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This Gorgeous Game
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This Gorgeous Game

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  462 ratings  ·  112 reviews

Olivia Peters is over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and muchadored local priest Mark D. Brendan, offers to become her personal writing mentor. But when Father Mark’s enthusiasm for Olivia’s prose develops into something more, Olivia’s emotions quickly shift from wonder t
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published May 19th 2010)
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Favourite Quote: But I have faith in the people that surround me now, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will catch me if I let myself fall. And so I do. I let myself fall.

Sometimes a book surprises you and that is the case with This Gorgeous Game. I thought it would be good but I never expected to love it as much as I did. There are just so many brilliant elements to this book like exceptional writing, a thought provoking plot and outstanding characters that makes this one of my f
3.5 stars

On a purely analytical level, This Gorgeous Game ticked several boxes on my mental review checklist: good quality writing, well developed characters, a compelling premise, nuanced exploration of contemporary issues. It’s an accomplished, compact novel – deftly and efficiently handling a complex subject with the gravity it requires.

Yet, on an emotional/gut level – and friends, you well know I am nothing if not an emotional reader – something was lacking.

This Gorgeous Game is a story abo
I chose to read "This gorgeous game" written by Donna Freitas because France recommended it and gave it high praise.

This novel fits into the "a book that taught you about a culture" because of strong presence ties to the Catholic faith though out the text. I really enjoyed it because I am not a religious person nor do I believe in religion because it the thought scares me. It was really interesting for me to see how people’s lives are impacted by religion and so on.

My favourite character in th
I psyched myself up before reading this because it looked intense and emotional and maybe even a little disturbing.

It was kinda intense and it hit me hard emotionally but don't let the slightly disturbing subject matter deter you from reading this. Despite the premise, there is a lot of breathing space in these pages which not only focuses on the main premise, but also includes a beautiful love story and an unforgettable main character with a cast of faithful and fun friends.

There's a lot to adm
Prior to being contacted by Farrar, Straus and Giroux about whether I might be interested in reviewing THIS GORGEOUS GAME, I had never heard of Donna Freitas or the novel itself. This is actually Ms. Freitas' second book for young adults after her debut The Possibilities of Sainthood. And I have to say I wasn't sure whether or not the book was for me after reading the basic synopsis available over at Macmillan's site. But then I scrolled down and read the lovely blurbs by Sara Zarr and Francisco ...more
I had a big problem with this novel, because of the time in which it is set. A lot of the trusting nature of Catholics towards priests was clearly a 1950s-1980s model, before the exposure of sexual abuse by priests. Yet, it is set in the here and now, and I had a real hard time believing that everyone was oblivious to Mark the narcissist and power guy stalking this poor high school girl. Freitas tries to explain away the acceptance with the father figure priests throughout Olivia's life, but how ...more
It starts off innocent enough. Kind words. Little notes. But then it morphs. You don't see the shift at first because it's subtle. And really, it's not too much different than it was before. But then the hand comes down and you're left with a ruffled brow and a question mark over your head. The next thing you know, you're desperate to get out of the situation but you're in so deep, you don't know how.

As someone that's been in a very similar situation to Olivia, I could automatically sympathize w
Lacey Librarian
In Donna Freitas, I may have found the author who best speaks to the experience of being a young adult and Catholic.

"This Gorgeous Game" opens with Olivia winning a scholarship and publication for a short story she's written. The benefactor of the scholarship is a well-known author who also happens to be a Catholic Priest (he reminded me a bit of a Father Greeley type figure in his literary prominence). Although Olivia is originally thrilled with the attention winning brings from her idol, Fathe
"I am frightened. Father Mark frightens me. This is what is wrong.


In this moment - this very particular moment, with me reddening and him smiling - I see something a tad sinister, in his eyes, calculating, measuring, appraising me like I am a bauble, a jewel with karats, clarity, cut, a possession. Something moves inside me, turns to ice, and a small, cold bead of warning lodges itself in the bottom curve of my heart and I think, How have I not noticed this before? and Maybe I didn't allow
Bottom Line – This story, in it's raw form, is about a teenage girl, whom is stalked by a priest, a person whom she trusts, respects and even loves in the beginning. While there's the use of symbolism, I did not feel like this book is in any way over the top religious, I felt like Father Mark could have been anyone, boy scout troop leader, teacher, guidance councilor, anyone in our kids lives they look up to, and trust.

