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The Lying Game

The Lying Game

Written by Sara Shepard

Narrated by Cassandra Morris


The Lying Game

Written by Sara Shepard

Narrated by Cassandra Morris

ratings:
4/5 (74 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 7, 2010
ISBN:
9780062071880
Format:
Audiobook

Description

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there'snothing left to live for. No more kisses. Nomore secrets. No more gossip. It's enoughto kill a girl all over again. But I'm about toget something no one else does-an encoreperformance, thanks to Emma, the long-losttwin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma's desperate to know whathappened to me. And the only way to figureit out is to be me-to slip into my old lifeand piece it all together. But can she laughat inside jokes with my best friends? Convincemy boyfriend she's the girl he fell inlove with? Pretend to be a happy, carefreedaughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade,even after she realizes my murderer iswatching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books,comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, andkiller consequences.

Let the lying game begin.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 7, 2010
ISBN:
9780062071880
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She currently lives in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line. All the Things We Didn’t Say is her first novel for adults.

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What people think about The Lying Game

4.0
74 ratings / 50 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Well, I have to say that I quite enjoyed this little book. I say little because it is just a little over 200 pages and thus it is quite an easy and quick read. This book kept you on your toes. At every corner there is someone new who may or may not be the killer. This is all compounded by the fact that this group of friends plays horrible games with each other and everyone in town. I haven't read the Pretty Little Liar series but I have just recently started watching the show. I love the show and I was excited when I got this book through NetGalley. Shepard didn't disappoint with this novel that's for sure. The only thing that I really didn't like was the fact that it was over so quickly. I also hate leaving a book on such a cliffhanger. You never find out who the killer is and I realize this is going to be a series but when that happens I almost feel ripped off. I want to know what happens and now I have to wait until the next book comes out. If that is the worst thing that someone can say then I guess it's not too bad. Anyhow, I have now put the Pretty Little Liars series on my Christmas wishlist. Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.
  • (3/5)
    I thought this would be a great little crime story as it is a popular book in our library. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver. The concept was intriguing and the book started fairly well, but it really lagged in the middle as the reader became bogged down in Sutton's frivolous life-style. It was only at the end of the book that the murder was revisited in any depth but the crime wasn't solved. Obviously, this was the first book in a series but I'm not interested in reading any more. I can see the plot being strung out to suit a teenage audience.
  • (5/5)
    The Little BookwormEmma is a foster kid bouncing from house to house. When she sees a disturbing video online with a girl that looks exactly like her, she wonders what is going on. Figuring out that she must have a twin, she goes to the girl's hometown only to end up impersonating her twin sister, Sutton, while trying to figure out what happened to the real girl and who is out to get them both.Gossip Girl meets Desperate Housewives meets Lois Duncan. And really really good. This is a carefully woven tale of games people play, lies they tell and feelings that get hurt and the vengeful road that leads down. I was sucked in almost immediately and spent the whole book jumping from person to person as the suspect. And then the book ended with no real answer. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It is a series so I guess I should have expected that. Having never read the Pretty Little Liars series, I didn't have any ideas of Shepherd's style. But now, after reading The Lying Game, I do and I'm definitely reaching for the first one of that series. All of the characters are so well drawn that I can picture them in my head. And the whole concept of the Lying Game that Sutton and her friends play. Chilling. I really want to know more about Sutton. She is such an enigma and I feel like there is a whole lot about her that has yet to be explored. The same goes for her friends and sister. There are quite a few mysteries going on besides the bigger mystery of Sutton and I'm excited to read the next one. Review based on the ARC
  • (4/5)
    I understand now why everyone was telling me to read the book and not just watch the show. So I will tell all of you now...The show is TOTALLY different from the book!!
    Sutton Mercer is the narrator in the book, and as you will find out from the beginning; she's dead. So there is the first major difference from the show. We still get that Emma is in foster care and her foster brother is a jerk. Emma finds out that she has a twin due to a video showed to her and her foster mother by her foster brother. Emma then finds her on face book of all places and sends her a message.
