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The Believing Game

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  284 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.

After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addis
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Scholastic (first published December 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Sep 02, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Read all my reviews at

4.5/5 Stars

So I initially signed on for the ARC tour of this book after reading the synopsis that it was about a cult. Ooh... I LOVE that kind of thing. It's a morbid fascination, I know, but a fascination nonetheless. Well let me tell you, I wanted crazy, whacked-out scary cults and I got them in The Believing Game. Guys, I could not put this book down. It was RIVETING. It's not a comfortable book to read. There are some serious head games goin
Faye, la Patata
Can be read on The Social Potato.

Just in case anyone is curious, Santa didn't give this to me (before you call on me saying such a tidbit was unnecessary, keep in mind that I did put it in my wishlist-ish list). I ranted sometime ago that the kindle edition was far too expensive (even more expensive than the frickin' paperback! The nerve!), but in the end, my yearning to read and devour this book triumphed over my disgust. Sigh. We bookworms are too soft, I tell you. Them companies just know we'
May 17, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of Corrigan and I loved her creepy new psychological thriller! Much like the cult leader in the story, she weaves an enchanting tale, creating a sinister world that's impossible to leave. Heartbreaking, frightening, and ultimately redemptive, "The Believing Game" is a great teen read!
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Can you say Psychological Thriller! I want to give a huge thank you to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to read and review The Believing Game. This book is so much more than a story. I say this because kids are influenced by other kids and they sometimes will follow the crowd without wanting to be a part of what they are doing. It is what I like to call the Predators Christmas when kids get together and are influenced by an adult and then they influence other kids. This is what happens ...more
Traci (The Reading Geek)
Dec 13, 2012 Traci (The Reading Geek) rated it really liked it
I really liked The Believing Game, it was an intense story that left me with chills. I personally have not read a story quite like this one before. I liked that I never really knew where Corrigan was going to take this story next.

The Believing Game is filled with interesting and realistic characters. I really enjoyed getting to know this group of kids at McCracken and found that they were each developed quite strongly. Greer is sent to to McCracken Hill after getting in a lot of trouble. While
Dec 11, 2012 Joli rated it it was amazing
The Believing Game is a story of manipulation and deception. It explores the lengths people will go to for self-preservation, acceptance, and even love. This story had my complete attention from the very beginning as the events have already taken place and are shared through Greer's retelling.

"Later on, he (Joshua) would claim he felt us all out there. Like a storm gathering -- that kind of crackling energy." (page 5)

McCracken Hill is filled with kids from families where trust is broken. Many f
Sep 11, 2012 Reving rated it liked it
The Believing Game was a hard read. It is the very creepy story of a very vile and manipulative man who draws in a group of teens who are residents in a reform school and tries to convince them that he is some kind of savior and that they are his "special ones."

Greer is in reform school because of her tendency to take things that don't belong to her, and her potential eating disorder. She meets Addison, a former skin head with a drug and drinking problem and a violent past. Addison is clean now
Isabella Campollo
Mar 31, 2016 Isabella Campollo rated it liked it
Reviewed by Isabella Campollo

I gave this book 3 stars because it is a book that kept me engaged the whole time I read it and had a very good plot. Personally I really liked it because it is not similar to anything I had read before and sort of covered taboo topics that not all people feel comfortable reading. The ending kind of made me feel disappointed because I expected a lot more, or even a second book.

I don't think this book relates to my hero's journey. The character have a very troubled li
Maria Pereira
Feb 26, 2016 Maria Pereira rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Gallup
Sep 24, 2014 Stephen Gallup rated it really liked it
This is the story of a teenage girl, arrested one time too many for shoplifting, who lands in a rather upscale reform school (paid for by wealthy but incredibly disengaged parents) and then finds her way into a cult situation.

Early on, I thought it might be similar to Nami Mun's Miles from Nowhere , but this one is less gritty. These kids have a variety of problems (weaknesses for alcohol, gambling, self-abuse, etc.), but based on their (very realistic) dialog and problem-solving skills Greer
Bailey Ellis
Nov 01, 2015 Bailey Ellis rated it really liked it
How would one feel if they had believed in something for so long, only for it to change in a second? The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan, is an amazing book filled with mystery, suspense and confusion. Mystery is normally plays a big part in horror novels, such as when Greer learns that her boyfriend has a close friend, but acts very different around him. Suspense also shows up throughout the book, such as the night the group goes out for bowling. Confusion is probably the biggest element wit ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Bekka rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
If you follow me on Goodreads, and saw my status updates, you know how overwhelmed and conflicted this book makes me feel. The Believing Game tackles a lot of heavy issues all at once, and at times that felt confusing and overwhelming. But the subject matter was so intense, and the characters so likeable that I just had to keep reading.

