Navidad Thelamour's Reviews > The Lying Game

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
50404233
's review
Jul 24, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley, brit-fic, contemporary-fiction, cozy-thriller, full-review, read-2017, author-liked-review-on-twitter, reviewed-on-amazon
Read 2 times. Last read July 4, 2017 to July 24, 2017.

“…years on, people round here still use your names as a kind of salacious cautionary tale…”

It’s rare that I stumble upon a read as gripping and as raw as this one was. And, it was not an outright or vulgar kind of raw—no, that wouldn’t really be the English way, now would it?—but Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game was something arguably so much better, because it didn’t lean on outright shock, melodrama and over-the-top confrontations. No, here the rawness is in the imagery, a true reader’s delight, because it pulled at the senses and plucked at our moral strings in unpredictable ways, in ways that were altogether unexpected when I picked up this novel.

Here, the reader will peep behind the closed doors of a partially secluded English home at the edge of a reach, a place where the water laps at the very door of the home in high tide just as danger and uncertainty laps at their feet from the moment they receive Kate’s SOS text: I need you. Once a place of refuge and harbor, the Reach has turned into a silent stomping ground for their greatest fears and will forever be a magnet of both dread and longing for each of the women in this sisterhood. Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa share a secret that bonds them together tighter than blood ever could. And it starts and ends with the Reach.

The gentle suspense here was wonderful, but even it was heightened and magnified like a fly under a magnifying glass by the camaraderie that held these four unlikely friends together nearly 20 years after that fateful night—you could feel their anxieties, mistrust and the burn of their lies scorching your very skin as you read on. Ware swirled so much unexpected goodness into these pages that I was amazed at her deftness and insight. This glimpse into their world was so much more than just that—it was the peeling back of the layers of humanity within ourselves and at the lengths that we will go to protect one of our own.

The very act of peeling seemed to be almost a metaphorical foundation: the peeling away of clothes wet from the waters of the Reach, of skin around ragged fingernails chewed nearly to the quick, of secrets from the truth they’d all stood on as their foundation for years. And, too, within these pages you’ll find other hidden nuggets, like a subtle commentary on the cultural insensitivity Muslims face every day (“What do you think it means? If you think it means that she’s using that head scarf as a bandage, then yes, that’s what I mean. It’s great that Allah’s forgiven you…but I doubt the police will take that as a plea bargain.”) the bond of family—blood and otherwise—and a true sense of setting and surroundings: It gives the whole place a melancholy air, like those sultry southern American towns, where the Spanish moss hangs thick from the trees, swaying in the wind. The town of Salten was embedded in true English culture, making the characters all leap to life on the pages, the values of this tight-knit society playing an important role in the unfolding of events. The Lying Game managed to be about so much more than lying—though those moments of actual “game play” were delightful, fun, frisky and filled with all of the carefreeness of youth that we all remember, that we all yearn to hold on to even now. It was also about the grip of a parent’s love and protection of their children, small town scandal and the whisper of child sexual abuse.

How dare you judge me? I do what I have to do to sleep at night. So do you, apparently. How about you respect my coping mechanisms and I’ll respect yours?

Ruth Ware gave her readers a phenomenal roller coaster of twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would be happy to read more from this author any day! The setting was palpable, the sisterhood and kinship of these women SO relatable. These women felt real; their faults and growth felt real and it made me want to follow them throughout these 300+ pages. The camaraderie was palpable, lifelike, believable and touching. There was no bow-tie happy ending here and I respected that, yearned for that, in fact. Ware had the guts to not put a ribbon on it for us, and her readers can only revere her for that. I loved every moment of reading this novel and I'm definitely a Ruth Ware fan from here on out. The Lying Game easily earned itself a very strong 4 stars. ****

(I've downgraded this review from a 5* to a very strong 4* read, because the 5* nagged at me. I reserve that for the absolutely breath-taking works of writing, and this was not quite that, though it was exceptionally well done!)

