The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

     The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
     Published December 7th 2010 by HarperTeen
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     First Line: "I woke up in a dingy claw-foot bathtub in an      unfamiliar pink-tiled bathroom."

Emma and Sutton are identical twins who live totally different, separate lives, neither knowing about the other's existence. Sutton Mercer was adopted by a loving family of means and given the life every little girl dreams of. She's popular, pretty, rich, spoiled and completely unrestrained. She's also dead. Her sister, Emma Paxton grew up in the foster care system, constantly passed from new house to new house, never once finding a place to call home. But at least she's alive. When Emma happens upon a YouTube video of what appears to be her own death, her attempts to solve the mystery lead her to the sister she never knew she had, and now she'll never know. Emma finds herself caught in the middle of Sutton's twisted life, pretending to be her dead twin, not only to find her sister's murderer, but to keep herself alive.

Ok ok, it sounds a little Lifetime movie-ish, but I like Lifetime movies and admit it- so do you. It only took a handful of pages for me to be completely hooked. It was fast paced, suspenseful and at some points, actually very scary. I felt dark the whole time I was reading it. Sutton's life is so twisted and messed up there was no way to know to what extent. It made Emma's life as the poor unwanted foster kid seem like the winning scenario. Sutton and her "friends" were involved in a secret little clique, playing what they called The Lying Game. It basically consisted of doing really awful things not only to innocent people, but to each other. Some of these things were just pranks pulled by some seriously unfeeling little snots and some of it was just plain evil. Loved it wouldn't want to be anywhere near these chicks. I liked that Emma's story wasn't steeped in "poor me, poor girl". It was there. It was mentioned and then she got on with it. I can only handle so much self-pity and thankfully the author left that out. Good stuff this......

But then, for reasons that I can't even begin to fathom, the book ended without any climatic point, segue, cliffhanger or well, sense. It was random, hastily thrown together SUCK. We're moving along at a brisk pace, we're getting somewhere, something is about to happen and then...well...did anything really happen? And it wasn't that it ended on a high note, leaving the who-done-it for the next book, it just didn't. Hmph. So I won't read the sequel. It didn't really give me a reason to. I get what happened, it was ok. It was just boring and well, I don't really care about what does or doesn't happen in the next book. Why was this a series? Confusion. Sara Shepard has written other books. Are they any better? This one was 96% goodness and 4% blah so she can tell a story.

This was an ARC. It's been read but has a few more lives left in it and I want it to find some love. I'll happily pass it on to a book blogger, residing in the US or Canada who is over age 13. Ends January 31st at Midnight CST.

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