The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
published 2010 by Harper Teen
This is the second book I've read by Sara Shepard. The first was Pretty Little Liars, which (years ago) Harper Teen put online to the public to read for free, and I just gobbled that one right up. Glued to the computer screen until I'd finished the whole thing.
The Lying Game was not a far cry from that experience.
Let me just begin by saying how GOOD a writer Sara Shepard is. One of the best in terms of plot development and she knows how to write a good cliff-hanger. And I know that she knows she knows how to because she does it in every single chapter. It's one of the main reasons why I finished this book so fast. (I'm a really slow reader in case you weren't aware - one example of this is that I've been reading A Game of Thrones for almost a year and I'm only half-way through..)
The other reason why I finished this book so fast was because of all of the mystery!!! The main character Emma is thrown into her twin-sister's life, forced to BE her sister by Lord-knows-who. (Well, the person who murdered her sister Sutton is who!). So from the outset, Emma suspects everyone. Her best friends and her family mostly. Which is really hard to think of because normally they'd be the only people you can trust. But Emma has good reason to suspect them because of... the Lying Game and such.
I won't go into the Lying Game much but I'll just say it's not a good game to play.
The writing style was really interesting too - basically the novel is narrated by Sutton herself, Emma's dead sister, who is a ghost following Emma around, and even following the thoughts in her head. Sutton narrates, mostly in an omniscient sorta way, but sometimes you'd get a paragraph where Sutton is really talking 1st person, speaking her thoughts about what Emma is doing or thinking, and sometimes even yelling at Emma to react in some way or another.
The thing that I didn't really understand very clearly was why Sutton as her post-life ghosty persona didn't have the memories of her life. Dead Sutton is a nice, normal person. The Sutton that lived was a psychotic bitch, not only a selfish cow to literally everyone but also mentally crazy!
A couple times at the end of a chapter, Sutton would suddenly get a wave of a memory coming back to her. Then the next chapter would be in italics, describing the scene of Sutton's memory coming back to her. It's an interesting perspective to have the story written in, Sara Shepard did it very well, and you don't find books written that way very often.
The Lying Game is about friendship, love, lies and deception, and family, but mostly it's about the mystery behind who lured Emma all the way from Vegas to Arizona to take her twin sister's place. There is so much unsaid and unanswered so I'm really looking forward to reading the next instalment - Never Have I Ever.
Have you read this book yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments below! :)