    After a little while Emma receives a reply from who she believes is Sutton and then heads to Arizona, to meet the twin she never knew. Emma arrives and goes to the designated meeting spot, but there is no Sutton. Emma is instead found by Sutton's friends. Emma is dragged to a party where she steps into pretending to be Sutton.
    Emma continues the "game" as Sutton, going so far as to go to her house and take up being Sutton. Emma goes to school as Sutton, plays tennis as Sutton and pretty much just takes over her life. A little bit into the book ( I believe a few chapters) you learn the truth that Yes, Sutton is dead, and who ever killed her knows that Emma is there and wants Emma to continue to play Sutton.
    As I said, Sutton is narrating the story, so when Emma is going through the days as her, you get little flashes of Sutton's death as flashbacks from Sutton, but since she can't remember anything specific you never do find out who it was.
    With the book being narrated by the dead twin, I found myself lost more than once. And really, I understand being dead and not really remembering anything, but you would think that Sutton would remember a lot of more thing than she does. Like really, how could she not know why she is friends with the girls that are her BFFs? All you get from Sutton is feelings and that she knows that she should know such and such about this person. I found the whole thing a little hard to believe, how would a sister, parents, best friends and even a boyfriend not know that the person they are talking to isn't who it should be? I like to believe that even if I had a twin, my family and friends would know if it was actually me or not.
    While I wasn't too thrilled with the book in itself, I will be getting the 2nd and 3rd one in the series just so i can find out exactly who killed Sutton, and if anyone ever figures out that Emma isn't really Sutton.
  • (2/5)
    I really, really wanted to like this book…I haven't read Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, but the television spin-off became one of my guilty summer obsessions. Come on. It’s fun to escape to a world filled with beautiful, haunted, wealthy teens. Especially teens who were full of delicious, dangerous secrets. The show’s characters kept me tuned in because they were pretty, yes - but also dimensional and flawed and I wasn’t quite sure what they were going to do next.When The Lying Game was released a few weeks ago, I was kind of excited. I thought it would give me a chance to get to know some more of Shepard’s great characters on a more intimate level, and follow them from the start of a new series. I’m pretty sure that’s what the publisher was banking on (especially with the entirely unoriginal name tie-in) because on it’s own, The Lying Game is so very far from fabulous, I can’t even imagine her character’s recommending it.Let me just back up and give a short synopsis: Seventeen year old Emma has just been kicked out of her last foster home when she finds out she has an identical twin sister living in the next state. Well, not exactly living. Sutton, who appears as a ghostly narrator in the story, has just been murdered, and when Emma takes a road-trip to meet her long-lost twin she finds herself pulled into her sister’s life and searching for clues to explain her death.Doesn’t sound like a bad concept, right? It’s really not. In fact, the first part of the book had me hooked. I’m learning about Emma’s slightly clichéd but still fairly interesting life. I’m digging her affection for journaling about comebacks she should have used and writing news headlines for her life. And I’m vastly curious about the snuff-film, the ‘Mean Girls’ style game being played, and about Sutton and how she mysteriously died only to materialize in Emma’s grungy bathroom with no memory of the event.There’s an urgency to the first portion of the book that felt real and scary and electrifying. But, one of the biggest problems I have with the book, is that it doesn’t seem able to hold on to that electricity throughout.As soon as Emma heads south to Tucson in search of Sutton, everything begins to goes down hill. Let’s start with the obvious and glaring problem: Sutton doesn’t show. Emma is kidnapped by Sutton’s friends and her belongings are stolen. What does she do? She decides to impersonate her sister at a cool party, meet a hot guy or two, and then for bonus points, break into her sibling’s house and pretend she is Sutton there as well. True, she doesn’t learn about it her sister’s death until the next morning, but the point is: Most of the time, no one in the book, including Emma and Sutton seem to even care that Sutton is dead. When Emma tries to tell the police and her parent’s who she is, they all laugh it off and everyone moves on. And suddenly it’s a story about a pretty girl, trying to fit in at a new school where everyone thinks she’s someone else. OK. But was that the book I signed on for here? And, what about the murder?No, no. We’d rather get into describing fancy houses, and meeting all of Sutton’s annoyingly clone-like friends who walk around saying things like, “bee-yotch” and giggling about endless parties and trips to the spa and the mall. And the clothes. It was annoying that we couldn’t get through a scene in the book without knowing precisely down to the designer and in many cases the name of the specific item what everyone was wearing. It was almost understandable