Greer, a petty thief who steals things like makeup and sunglasses from pharmacies and grocery stores, gets herself caught for the last time. Her parents, a distan
Feb 03, 2014 Lizzy rated it liked it
So this book was really strange. I'm just gonna put it at that. Greer Cannon is sent to this school/rehab place where she meets Addison. Now Addison was a really nice and sweet character but I thought he was a little naive when Greer tries to voice her opinions about Joshua. I thought he was being rude and not hearing what Greer wanted to tell him. But I also found their relationship to be really sweet until it was tainted by Joshua.

Joshua. He was really creepy. He is really old and talks wisdom
Nov 01, 2012 Marielle rated it liked it
FINALLY DONE! Review coming closer to the release date!

This and other reviews on Book Thoughts by Marielle!

I have no idea what to say about The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan. My feelings are so mixed that it’s crazy.

Greer Cannon never worried about being good. She shoplifted at every store she could find, she slept with every guy she could get her hands on, and she ate as little as possible. When she gets caught shoplifting one too many times, her parents send her away to McCracken Hill,
Nov 29, 2012 Bookworm1858 rated it liked it

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was very drawn in by the knife on the cover (which is totally relevant to the plot although it's kind of a spoiler so I can't tell you exactly how) and knowing my love for contemporary books and stories about cults, I decided to try this one out.

Greer has issues, to say the least. She struggles with food and she's a bit of a maneater but most troublingly to her parents is her penchant for shoplifting and the fact tha
Jun 06, 2013 Shanella rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I could say, "The Believing Game is a creepy book", and leave it like that, because it's true. I lost count of the creepy situations scattered throughout the pages and the number of times it gave me jitters. If disquieting is what you want, then The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan is the book for you.

Greer Cannon is caught shoplifting and as punishment is sent to McCracken Hill, a school for troubled teens where they earn privileges like the use of shampoo and conditioner and meet with thera
Nov 02, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
This has got to be the most psychologically twisted book I've ever read. And I mean that in a really, really good way. The way Corrigan tells such a big story with just characters is amazing and I was definitely on the edge of my seat the entire time. What was meant to be fifty planned pages of reading turned into me staying up until 4:30 in the morning to finish the entire thing.

Since there isn't much - if any - action, all I can really talk about is the characters. I loved Greer so much. She i
Mar 04, 2013 Sherri rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Greer Cannon is sent to McCracken Hill rehab center due to shoplifting and anorexia where her new peers are troubled, addicted teens. Greer is not interested in making friends until the gorgeous Addison Bradley appears. Greer is stunned when Addison focuses his attention on her and they begin dating. Greer feels creeped out when she meets Addison’s 12-Step sponsor, Joshua, who is black and middle-aged, when he starts getting personal with her and saying things like he wants her to feel
Book Sp(l)ot
Feb 26, 2013 Book Sp(l)ot rated it really liked it
A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.

After Greer's caught shoplifting (again) she's sent to McCracken Hill. Part boarding school, part rehab, McCracken Hill is home to troubled teens with a plethora of issues from alcohol and/or drug dependency to eating disorders to Greer's shoplifting habit.

The school's high regimented operation doesn't please Greer and she's ready to be out of there -- until she meets Addison. Addison Bradley, charming and handsome appears to have McC
Kelly Hager
Dec 08, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was ok
Greer's parents have sent her away to a sort of reform school since she started "acting out" (read: stealing and sleeping around). I'm not sure that McCracken Hill would call itself a reform school, but let's be honest: that's what it is. And Greer hates least until she meets Addison and immediately falls for him. And the feelings are mutual, which is pretty rare.

