Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Book Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard.

Product details:
Publisher: Harper Teen.
Hardcover, 307 pages.
Release date: December 7th 2010.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Source: NetGalley

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 fun first installment in a new series from Pretty Little Liars author, Sara Shepard. I’m going to fess up and admit that this is my first introduction to Shepard’s writing. While I always loved the premise  of Pretty Little Liars, it’s just one of those series I never got around to reading and as time went on it passed me by. So, when I heard about this new series, I jumped straight in, and I’m glad I did. The Lying Game is as fun, flirty and frothy as it is dark and twisted. It’s Gossip Girl meets Mean Girls meets The Lovely Bones with a little bit of Desperate Housewives added in too. It will hugely appeal to it’s intended teen audience with characters you’ll just love to hate and a couple of hot love interests thrown in for good measure. With romance, intrigue and lots of suspense, this one has all the elements needed for a great new Young Adult series.

This book is already being adapted for TV, and since it’s very of it’s time and brimming with sassy pop-culture references, I think it will work really well. We follow the story of Emma Paxton with a voiceover effect (think Mary Alice from Desperate Housewives) from her long-lost and very dead twin, Sutton Mercer. Emma doesn’t know that Sutton is dead. In fact, she doesn’t know anything about her, but when she makes contact with her via Facebook (we’ve all been warned about the dangers of these social networking sites, right?!) she is suddenly catapulted into Sutton’s life and into a web of lies and deceit where she can’t trust anybody she meets and where she is definitely not safe. Emma soon finds out that Sutton lived a very privileged life, and one that was very different to her own foster-home upbringing, but due to her ultimate ‘mean girls’ status Sutton also made a lot of enemies. In life, Sutton had the kind of friends who secretly hated her, and who not so secretly wanted to get their hands on her boyfriend. She was a girl playing some very dangerous games, and they very badly backfired on her. Now that Emma has taken her place, and is trying ton find out what happened to her twin,  she could be next…

Shepard certainly knows how to spring a surprise! There were so many times during this book where I thought I had everything figured out, just to encounter another twist and another cliffhanger. There are major clues dropped throughout the book that were not picked up by Emma, and I just hope that these were deliberate on the part of the author, otherwise there are some major plot holes going on here, which would not be a good thing! The cast of characters in this book are not the kind of people you want to hang out with in real life - they are bitchy, vindictive and hurtful, but they make for some fun reading all the same. As for the boys, all-American boy Garrett might be right up your street, but I preferred dark and brooding Ethan (I love dark and brooding - it gets me every time). He’s an mysterious presence throughout the book, but I get the feeling he’s going to play a much bigger part in the second installment of this series, Never Have I Ever, publishing Summer 2011. This series is off to a great start, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. It’s definitely a new guilty pleasure!


  1. The book sounds very enjoyable!Its time I actually read the Netgalley books. Thanks for the review!

  2. Oh my gosh! This book sounds fantastic! Gossip Girl meets Mean Girls? I love guilty pleasures. I must get my hands on a copy of this book. The author grew up in the neighborhood I grew up in, but I haven't read any of her books yet. I love the PLL TV show though! Thanks for this great review.

  3. I just finished this one and I completely agree! I'm all for dark and brooding as well, sign me up for that, I'm a glutton for punishment:) I thought I knew what was going to happen in this one, but I was very, very wrong. I can't wait to get to book 2! Fabulous review:)

  4. Sounds like another guilty pleasure book. There's just something about Pretty Little Liars that hooks me, and if this new series is anything like that one I know I'm in for some shocking fun. Thanks for your review.

  5. I haven't read any of her books either (although I must say my daughter loves watching pretty Little Liars)...anyway, this sounds fun and intriguing and yes...I must have it =)

  6. I absolutely love Sara Shepard and her work!!And this was no exception!
    Thanks for the review :)

  7. This was such a fun read. I cannot wait til the next book. And once my TBR pile gets a little smaller I think I'm going to have to get Pretty Little Liars if they are as fun and mysterious as this book was.

  8. Loved your review Leanna. I have to also confess to not having read the Pretty Little Liars series yet - so you're not the only one. I have to say that I sound quite intrigued with the premise and the characters of the novel, even while the mean, vindictive nature you described with regards to some of the characters somehow sets me on edge. I guess those are the types of characters that, although make for a fantastic addition to a story, will always make you uncomfortable at just how mean they can be. Which, I guess would also be a testimony to just how good of a writer the author is. I'm looking forward to this one. :)


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