in Sutton’s half-sister and friends who I guess we are to believe really deeply care about such things. It was unforgivable in Emma who supposedly grew up dirt-poor and we were lead to imagine had a bit more original interests in life and even more so in Sutton, who slips these references in while narrating. I’m sorry. You have death-amnesia. You can’t remember how you died, or really anything significant about your life, but you know who designed those cute cut-away heels? I’m now looking forward to the hereafter.Despite the fact that this type of fashion-headed mean-girl stereotyping is distracting and boring, I could probably live with one character like that in the book. Yes, you may think you’ve seen these characters before. I felt like I was watching an episode of Pretty Little Liars on TV at times. (Sutton reminded me a lot of a lazy, non-intellectual version of Spencer.) The problem is that Sutton’s friends come across as so identical that other than Charlotte’s oft mentioned broad shoulders and red hair, I can’t tell them apart most of the time. They all play tennis, they all shop and go to the spa, and they are all frankly pretty obnoxious and nasty. And unlike the television characters, they have no personality or even real storyline to make them unique in any way.I sometimes got the feeling the author actually knew much more about these subsidiary characters but for the sake of mystery was leaving it out. If that was the case, it back-fired. They didn’t manage to come across as mysterious. Just flat. I couldn’t bring myself to really care about any of them. And I found myself angry at the author for writing a book where that was all there was to high-school girls. She gives them no credit for being intelligent, funny, capable young women with minds of their own and interests other than fashion and boys. There is some mention of real tragedy touching the lives of a few of these girls, and yet it doesn’t seem to have affected them, at all. Even pretty little rich girls are not that shallow, and I think this book although at times fun, is ultimately un-relatable because of these demeaning assumptions.Around this point I had to force myself to try to finish the book.Another thing that really began to bother me was the narration. This book has two narrators. Sutton, who is dead and watching Emma’s action, while sporadically interjecting her own commentary and sputtering memories, and a general narrator who seems a bit more omniscient and able to get into Emma’s head. The problem is there is no warning when switching between narrators, and almost every time it happened I would realize half-way through a paragraph that Sutton was now speaking and have to go back and try to figure out where she started. It did not flow at all. I’m not sure why the author went with this technique. It seemed in the beginning as if it was going to be told with Sutton as the only Narrator, and was frankly more interesting that way. She even explained HOW Sutton had knowledge of what was in Emma’s head. But somewhere along the line, she either got bored with that approach, or decided Sutton didn’t really have enough to say or simply forgot from which perspective she was writing because it just grows more and more confusing as the story progresses.And then we have what I’m going to call “The stupid factor.” There were just so very few intelligent characters in this book. Not only do they seem to not really care about anything intelligent, they do really dumb, stupid things. Repeatedly. The dangerous pranks are just the beginning. More problematic was the annoying way that the author wrote as if she were assuming anyone reading the book was as stupid as her characters. She would hint blatantly at things so that you knew what was going to happen and then offer a big reveal of what she had already made clear was going on. Again, if this had happened once, I would let it slip, but over and over throughout the book to the point that I was literally groaning out loud as I read it, and I started to wonder exactly who her target audience was. I laughed out loud at the thought of any male (teen or otherwise) trying to make it through this thing. And if he did, what on earth would he come away thinking about girls?Finally, towards the end of the book we start getting back into the murder and some suspense and action. Unfortunately, all we get is a set-up for the next book, and not even a big, revealing or shocking one at that. No mystery was solved. Nothing really changed for any of these characters from the point that Emma arrived in Tucson, and at the end of the day, I sadly felt as if all I had done was kind of meet some pretty poorly developed characters and learn about a murder that will likely get solved in book four.I’m disappointed, mainly because I feel like this book really had so much potential. I’m not sure what happened along the way. Possibly it was decided that it needed to be stretched out into a series when it might have packed a punch as a single book. It just felt very unfinished to me, almost as if I was reading a rough draft.I can’t say I don’t entirely care what happens in the subsequent books; I just don’t think I can wade through them if they are as poorly developed as this one. Especially when there are so many other great books for young adults on the shelves these days. For this series to stand a chance, Shepard will really have to step up her game for the next book.