And THEN she meets Addison's sponsor and best friend, Joshua. And immediately she knows (and so do we) that there is something
Dec 16, 2014 Angie rated it liked it
The Believing Game is another book that I went into with no expectations at all. I just happened to have a copy, so I read it without knowing much about it or reading any reviews. I know I’ve said thrillers and suspense aren’t really by thing, but I did like this one. Greer is sent away to a boarding school (of course!) for troubled teens. She’s a bit of a klepto with an eating disorder, with promiscuity on top. Then she meets Addison and starts making changes for the better, until his sponsor, ...more
Lavabearian (Jessica)
Add this to the collection of books on re-hab. Although, I don't know very many centers or programs that are quite like this one. Greer has many problems and one of which is parents who think money can solve all her problems so if she isn't happy in this world they will pay to send her to Mackracken Hill, one of the most expensive rehabilitation centers in the country. The residents live in dorms, but are free to "visit" each other in the dorms without much mention of residence supervisor. In fa ...more
Chapter by Chapter
Jan 19, 2013 Chapter by Chapter rated it liked it
The Believing Game takes place in a rehab facility for youth. Within these walls, we are introduced to a group of characters who stand apart from each other. All have been given life with their own personalities and quirks. And all of them are equally unforgettable in this story. We are driven deep in to the mind of these youngsters, and are given a glimpse of the actions it took for them to get to where they are now.

Enter the vulture…Joshua. With the help of a fellow resident, Addison, he start
Book Twirps
Dec 06, 2012 Book Twirps rated it really liked it
When Greer is caught shoplifting (again) her parents pack her up and send her to McCracken Hill, a reform school for troubled teens. Shoplifting is only one of Greer's vices (she also has a tendency to sleep around and has an eating disorder).To Greer, the move to McCracken Hill is all very annoying. She's not easily won over by the staff or the self-help chit chat that is supposed to be therapeutic and help her deal with her disorders. But then she meets Addison, ex-skinhead and drug and alcoho ...more
Valia Lind
Aug 13, 2012 Valia Lind rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars! I enjoyed this book (in parts lol) Full review to come!


At the beginning of the book, Greer Cannon gets caught for shoplifting. Tired of their daughters antics, Greer’s parents send her off to a “reform school” or school for troubled teens. In this place, everything you own has to be earned, and Greer works at keeping a low profile just so she can return home. Then she meets Addison.
Addison comes with his own problems. While h
C.J. Sarcasm & Lemons
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I had pretty high hopes going into this book. I like cult stuff. It's just creepy and psychological and awesome. The Believing Game was pretty creepy and psychological, but it fell just short of awesome. Not that I didn't enjoy it. Greer was a fantastic viewpoint character. She's got a lot of inner strength paired with a lot of insecurities and issues that make her complex and very real. The supporting cast is well fleshed-out and represents a l
May 09, 2013 WJ rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Opening Line: I knew they'd caught me before the store manager came hustling down from the cafe area, before the checker from the next register over steeped out and blocked my cart with his foot.

The Believing Game was a very hard book to read and it was pretty much impossible to like this book. Basically, this is a story about a community of troubled teenagers, who have problems ranging from eating disorders to gambling issues. The tale of an isolated group of teenagers who find themselves entra
Aug 10, 2013 Randi rated it it was ok
This book caught my eye plenty of times in the store, and I finally grabbed a copy of it. Unfortunately, I wasn't overly impressed.
The plot is good, don’t get me wrong. There’s a solid psychological thriller here. But it moves so slowly and just meanders along for so long that it gets boring fast. There were a few times that I really wanted to just put it down and call it quits, but there weren’t any online summaries, and things were obviously going to hit the fan in the plot, so I had no choice
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “I chose to serve my time with broken people.“

Greer Cannon has pushed the envelope too far when she is caught shoplifting for the upteenth time. Her parents decide to send her to McCracken Hall, a private school for troubled teens. Greer does her best to obey the strict rules and participates in the therapeutic “help” sessions in order to gain access to privileges and make her stay less prison like. When she meets the g
To teens like Greer and Addison and their group of friends, all with extreme addictions, Joshua's self-love talk and enforcement of positive thinking is a highly attractive alternative to the more mundane and elaborate rituals of McCracken Hill. However, Greer soon discovers that all is not as it seems within Joshua's inner circle and must decide what she wants to do and what she is able to do with this knowledge. In The Believing Game, Eireann Corrigan explores what it is like to become drawn i ...more
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Eireann Corrigan was born in 1977. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. She currently lives in New Jersey with her kitten Sumo. When she grows up, she hopes to marry Bob Dylan.
More about Eireann Corrigan...

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