Friday, December 31, 2010

The Lying Game

The Lying Game
Author Sara Shepard

Sutton Mercer has a life any girl would kill for...and someone did.

Shortly before her seventeenth birthday, Emma discovers she has a long-lost twin. She contacts Sutton, who agrees to a rendezvous, but never shows up. Curious at first, Emma slips into Sutton's life, assuming her identity. When it becomes clear that Sutton is not coming back, that someone made sure she never could, Emma plunges in to investigate who could have wanted her sister gone (a fairly long list, she discovers). Unfortunately, taking over Sutton's life means innocent little Emma has inherited all that bad blood-and then some.

Review: This is a fast-paced, quick read that is easily devoured and admittedly, pretty addicting. Addicting like a sweet pint of Ben and Jerry's or a package of dove chocolates. Wildly entertaining and just plan fun to read, The Lying Game is an indulgence into literary brain candy. It's like reading People magazine when you know Time would be more educational. Sometimes we just want the fluffy gossip. This is what made rating and reviewing the book difficult for me. Honestly, I liked the book and will read the next in the series. I was amused, entertained and interested. In other words, it satisfied me like a big scoop of chunky monkey. However, that's just not enough to rate it higher on my shelf. 

Here's why: Was the story believable? Emma the star of the story is a teen who bounces around the foster care system. She accidently stumbles upon a youtube video of a girl that looks exactly like her. Can there be any other explanation other than the girl is Emma's long lost twin? Spurred by teenage curiosity and a pocket full of cash, she sets out to meet this twin after receiving an email. Heck she's seventeen, her foster mom doesn't really want her living there anyways, so she drops a note and takes off. From here everything conveniently works out so Emma can play along as Sutton. The author makes sure to cover all the potholes, but it's too neat. Down to the iphone, facebook intel, the magic first day of school, and Emma's ability to stumble along as Sutton while trying to solve the mystery.

Part of what works is playing on stereotypes, but when it comes to the characters this gets a bit bland. The foster girl is good and misunderstood, whereas the burbs girl is spoiled, selfish, popular and mean. One takes nothing for granted, while the other takes everything for granted. If you're rich, you're bored and do mean things. Poor, hard luck cases are deeper individuals (cue poetry to demonstrate lack of shallowness) with a greater capacity for caring and moral righteousness. Sigh, buying used verses new doesn't imply moral character -- or does it? Apparently, in this book it does. Since each character is a teenage stereotype, I don't really care about any of them. However, I do want to see them squirm and want to know what happens--I just do it from a detached distance. I won't be shedding any tears or smearing my mascara over these tots any day soon. That's okay, I didn't feel like crying anyways *munches on my ice cream*

And terry-cloth? What is the deal with terry-cloth in this story. I had no idea teens were so into this fabric -- terry cloth shorts, terry cloth cover ups -- let's just say I was picturing a lot of terry-cloth. Necessary? I'm still trying to figure out why I needed to know this detail. Perhaps, I'll find out Sutton was strangled with a terry cloth tank top? I don't know, still don't know... so I guess I will have to wait until book two. Yes, I plan to read. Why? Because it was entertaining and sometimes I want marshmallow fluff for dinner.
tiny blue diamondtiny blue diamondtiny blue diamond1/2 star

1 comment :

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