The Gorgeous Game is powerful, and frankly alarmingly scary, it reminded me
Well, first off I must say I really did like this book. If you are looking for a lightening fast afternoon read with a quick engaging, angst filled plot then this book will certainly fit the bill and I absolutely recommend it.
I read it in a couple hours of pure entertainment and it was a delightful (probably not the right word because of the subject matter...) way to past a lazy Saturday afternoon. The writing and plot was engaging and I didn't put this book done. The mentor- mentee relationshi
I cannot begin to describe the powerful emotion that this book holds. Between that and the beautiful, almost poetic way that Freitas writes, This Gorgeous Game left me completely stunned.

Father Mark Brendan, Olivia’s favorite author and literary hero whom had picked her as the winning entry for a high school fiction contest, is one of the most scariest villains I’ve ever read; partly because he’s not really a villain. He’s terrifying because he’s real. His actions and emotions are real, and whil
Read this in one sitting on a lazy day on the Oregon coast. In some ways, I wish the idea of the novel wasn't quite so transparent. The first 73 pages have one perspective on a character, and from then on, there's a very different perspective on the same character. And when you know the concept of the book, the first section is either transparent (and therefore kind of tedious), or ominous, depending on how you look at it. The romance and other relationships felt a bit underdeveloped, although I ...more
Lea (YA Book Queen)
This Gorgeous Game is simple, and slightly haunting.

When Olivia wins a writing competition, she's honored and excited to be taken under the wing of Father Mark Brendan. The talented writer helps hone her writing skills, and she begins to feel like she's the luckiest person in the world until Father Mark's attentions turn into obsession. He calls too much, writes too much, sends too many packages. Yet the one he wants her to read most of all, a story he's written, Olivia can't bear to read the w
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
Rating: 3.5

I was so excited to read This Gorgeous Game because its summary was chilling and potentially controversial. Sadly, it did not meet my expectations. Parts of the plot could of been more powerful if the author pushed the envelope a little bit. Everything seemed to stay on the surface and I never truly got to experience the dangerous game between victim and priest. Olivia, the main character was an innocent, simplistic and gifted seventeen year old girl. She was a stand up student with a
Tabitha Olson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Olivia Peters is thrilled when she learns she won first prize in an Emerging Writers High School Fiction contest. This means she gets a spot in Father Mark Brendan's writing seminar at Holy Mary University. She is so excited to be chosen and have the attention of an admired writer that she is quick to dismiss the sense that it may all be a little too abnormal. She has Father Mark lavishing praise on her writing, she's caught the eye of college boy Jamie Grant, and life couldn't be better. But th ...more
Steph Su
THIS GORGEOUS GAME is one of those books that, try as hard as you can, you won’t be able to get off your mind after reading. It’s chilling and astonishingly well-written, and if you’re looking for a book that will disturb and move you, this should be the one.

Stalking is extremely difficult to discuss, because it’s personal, upsetting, and so subtle you don’t realize something’s wrong until it’s already happened. That’s why what Donna Freitas has accomplished in THIS GORGEOUS GAME is so impressiv
The caption on the cover of the book was posed as a rhetorical question that caught my attention. It was a brief but effective insight into the main theme of the text, trust.

This book completes the 'Book with a female main character' category on the book blog bingo board. I enjoy reading books with female main characters, especially if they are teens because I can compare my life to theirs. I really enjoyed reading this book.

A character that I found interesting was Olivia Peters. She was the ma
Dec 12, 2012 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Holly by: Angie
Originally published at Book Harbinger.