  • (5/5)
    Being a fan of the Pretty Little Liars Series, I was overjoyed to see Sara Shepard had a new series coming out. Net Galley and Harper Teen were nice enough to let me read it early and for that I say a huge Thank You! This new book and series shows ho ...more Being a fan of the Pretty Little Liars Series, I was overjoyed to see Sara Shepard had a new series coming out. Net Galley and Harper Teen were nice enough to let me read it early and for that I say a huge Thank You! This new book and series shows how amazing Sara is at her craft, and how great she is at plot twists and keeping the audience interested until the last page.The Lying Game is a new series about a girl with nothing and a girl who has everything, or she did until she was murdered. Sutton and Emma are long-lost twin sisters, who will never get to meet because someone killed Sutton and has lured Emma in to take over Sutton's life. There are great descriptions of Emma's life in foster care that show just how different the two sisters grew-up. Once Emma is in Sutton's place she struggles to fit in with friends she doesn't understand and a family she's never had. She also has the tiny problem of her sister's killer still being out there and watching her,and waiting for her.I loved this first book and can not wait for the next one in the series. The suspense and twists keep you guessing the whole time and make it hard to put the book down until it is finished.reviewed for NetGalley
  • (4/5)
    I haven't read the Pretty Little Liars series but now I am eager to see if Pretty Little Liars were as good as The Lying Game.The first few pages was an attention catcher. I loved every details the book gave me. The characters we're well thought and written, the plot was mysterious and interesting and the ending was really a cliff hanger. The Lying Game is the first of Sara Shepard's The Lying Games series and it tell us the story of how Emma discovers that she has a twin, Sutton, but what's more interesting and surprising about this is that Emma needs to find who killed Sutton.Emma ventures to Sutton's world trying to discover who and what life did her twin lived apart from her. Emma realizing that her twin lived the more grandeur and greener life didn't felt envy or despair but the opposite. Now knowing that Sutton is in fact dead, she need to find who really killed her.What I loved about this book was that the characters were realistic enough for people to relate. The lines were believable and the situation is very possible. Emma is a character that we all can love. Sutton may appear the spoiled and bully brat in the series but we all know that we have our own "Suttons" in our life. The dilemma of how Emma moves forward and how she will handle this complication is the main pull for me plus it is a fast paced book. Love how I read it in one sitting. I would have love to read about the twins actual separation and why.It's a great story line and captivating with each page turn. For a first book in a series, it was very clever and informative to start a series yet effective in a way that it really gives us a lingering feeling to reading what will happen next. The story was just cut at the perfect time to keep us guessing as to who really did it and why. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.Though some say this is somewhat life Pretty Little Liars, I can't say the same given the fact I haven't read the series. But if they are, then Pretty Little Liars are a definite read in the future. Warning to parents though, the book contains a lot of inappropriate acts that kids often do (drinking, bullying, etc.) but this book can be a great way to discuss those acts and what makes them inappropriate. But for adults, The Lying Game is a definite must buy.
  • (4/5)
    A surprisingly intense and intriguing novel about twins who've never met. Though the book is about lying, it's really about secrets and at the heart of the novel is a mystery. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it when I started reading it, but now I can't wait for Shepard to write the rest of the series. I definitely want to know what happens next.
  • (4/5)
    THE LYING GAME, by Sara Shepard, is an amazing start to a great new series. Sara Shepard is the author of the series, Pretty Little Liars (which I admit I still have not read, bad me!). Going into this new series with no previous stigma, I absolutely LOVED it! Shepard definitely has a way with words and she kept my fingers clinging to the pages until the very end.This contemporary young adult novel weaved elements of suspense and utter creepiness into it. Emma never had the dream family and when she stumbled upon her long-lost twin, Sutton, she was desperate to start again. After her Sutton's family only recognizes her as Sutton and a mysterious person tries to keep her real identity quiet, Emma puts together the pieces and realizes how much danger she is facing.Emma was truly a fantastic MC and along with the 'ghost' of Sutton, they made a dynamic duo. I am excited for the continuation of the series to find out more about what happened to Sutton and why she is connected to her twin in this way. And I have to say I developed a crush on Ethan. Even though he was such a small part in Emma/Sutton's life, I hope that he will have a bigger part in her future in this series.Overall, this was a pretty phenomenal book. I was disappointed that it ended before I got many questions answered but I still loved it!