**I received an advance-read copy of this book from the publisher, Gallery/Scout Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

FOLLOW ME AT:

The Navi Review Blog | Twitter | Instagram
183 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Lying Game.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 23, 2017 – Shelved as: netgalley
May 23, 2017 – Shelved
July 4, 2017 – Started Reading
July 24, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: brit-fic
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: cozy-thriller
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: full-review
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
July 26, 2017 – Shelved as: author-liked-review-on-twitter
July 26, 2017 – Shelved as: reviewed-on-amazon

Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Lois Intetested in your review of this


message 2: by dianne (new)

dianne geez, this sounds incredibly creepy. Although, as a rule, i really hate those who consciously choose to prevaricate, i really love girlfriends who stick together and keep promises to each other. So gimme a hint - Over or Under 3 stars???


message 3: by Stacey (new) - added it

Stacey Camp I liked this book so much! Glad to see you enjoyed it, too!


message 4: by Navidad (last edited Jul 25, 2017 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Navidad Thelamour dianne wrote: "geez, this sounds incredibly creepy. Although, as a rule, i really hate those who consciously choose to prevaricate, i really love girlfriends who stick together and keep promises to each other. So..."

**OVER!** :)


message 5: by dianne (new)

dianne Navidad wrote: "dianne wrote: "geez, this sounds incredibly creepy. Although, as a rule, i really hate those who consciously choose to prevaricate, i really love girlfriends who stick together and keep promises to..."

thanks!


Melisa Great review!


message 7: by Stacey (new) - added it

Stacey Camp Really spot-on review!


message 8: by Navidad (last edited Jul 25, 2017 07:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Navidad Thelamour @Melisa @Stacey thanks ladies! Such a great book!


message 9: by Deanna (new) - added it

Deanna Excellent review!!!


Navidad Thelamour Thanks to Ruth Ware for reading and liking this review!

@thenavireview "Thank you so much for reviewing! So happy you loved x"


message 11: by William (new) - added it

William Hughes Wonderful review! You had me hooked before even the first paragraph was over! Can't wait to pick it up, thank you Navidad!!


Navidad Thelamour William wrote: "Wonderful review! You had me hooked before even the first paragraph was over! Can't wait to pick it up, thank you Navidad!!"

Thanks, William! So glad you liked the review, and I CAN'T WAIT to see what you think of this one!


Susanne Strong Wow! You make this one sound phenomenal Navidad. It was already on my TBR but I just put it at the top of the list. Great review!


Navidad Thelamour Susanne wrote: "Wow! You make this one sound phenomenal Navidad. It was already on my TBR but I just put it at the top of the list. Great review!"

Thanks, Susanne! Definitely looking forward to your thoughts on this one next! :)


message 15: by Stacey (new) - added it

Stacey Camp I just started In a Dark, Dark Wood last night. Have you read it yet?


Navidad Thelamour Stacey wrote: "I just started In a Dark, Dark Wood last night. Have you read it yet?"

No, I haven't. How's that one going so far?


message 17: by Lois (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lois This book was SO good. Thanks for the reccomendation


message 18: by Viveca (new) - added it

Viveca Phatak This is the most impressive nook review I've ever read. As with a good book, I didn't want it to end. Bravo!


Navidad Thelamour Viveca wrote: "This is the most impressive nook review I've ever read. As with a good book, I didn't want it to end. Bravo!"

Thank you so much, Viveca! I really appreciate that!


message 20: by Candace (new)

Candace Wonderful review, Navidad! :)


Navidad Thelamour Candace wrote: "Wonderful review, Navidad! :)"

Thanks, Candace!


message 22: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee This should grace the back cover.....with your 5 stars lol :)


message 23: by Erin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erin Clemence Navidad, great review! This one didn't rank quite as high for me but I liked it all the same...


Navidad Thelamour Erin wrote: "Navidad, great review! This one didn't rank quite as high for me but I liked it all the same..."

Thanks, Erin! We often do feel the same about the reads we have in common. Can't wait to see what we both think of the next one!


back to top