really enjoyed it, and I think you would too. Thanks for the honest review as always.

Bethany said...

I felt the same way about the ending of the book. Never Have I Ever better have more answers!

Chrystal said...

Thanks for the honest review. I saw this at a store the other day, but put it back down bc my TBR pile is huge already. Maybe I will wait and borrow it from the library later this year instead. :)

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

It's true, the ending did give more questions... Sara Shepard's books tend to do that, and it's cool in one way, but horrible in another when you have to wait for the next book. I still really loved this book, though. I think I was in the perfect mood to read it, so all the action and guessing really intrigued me.

Llehn said...

I'm not sure what to make of this. I hate reading a book and when I get to the end I feel cheated. Definitely a pet peeve!

Hyacinth Marius said...

She recently started reading this series and she is hooked. The lies, betrayal, and secrets keep you glued into the book wanting to know what happens next.

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