  • (4/5)
    Amazing read. This book lived up to everything that Sara Shepard as a writer has become. It was full of happenings, secrets and pranks. Lots of mystery and tons of adventure. Little bit of creepyness and a lot of anxiousness to see what happened next. Cannot wait for the rest of this series. It is bound to be just as popular as her Pretty Little Liars series, if not more. I devoured this book in a matter of hours.
  • (4/5)
    * Paperback: 336 pages * Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (December 6, 2011) * ISBN-10: 0061869716 * Author:Sara Shepard * Cover art: I really liked the cover art. * Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars * Obtained: My personal bookshelf.The Lying Game by Sara ShepardReviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews.I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.I may not remember much, but I know I led a charmed life. Even in death I’m getting something no one else does: an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never got to meet. Now, in order to figure out what happened to me, Emma needs to become me. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Hug my parents good night like she’s their daughter? And can she keep up the charade even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?Let the lying game begin. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)This was the first book I have read by this author. As a fan of the tv shows based on her work, I decided to pick up a copy of the first book in each series. I opted to read this one first.It should be stated that the book is way different then the show. I was stunned when I read the first page and found out just how different the book is to the show. In the book from page one Sutton is dead. (Not a spoiler it's in the synopsis.) Like the show Emma has to get everyone to believe she is Sutton, and like the show she has very little information on the twin she has never met.I really like Emma's character in the book. She feels very real and the reader can really relate to her. Mads and Char are pretty likable to, I really like how different "The Lying Game" is in the book verses what it is in the show.Shepard is a fantastic author with a fertile imagination. I really liked the touch of Mads having stickers all over that say Swan Lake Mafia. That made me smile each time I saw it in the book. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series and the next season of the show. I like them both separately.Ethan is the only character whom I like better in the show then I do in the book, but with the ending of book one, I think I might like him more in book two then I do now as it seems like his character will get more face time in the next book.I would recommend this book to fans of the show and to fans of the Pretty Little Liars series and show.
  • (4/5)
    Secrets, lies, drama, and murder. Really, what more could you want? Sara Shepard is the master of YA mysteries and she definitely doesn't disappoint in The Lying Game. Emma is foster kid who has been moved from one home to another ever since her mother abandoned her. Sutton is a wealthy spoiled rich girl who has it all. Until she was murdered. When Emma finds out about her long lost twin sister she goes to visit her and gets forced into impersonating Sutton. Someone knows she's not Sutton and that someone is Sutton's killer.Oh the intrigue! From page one this book will pull you in and just when you think you had things figured out, BAM! You don't know anything! There are a thousand questions piling up on top of each other and as soon as you get one answered twelve more are added! Shepard manages to pull this off without annoying the reader. She keeps you occupied with all sorts of interesting side stories and you get just a little snippet of information at a time. It will keep you hooked.All the characters were fantastic. Emma is completely likable and the total opposite of her sister. I love how Shepard made Sutton a 'ghost'. She is there with Emma the entire time, but she can't communicate. Sutton chimes in with her opinion from time to time. It's a very interesting dynamic!All in all, if you like Pretty Little Liars, you will like this book. I think I even liked it a little bit more! Although, I was just a tiny bit disappointed when I realized it's going to be a series. I was hoping to get some questions answered in this book, but that's not happening. I'll just have to wait right here, on the edge of my seat, for the next installment!
  • (3/5)
    Why I wanted this book was because I LOVED the PLL series. If I could give this book 3.5 stars I would. The book for me started out sort of slow. It reminded me a lot of the PLL series too. I loved the story and the plot, but the story didn't really grab me until the end. Why I would give it 4 stars is because of the ending. The ending of the book definitely made me want to read the next one. I really can't wait for the second book. I can't wait to see where Emma and Sutton and Ethan end up. I'm not great on reviews without really spoiling what happens, but I'd say read the book because I bet the next one is going to get a lot better!
