Friday, November 12, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game is narrated by Sutton, who is dead and is following her twin, Emma.  Emma, a foster child, can neither see nor hear Sutton, and doesn’t even know she has a twin, but through some twist of fate, she finds out she might have a twin and tries to contact her.  When her twin, Sutton, asks her to come to Phoenix and meet her, Emma immediately makes the journey.  However, it wasn't Sutton that sent the text to Emma and Sutton is nowhere to be found.  She’s missing and Emma is forced to take on Sutton’s identity.  No one will believe that the person they think is Sutton is really Emma.  Emma receives a note that says that Sutton is dead, and Emma must keep pretending or else Emma will die too.  So, Emma keeps up the pretense, while trying to figure out exactly what happened to Sutton.  Our narrator, the “ghost” Sutton, can’t remember what happened either, but can see what Emma is doing and begins to remember parts of her life.

This story has some far-fetched plot developments, but it is interesting enough that I never wanted to put it down.  The writing was interesting and the suspense builds throughout the book.  I think that teens will find the characters faithful and the plot exciting, but the book will become dated very quickly because of all the references to current music, stars, and brand names.  In about two to three years, teens will read this and immediately know it’s “old.”  I’m not sure if this is a bad thing, but it made me think of this as a “disposable” book, like I wouldn’t want to purchase a hard cover because it doesn’t need to last that long.

My real problem with this book is that it ISN’T a book.  It’s 1/3 of a book.  Everyone learns in Writing 101 that a story has a pattern.  A plot is introduced, tension is built to some climactic event when things are revealed or resolved and then there’s the denouement.  This story has no resolution whatsoever.  Even series books, such as Harry Potter each have their own plot lines that are completed within each book.  Yes, there are unanswered questions and usually a “big picture” plot that is unresolved until the final book, but there is an ending to EACH book.  Not every story needs to be a series.  The Lying Game is an uncomplicated plot, a very short book, and I’m sure Sara Shepard has the entire story plotted out, so why not just write it in one book?  I feel that the author and publisher are just doing this to make money.  They can make more from three books than they can from one.  I was just ANGRY when I finished this book.  I’ve experienced this before and I never read the second or subsequent books.  I probably won’t read the rest of this “series” either.

I love series books.  There are many great series out there, and I wouldn’t want to see this end.  But series books still need to be complete books, otherwise they are just pieces of books that someone slapped a cover on and said buy this, then I’ve got you hooked for another two or three books!  Am I overreacting?  What do you think?

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing me with this ARC.  I hope, after this review, that they will still allow me to review their books, after all, I did RAVE about Delirium!

1 comment:

  1. After you commented on my LYING GAME review, I had to check out what you wrote. So true. It was good BUT it was only 1/3 of a book. I mean, series are great but you have to have a solvable problem within each book or it's just a stupid cliffhanger (grr!).

    Great review! :)


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