"Sutton's dead. Tell no one. Keep playing along...or you're next" (85).
Title: The Lying Game
Author: Sara Shepard
Amount of Pages: 307
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Geared Towards: Teens/Mystery Lovers
From: ABC Family
Extra Info: The first book in the The Lying Game series
Summary (From Front Flap):
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 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?
Wdebo's Review: As a giant fan of the Pretty Little Liars series, I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of THE LYING GAME. It seemed to have everything that the PLL series had, mystery, intrigue and some Mean Girls style drama to spice everything up. However, it just did not seem to reach the same level that PLL had created.
The storyline seems to promise an intensely suspenseful novel right? Dead separated at birth twin. Danger around every corner. Bitchy friendemies. A little DETECTIVE CONAN and GOSSIP GIRL mix. Sadly, the mystery and the intrigue just did not do it for me when it was actually in writing. A good mystery YA can keep me occupied and unable to set down the book until I actually finish it. THE LYING GAME; however, just did not do it for me. I admit I was entertained during a few parts and the last part of the book was actually pretty exciting, but that does not take away from the fact that I was able to set this book down and not pick it up for a long time. *Brings everyone's attention to the fact that my Goodreads says I read this book from August 5, 2011 to July 27, 2012.* The enjoyment came mostly from the lightness of the novel which is kind of the opposite mood a mystery should create.
The character aspect of the story was also lacking. None of the characters stood out to me. They were stereotypical and flat. I was expecting more, at least from Emma, the protagonist. The good girl. But that was basically all she was, a good girl, nothing more, nothing less. There was no true passion in her. The main thing that bothered me was the fact that she never tried hard enough to get whatever she wanted done...done. She could have easily proven she was Sutton, but she gave up right in the middle. Little things like that just bothered me a lot. She could have accomplished so much more if she had just tried harder. Then we have other stock characters thrown in like the stoic poet dude who is able to connect better with the protagonist and of course steal her heart, the simple minded jock who tries to be the best boyfriend but can't and the mean "hey, bitch, hey" kind of "best friends" who are bitchy and not very friendly.
There was also the problem of point of view switching. The novel switches quickly between Emma and Sutton's point of view without any type of warning or break in between. I frequently found myself confused by who was talking. Also, the descriptions and the progress of the story confused me at times, but that may have just been because I took a hiatus from the book and came back to it almost a year later.
However, even though there were so many different aspects I found unsatisfactory, the last part of the book did get quite interesting. Not interesting enough to make up for the giant chunk in the beginning that I disliked, but interesting enough to keep me entertained and make me actually interested in what happens next to Emma and Sutton.
Cafe Cover Chat: I am a sucker for vibrant color schemes like black and bright pink but that is the only part of the cover. I don't like the double twin kind of thing that's going on, it's more middle-school story than YA novel. (B-)
All in all, even though I personally was disappointed by it (due to the fact that I had such high hopes for it because of PLL) maybe if I was just judging it by its own criteria it would have been more readable. However, if you are looking for a lighter YA novel that you don't really have to think a lot about, pick this one up. It's more of a day-at-the-beach novel than a DEATH NOTE story.