  • (4/5)
    Sutton Mercer lives a privileged life: loving parents, beautiful sister, tight group of best friends, hot boyfriend, expensive clothing, her own car, she has it all. But Sutton Mercer's not around to live that life anymore, she's dead.Emma Paxton's lived in foster care since she was five years old: no real parents, no boyfriend, no expensive anything. Emma believes herself to be biologically an only child until she sees a video online of a girl who looks exactly like her. After sending the girl a message on Facebook they make plans to meet.Soon, with ghostly Sutton accompanying her (unbeknownst to Emma), Emma finds herself forced to fill in for the missing Sutton. Can she fool Sutton's friends and family, who don't seem to know Sutton's missing, into believing she's her twin while she unearths what happened? (And keep herself safe?!)The Lying Game is more than a little bit like Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard's other series, with death/murder (that I want to say like mehdehr), backstabbing, treachery, and tons of twists and turns.Having, in essence, one and a half main characters, with Emma doing everything but usually as Sutton and Sutton taking part as sort of her subconscious (that she couldn't hear) made for a very interesting telling. Usually when there's a 'dead' character in a book that is a part of the story someone else can hear them or they're more separate from everything, but with Sutton participating in everything, but also really removed, it made for a unique reading experience.I'm really inters ted to see if this style, with Sutton and Emma continues for the rest of the story or if Sutton gets more involved.This first book in the series was really an introduction to the series and ending without resolving much, but it definitely got me hooked on the story enough that I really cannot wait for the next installment(s) to find out more about the both Sutton and Emma and their lives and have more of the mystery unfold.(NB: The prologue of The Lying Game was a little confusing, but things really picked up (and made more sense) once the first chapter started--so if you pick it up to see if you're interested, I'd suggest reading at least that far! )
  • (5/5)
    "I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did."Summary: Emma Paxton has been in and out of foster homes ever since her mom, Becky, deserted her when she was five years old. Now she's soon to turn eighteen and on the verge of getting kicked out of yet another home. All because her foster brother stumbles upon a strange snuff film where oddly enough, the girl being attacked looks identical to Emma herself. After some digging around on Facebook, Emma discovers she shares the exact same birth date with this girl, Sutton Mercer. Could Emma have a long lost identical twin sister? Desperate to have a connection with a blood relative, Emma sends Sutton a Facebook message. A short time later she receives one back from Sutton saying she was also adopted, they should meet at a park in Arizona, but be careful because its dangerous! So Emma heads out to Tucson, Arizona on a greyhound bus, when she arrives Sutton is no where to be found. Instead, she bumps into one of Sutton's friends who mistakes her for Sutton. Just like that, Emma gets pulled right into the middle of Sutton's life. Emma wants to straighten everything out. Then she receives a mysterious note, "Sutton is dead. Tell no one. Keep playing along... or you're next!". Unsure of how to proceed, Emma reluctantly assumes Sutton's life desperately hoping to find her sister's murderer, knowing all along her killer is watching her every move.Ramblings: Sara Shepard is best known for her Pretty Little Liars series. The Lying Game kicks off her second, non-related series. The book is narrated by Sutton, Emma's dead twin sister. At unexpected times during the book, Emma also gives her perspective. Some readers may find this difficult to follow, but others may enjoy seeing a different point of view. Sutton and Emma are polar opposites. Emma is sweet, frugal and tenderhearted while Sutton is evil, frivolous and downright mean. As the the novel progresses, at times one may begin to feel just a twinge of sorrow for Sutton and her situation. Most of the time, the reader will be appalled at everything Sutton has done, believing she probably got what she deserved. The story is filled with suspense and mystery. A real thriller with an underdog heroine who's easy to root for. Small clues help piece the mystery together. Unfortunately, after turning the last page, not much had been resolved. Guess we will all have to wait for book two Never Have I Ever due out in August 2011 for some type of closure.Recommendation: I would recommend this book to all readers 14 years and older who like a good mystery with a unique twists and turns along the way. There are a few sexual references PG13 at the worst. Plus the book does use some forms of curse words like "Bee-otch". Girls may relate to this type of book more than boys. I do feel there is enough action, mystery and suspense though to capture a boy's interest. Don't read this book if you are tired of cliffhanger ending because this is one of "those" types. If you enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars series you'll see some similarities, parallels and common themes. This could be a plus or a minus, I'll let you decide.
