Books, YA Fiction

The Lying Game, by Sara Shephard


“Always sleep with one eye open. Never take anything for granted. Your best friends might just be your enemies.”

Rating: 2 Stars

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. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.

I had my eyes set on The Lying Game for a long while, but since Pretty Little Liars was my main goal at the time, TLG never made it onto my offical “To-Read” list. I still haven’t read any of the PLL books or finished the first season of the show, and to make things worse, I’ve only been rewarded with a crapload of spoilers (Here’s a hint: A). By re-reading and re-reading the premise of TLG, I decided to finally pick it up and use it as my independent reading book. I thought it was a pretty good move, considering I was in the mood for an entertaining chick-lit. I think this is the only chick-lit book I have ever read in my life in which I can say it was equally a boring and poorly written book.

I usually don’t pay attention to the plot holes in books, since they are usually covered up well with well-written characters and good writing. Of course, I was expecting plot holes, but I never thought there would be so many. No matter how much you tried to ignore them, you just couldn’t because NOTHING MADE SENSE. It was just coincidence after coincidence, the author manipulated her characters to do whatever just to move along the plot. There were so many times where Emma could have done this or that, but not even the most obvious ideas come to her mind! Every situation could have been avoided, every single one! This just shows how thin the plot is.

Like I said before, I found it quite boring. I don’t know if this is just me, but this came as a surprise, because even though pure chick-lit books may have plot holes and cliches, they usually make up for it with an entertaining and “guilty pleasure-like” read. That is not the case with this one. The story was a little interesting, sure.

I am more disappointed in the characters than I am mad that I didn’t like them. This is upsetting, because characters with darkness inside them are the best ones to experiment with, regarding their bad side and their good side. The best example of this is seen in Burn For Burn by Jenny Han. Reeve and Rennie are terrible people, but their characters are written well enough in order for the reader to feel sympathy for them. If The Lying Game characters were written well, I’m sure this would have been at least a 3 star book for me, maybe even a 4 star.

I would have liked Emma if she was a bit more smarter and lively. I feel like Shephard had to dumb her down just to fit her story, and that’s sad. It’s easy to dislike a book, when you dislike the main character or even feel indifferent to them. The supporting characters weren’t so good either. Like I said before, when you have characters with darkness and goodness, it’s a perfect opportunity for character development. Sutton’s clique was only characterized as so-called “villains” and nothing more. I couldn’t feel the slightest sympathy for them, because they were truly horrible. Their reasons and motivation for the things they do is barely expanded on, so it’s not easy to relate to them. The only character I could kind of sympathize with was Laurel, and she wasn’t any less terrible than the others. Ethan, the sensitive male, wasn’t anything special to me throughout the book, but he sparked my interest toward the end so I think he’s worth looking into.

Overall, if any of you guys are looking for a “guilty-pleasure” book to read, I wouldn’t recommend this one. Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is a much better read in the chick lit category.