by Sara Shepard
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 GoodReads)
REVIEW: Where have I been?!?! Why in the hell have I never read anything by Sara Shepard before? I’m usually a lot more technical and not as emotional with my punctuation, but this book was seven shades of awesome!
Yeah, I know, I usually am all about the depressing ‘issue’ books! So, maybe this book was a breath of fresh air. And that air smells de•li•cious, as if it was laced with Auntie Anne’s cinnamon ‘n’ sugar pretzels and Chanel No. 5. The Lying Game is that kind of yum! See, I’ve never even watched Pretty Little Liars. Ever since
Sigh. Does anyone else hear The Boys of Summer playing? Oh, that’s just me? Sorry, I’ll return to the point.
So, as you can tell from the synopsis, Twin A, Sutton Mercer, is dead. Murdered, in fact. Twin B, Emma Paxton, has been stuck in foster care her whole life and finds out she even has a twin through the evil creepiness of her foster mom’s bio-son-spawn. So, Emma is more that thrilled and excited to greyhound it to
from Vegas to meet the rich, long-lost sister she’s never known. When she arrives, however, she falls into her twin’s murderer’s plans, and through a strategically placed note and other freaky events, is made to understand that Sutton is not only dead, but that she is to take her place. Unfortunately, Emma soon learns that Sutton makes Regina George look like Anne Shirley, and she has to quickly learn the ropes of playing an overly privileged, self-centered mean girl to A) protect herself from her sister’s murderer; and B) find out who the murderer(s) is/are. Arizona
This was such a fun, high school who-dunnit thriller. I wasn’t bored once throughout reading it. Twists, turns and maddening intrigue kept my attention the entire time. There is a very small part of me (both in size and pettiness) which genuinely enjoyed seeing the rich girls squirm and Sutton show regret for her living transgressions. The stance from which the story is told is also very interesting. I’ve seen reviews where readers think that the point-of-view switches between Sutton’s post-mortem first-person narrative and Emma’s third-person limited. I disagree – it’s Sutton the entire time. Sutton is in an in-between state from what I can surmise, and her death has somehow left her dependent on and attached to her twin, both in body and mind. So, when the book describes Emma’s actions, it’s actually Sutton observing Emma, and when the you are reading what Emma thinks, it’s Sutton telling you that. You can tell it’s not third-person because Sutton directly comments and reacts to what Emma thinks at times, particularly towards the end. Through Sutton, we learn about Emma’s abandonment by their mother, her life in foster care, her hopes for a family, her opinion of Sutton, her friends and their lifestyle, and her attraction to a certain, brooding high school hottie, who is so not Sutton’s boyfriend, the guy who Emma has to pretend-be with. Equal parts dreaminess and awkwardness ensue.
The best part? You really don’t know who did it. Anyone and everyone is a suspect. The Lying Game is an actual creation of Sutton and her friends, and they treat it like a high school version of Fight Club. It literally makes it impossible to for Emma to trust anyone. Also, death conveniently has rendered Sutton an amnesiac. Her memories ebb and flow throughout, but they’re spotty to say the least. At times, she is as surprised and horrified as Emma is to learn what she did to others when she lived, and you soon learn that any number of people may have wanted her dead. The facts of what Sutton did are mostly only alluded to and vaguely referenced, though, which frustrates both sisters and impedes Emma’s investigation. It ends in a grand manner, and you are not much closer to the truth than Emma was when she first arrived in
Never have I ever read a mean girls thriller more fun that this. I can’t wait for the sequel.
I’m hooked. Game on, Ms. Shepard. Game on.
I wished so badly that she could see my flickering body and understand this wasn’t a joke. That I was dead, really and truly. It was one thing when she rolled her eyes at my life and wrinkled her nose at my boyfriend, but I didn’t want her to think that I was the type of person who would use her long-lost sister that way. I didn’t want to be that kind of person.
At least she had a clear picture of what the Lying Game was now: Girl Scouts for psychopaths.
He reminded Emma of the malfunctioning Tickle Me Elmo doll she had inherited from an older girl her first year in foster care; sometimes the Elmo stared into space and didn’t know what to do next.
But now all Emma could think of when she saw that wheel on the screen was how it seemed like a metaphor for her life – a wheel of chance. Risk or reward. Once twin getting the good life, the other twin getting the bad. One twin dying, the other twin living. The living twin choosing either to go after the person she was almost certain had killed her sister . . . or slip quietly away.