  • (5/5)
    "The Lying Game" is a winner and I am more than a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The book starts out with the ghost of a teen named Sutton waking up, out of sorts, in a mysterious bathroom. She soon realizes she is dead, and then finds out she is in the home of a girl she has never met before named Emma...and Emma looks exactly like her. Some interesting things happen to move Emma along to Sutton's hometown and quite innocently at first, Emma begins to impersonate Sutton. Then she must continue to do so or risk meeting a fate similar to Sutton's. What Emma finds out is that Sutton maybe wasn't very nice. Even her friends and her sister seemed to hate her. But who killed Sutton and why? Emma is VERY likeable. She is a good girl who has grown up in foster homes. Seeing her living the life of spoiled, (mean?) Sutton is interesting. We see her relationships with these people and her thoughts about these people, with the spirit of Sutton looking over her shoulder and adding commentary as she tries to remember her past. What turned me off? Not much really. I was more than happy with this book. However, the cliffhanger is more than just a cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved. I don't like that in a book. I don't mind when plot threads are left open so we continue to want to read the next books in the series, but readers want some resolution...we stick with a book for 300 pages and we deserve some answers. Now this neither positively nor negative affected my review and rating but I really think I know who killed Sutton. Every piece fits and I will be SHOCKED if I am wrong. I don't have the 'why' answered yet though. I don't know if I am hoping to be right so I can say I was right or if I would rather be utterly delighted that the author pulled one over on me. Heck, maybe this person is a decoy. Parental Warning: Cuss words appear often. There is a scene of an alcohol drinking game. Sutton and friends are known for their "Lying Game"...a game where they pull over the top (sometimes dangerous) practical jokes on one another. The author does add a note in the back of the book encouraging readers not to be stupid and act out the pranks from the game.
  • (4/5)
    Tossed from foster home to foster home, Emma has always longed for that normal family and is utterly in shock when she discovered that she has a long lost sister. The only problem is that this twin sister has been murdered and Emma finds herself thrown into the middle of the charmed life she has always dreamt of. Underneath the perfect family, close circle of girlfriends, and doting boyfriend, Emma finds a sinister secret - someone knows that her sister has been murdered and that very person is now watching over her every move. To solve the mystery of her sister's death, Emma must question everything about her newly acquired life and the truth of it all may hit closer to home that she could have ever imagined. The Lying Game is a perfect summer read. A quick and suspenseful story, filled with a who dunnit mystery that keeps you wanting to find out what happened. There are a lot of unanswered questions and plenty of areas that could be explained in more depth, but I figure that is why it was not written as a stand alone novel. Not your typical boy meets girl YA fare, but that is what makes it intriguing and worth reading.
  • (5/5)
    A mysterious book on finding your twin sister and relizing she is dead, then being threatened by the person who killed her. How would you do if you had to life your sister you have never met before's life.
