Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The author of Pretty Little Liars (PLL) comes back with another mystery series sure to captivate its readers with intrigue and suspicion. This book comes out strong and hopefully the series won't become as big a soap opera as her first series.

Sutton is dead and now a ghost keeping tabs on Emma - her identical twin. However, Emma just found Sutton ever existed. The two lived completely different lives - Sutton rich, popular, great family; Emma a foster child moving from home to home. After Emma discovers Sutton, she goes to find her twin but is quickly mistake for Sutton and no one believes that she's not who they think. It doesn't help that Sutton in notoriously known for pulling pranks and lying. Emma doesn't know what to do, especially when she receives a note announcing that Sutton is, in fact, dead and Emma must play along if she wants to survive. Things get dicey for Emma as suspicion begins to form around her two best Madeline and Charlotte, as well as Sutton's sister Laurel. Any one of them could have killed her. So now, not only does Emma have to keep up the act of playing Sutton, but she has to figure out who killed her sister. In the meantime, Emma learns about the Lying Game which is basically the four of them pulling pranks - some of them pretty awful. New to the game, Emma never knows when something's real and when it's just a prank.

This book was an easy read and pretty captivating. Sure the separated identical twin story is a bit soap operaish, but overall the book isn't too soapy. One thing I found interesting was how the story focuses on Emma being Sutton, but meanwhile you have "Ghost Sutton" watching in and giving commentary, as well as flashes of memories. It was a nice touch. Also, one thing that is better about this book compared to her other series is there's only one story going on. PLL had four story lines and each one got more dramatic - and not always in a good way. Without delving into the secret lives of each character in this book, this book allows for more build up with this story and keeps it more focused. The characters are still new and you almost look forward to learning more about each girl in the next book - it helps the mystery. Keeping this novel limited to the one story helps it develop into a better, stronger story. Also, it'll be easier to pick up the next book months down the line. In PLL there was so much going on you were almost lost after a long period of time with each character's story. Sure the supporting characters could be better developed (Madeline and Charlotte blend together a bit) but it's still new and you don't want to play all your cards in the first book if you hope for a series.

I'm definitely intrigued by this book. I was horribly disappointed by the conclusion of her previous series and can only hope she doesn't go off the wagon in this one too. So far I'm looking forward to the next book.

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