Olivia Peters is in disbelief. Being called to the principal’s office in the middle of class can only mean one thing: that she won first place in the first annual emerging high school fiction writers’ competition. Her literary idol, renowned author Father Mark Brendan selected her story and delivered the news himself. Impressed and at times star struck, normally grounded Olivia is overjoyed. She can’t wait to attend his summer seminar and the one-on-one rev
Beautiful, in a creepy way. I was repulsed by the actions of Father Mark and the way he persisted on being noticed by Olivia, and sadly, the way she saw him at the beginning of the novel, but I sympathized with her throughout and I was glad that her friends and family had her back while she dealt with him. I was so angry for her that I almost wanted to deal with the pastor himself, and the last straw came near the end, when she ran away from him. It was nerve-wracking, because Olivia obviously c ...more
Jay G
This Gorgeous Game follows Catholic-Raised, 17 year old Olivia Peters after she has won a writing contest. By winning this contest, she gets to spend her summer with her idol, author priest Father Mark D Brendan. As the summer goes on and her meetings with Father Mark increase, Olivia begins to feel uncomfortable around him and all his attention. She doesn't understand how this has escalated so quickly and doesn't know how to stop this. With the help of her family, friends and boyfriend Olivia m ...more
Peter D. Sieruta
There have been other YA books about predatory males obsessing over high school girls, but what makes this one stand out is its quiet intensity. There is no violence or physicality here, just a believable (and chilling) portrait of an adult's psychological and emotional abuse of a young girl who, initially gratified by the interest of her mentor, comes to see his behavior as inappropriate. The writing is subtle and nuanced in this hard-to-forget novel.
4.5, easily.

This was incredible and will resonate with a LOT of teens. It was a story needing to be told. Full review here:
As I started off the book, I knew what it was going to be about and where it would eventually lead to just by reading the summary. For the first few chapters, I wanted to scream at Olivia to turn and run. I didn't want her idolizing, admiring, trusting Father Mark because I knew there was something just wrong about him.

It starts off simple enough; we are introduced to Olivia who is an honest, trusting, likeable girl who wants to be a writer. She is, obviously, stoked to find out that she has wo
Diane Ferbrache
Olivia has always wanted to be a writer. When she wins a contest with the prize of being mentored by a best-selling author, she is honored and excited. Her joy quickly turns to an uneasy feeling when the mentor/priest overdoes the attention he bestows and begins stalking her. The title comes from a Thomas Merton quote about his temptation to break his religious vows. He refers to the experience as “this gorgeous game”.
The tension builds slowly in this story. Olivia actually recognizes that som
I had seen this book around including that it had earned several rave reviews from fellow bloggers. But I really hated the cover. Then I read The Survival Kit and enjoyed it so when I was looking for a short book to read from the library, I picked up this one interested in learning what it is about.

Main character seventeen-year old Olivia is just so lucky because she won a writing contest that allows her to attend a summer seminar at a nearby university taught by the famous and respected novelis
Olivia Peters has a gift of writing. Such a gift that she is chosen to win the contest of famous writer and priest, Father Mark, who is also her literary idol. Olivia is over joyed and ecstatic when she finds out she gets to meet him. However, the joy doesn't last long when she starts noticing strange things about Father Mark. Like how he has weird mood swings, always trying to occupy every second of her free time, he gets very upset with her if she doesnt agree so his ideas and harrasses her c ...more
This Gorgeous Game is chilling and haunting.. It's not as intense as Ellen Hopkins but it's... well to me it was disturbing. A Priest. Stalker's. Dangerous. Obsession. It's just creepy.

I really liked the concept of TGG. For me the pace was a little slow... i wanted a little bit more of something.... but I enjoyed Donna's writing, it was emotion. I can't imagine how she came up with the story.

The characters are well crafted and raw. I just can't help feel sorry for Olivia. She's the victim. Fat
This Gorgeous Game is a chilling look at a serious situation, stalking. Olivia Peters lives, breathes, and eats writing. She loves it to her core. So when she has the opportunity to work with her literary idol, Father Mark, she is beyond ecstatic. But what Olivia thinks is a dream opportunity slowly turns into a living nightmare.

This Gorgeous Game was a novel that is full of potential. Freitas does a marvelous job at creating a likable character and a horrible villain. And when I say horrible...
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Donna was born in Rhode Island and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.

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More about Donna Freitas...
The Survival Kit The Possibilities of Sainthood  Gold Medal Summer The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

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