Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game

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?

Pages: 320 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: December 7, 2010

I remember reading the Pretty Little Liars series and gobbling up each book, well not each book since I haven't finished the series yet, but from the books I had I gobbled them up. Each book had me hooked and I was hoping that the Lying Game would do the same.

Sutton is dead. She has no memory of what has happened and why she's now following her long lost twin sister, Emma, around. When Emma finds out about her sister, she decides to leave her foster family and meet her sister. Emma's life has been hard as she's been tossed from one foster family to another and never really fitting in with any of them. So when she finds that Sutton has lived a charmed life, she does feel a pang of jealously. When she finds out that Sutton has been murdered and the murderer wants Emma to act as Sutton and play along, Emma decides to find out what really happened before the killer goes after her next.

The writing does take some time in getting use to; it's mostly rewritten in third person as Shepard tells us about Emma and her struggles in portraying Sutton. But Sutton's thoughts and commentary are written in first person. So there are times when one paragraph is written in third person and the next is written in first, before going back into third person once again. It takes some getting used to, but it does ultimately work in the end.

I liked how Shepard didn't make this a supernatural novel. Yes Sutton's spirit is following Emma around, but Emma never notices. She does get Sutton's flashbacks, but that doesn't happen very much. Emma is pretty much left to her own devices as she tries to fit in and find out what happened.



There are similarities between The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars, both deals with privileged teens who have someone watching their every move and making their lives miserable. Both are television shows (The Lying Game was recently picked up by ABC Family) and both are fun reads.

But I think that's where it ends. I do find that Pretty Little Liars had better characters. I think this is because it had more characters to focus on, so you knew the characters better. With The Lying Game you know about Emma and Sutton and a little bit about the others. I felt like some of Sutton's friends all meshed together, so I didn't know who was who.

I think that would be my only complaint about the novel though. Shepard's writing is still just as exciting and crisp and the mystery and suspense still keeps you at the edge of your seat. The mystery isn't revealed yet though; this is series after all, so I can't wait to read Never Have I Ever to find out more about Sutton's murder.

4 stars


Kristian said...

I saw you on Isabella's post on Book Blogs, I am now following. Here's my blog:

I write and review YA and fantasy. Thanks!

Libby said...

I like how you structure your reviews, with an overall section. I have to admit, I wouldn't normally read this book. I wanted to read the review because I thought the author was Sam Shepard, and I figured the book would be twisted. Well done review.

Popin said...

Libby, thanks for the kind words! If you like teen fiction with a good dosage of mystery, then you'll like Sara Shepard. So far, her other series is better, but this one has a lot of potential too. I hope you get the chance to read

~ Popin