The Lying Game

By Sara Shepard

Brief synopsis from the Kobo website:

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[…] And can she keep up the charade even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

First let me just say that I absolutely loved Sara Shepard’s previous series, Pretty Little Liars. This is the first book in a new series that I hope will be just as good!

I didn’t realize when I started reading this book that it was going to be part of a series, but now I’m happy that it is! I really enjoyed this book but now I’m sad that I have to wait until August for the next one to come out!

The book begins with Sutton waking up in a bathroom she doesn’t recognize, and when Emma enters the room, Sutton can’t understand why Emma doesn’t hear or see her. Eventually Sutton realizes that she’s dead and Emma is the twin sister that she never knew about. Sutton is unable to remember anything about her life or her death, and she is unable to be away from Emma – wherever Emma goes, Sutton goes. Also, when Emma sleeps, Sutton sleeps – she is unable to see anything unless Emma sees it. Sutton believes she is a ghost who has unfinished business; namely, helping Emma solve her murder.

As the story progresses, we learn that Sutton and her friends were popular but not very nice girls. They were not even nice to each other. This, of course, means anyone could be a suspect since pretty much every character in the story had reason to hate Sutton. The title refers to a game that Sutton and her friends created that seems to consist of pulling really mean-spirited, hurtful and occasionally dangerous pranks on people. They even pranked each other.

I really like Emma’s character. She is very likable and when she realizes that Sutton is dead and that her killer knows who Emma really is, she struggles to try and fit into Sutton’s life in order to solve the murder. Sutton, able to somehow see all of this, is unable to do anything to help Emma. All she can really do is watch. I really enjoyed the way the author told each girl’s side of things: we learn a lot about Emma early on, and then as the story progresses and some memories begin to come back to Sutton, we start to learn a little more about her, too. Even knowing that Sutton was not a nice girl, I was drawn to her character, wanting to know what made her so mean, and who killed her. I have my suspicions, of course, but knowing now that this is the first book in a new series, I think it would be foolish of me to think I have this figured out already.

Based on what we know of Sutton so far, she and Emma seem to be total opposites: Emma loves thrift stores, and Sutton’s walk-in closet is full of designer labels. Emma feels drawn to the cute, loner, rebel boy while Sutton’s boyfriend is a popular jock. I hope as the series progresses that we learn more about Sutton, since I feel like we know so much about Emma. I enjoy the contrast beween the two girls but am curious to know how and when they were separated. Obviously it happened when they were very young since neither one was aware of the other’s existence.

I wish I could say more but it’s difficult without discussing specifics of the plot. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to those looking for a young adult book with a bit of a twist.

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