Charlynn's Reviews > The Lying Game

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
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's review
Jun 24, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 22 to 23, 2012 — I own a copy

Seventeen year old Emma is a foster kid – abandoned by her mother when she was five and about to get kicked out of yet another foster home – when she watches a video of her long-lost identical twin sister being strangled by a locket necklace – bound, gagged, and blindfolded. Despite the less than ideal circumstances revolving around her discovery, Emma is ecstatic. To know that she's not alone in the world, to find a sister and the hope of finally having a family, Emma ignores her doubts and common sense, jumping on a bus to meet with her twin. Only... Emma's twin, Sutton, never shows up for their meeting, and Sutton's friends mistake Emma for her twin. Unsure of what to do... especially after she discovers that her sister has been murdered... and afraid, Emma goes along with the ruse voluntarily. And then her sister's killer starts to threaten her life as well: be Sutton or else.

Like with her first series – Pretty Little Liars, Shepard is not afraid to cloak The Lying Game in darkness; she's not afraid of creating truly deplorable characters – mean girls in the truest sense of the term. And this darkness makes for a seductive read. It's amazing how, while Sutton is an utterly unsympathetic character, the mystery surrounding her murder is still compelling – partly because her personality demanded hatred – ensuring a wide, far-reaching suspect pool – and partly because Emma is her twin's complete and polar opposite. Everybody has secrets, yet Emma is no more aware of them than the readers, allowing for a truly intimate reading experience. The novel is further complimented by its setting – the desert landscape and the lush, privileged lifestyle a believable background for a grisly murder. Perhaps the only thing which detracts from this book is its similarities to The Pretty Little Liars series, begging the question just what kind of adolescence did Shepard have?
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