  • (4/5)
    I picked up The Lying Game because I had thoroughly enjoyed Sara Shepard's other series Pretty Little Liars. I was a bit apprehensive thinking it might be exactly like that series in plot-line and form. However, I tried to go into this book with an open mind and not expect anything too standard from Shepard's previous writing. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.Emma is a foster child abandoned by her mother at a young age. She's been shuffled around from family to family, never really feeling comfortable in any set place. She has always hoped that one day there would be something more in her life, that maybe her mother might show back up and she could have the family she so desperately longed for. But Emma is in for a rude awakening. One day she is shown a video of a girl who looks exactly like herself online, right down to the very last detail of her appearance. What's even more disturbing that the girl's exact resemblance to herself, is the matter in which the video takes place. Emma watches helplessly while the girl on the video is strangled with her own locket necklace. Did Emma just witness a murder? She can't believe her eyes so she sets out on a journey to find this other girl. When she finds her on facebook and sends her a message, she immediately receives one in response from the supposed twin girl with a plan to meet up. However Emma is unaware that the entire time she is looking for her, the girl in question is with her already. Because the other girl, her long-lost twin sister Sutton IS dead...and she's a ghost. As Emma uncovers the truth that Sutton is no longer alive, she is thrown into a viscous game of cat-and-mouse where nobody is who they seem and everybody has a secret. But how far are any of them willing to go to keep their secrets and at then end of the day who is Sutton's killer? How far will they go to ensure that Emma doesn't uncover the truth about what really happened to her twin sister? Let the Lying Games begin!When I first started this book, I still wasn't sure whether I was going to honestly like this story as much as I did Pretty Little Liars. The beginning was a bit iffy for me. The plot-line didn't really take hold until a couple chapters into the book and the characters were a little flat at the beginning. I didn't really like how Sutton was the main narrator at the beginning of the book but after a while I got used to it and wasn't so bothered that she was narrating while the story revolved around Emma's actions. The characters started to develop more toward the middle of the story and after the halfway point I didn't want to put the book down. The suspense and intrigue of the story started to accelerate at that point and drew me in to the point where I was completely engrossed in the story and scrambling to try and predict what was going to happen next. The key word right there was "try" because as much as I did attempt to figure out the future prospective happenings in the novel, I couldn't because it was unpredictable which kept me hanging on the edge of my seat guessing what would occur next. I loved the cliffhanger ending and can hardly wait until the next book comes out in August. I have my ideas about who the killer is but with new findings coming to light in every subsequent chapter until the end, I was hesitant to commit one person to that position. I think Shepard is a superb writer and really knows how to weave the perfect story about mystery.
  • (3/5)
    One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to "modern" teenage books is the sheer plethora of names. Every main character, it seems, has to have at least three other friends and numerous acquaintances, siblings, boyfriends/ex-boyfriends etc. Then, the first book of any series spends all this time setting up friendships, enemies and it's overwhelming and utterly exhausting to read.Unfortunately that's how I felt with The Lying Game. Now, I wouldn't say that this was a bad book, it was written in an easy to read, good-by-today's-standard, guilty pleasure way. It was full of drama, 90210ish-type stuff that I would have simply gushed over in high school. But, I think maybe my memory is going a little bit because I just found all the names hard to keep straight. So this is ultimately a story about twins, separated at birth, one dead, one alive. Think.. The Prince and The Pauper but with a bit of a twist (as in, eliminate the Pauper position). There's also lots of name dropping (items, modern technology) which make the story feel a little more real then it's very improbable set-up would normally do. However, another thing got to me...If you are wanting a read with a good resolution, I highly recommend you steer clear, however, no matter how interesting the premise may be, until the next few books in the series are out. However, if you don't mind cliffhangers and are interested in reading for readings sake, then I'm sure this is a book that will interest you.I'm fairly middle of the road on this. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but not so interesting I couldn't put it down (and actually had an easy time setting it aside to go do things like..math).
  • (5/5)
    After reading this book I am utterly ashamed to say I never read the Pretty Little Liars series. The Lying Game was so wonderfully written that I can't believe Pretty Little Liars never came up on my radar (though I do watch the series is that makes my ignorance any less disgraceful). The realistic characters only make the suspense and mystery even more unbearable . Each laugh, fall of the face, and slight hesitation is described so well that vivid mental images of each character come to mind. Whether it’s of Emma, the foster child who’s been thrown into a world of money, secrets and lies; or Laurel, Sutton’s sister who may know more than what she’s giving off; or even Ethan, the outcast boy who’s no doubt been victim of the Lying Game’s pranks more than once. That’s not even mentioning Charlotte and Madeline, the only two possibly guiltier than Sutton herself. Sara Shepard creates a world so intense and imaginable it will have to second guessing everyone you know.Going from the comfort, however dysfunctional, life of living with her mother to foster family after foster family gives Emma Paxton more skills than she would have thought - ordinary skills that prove very valuable to her. When an Internet video is discovered by Emma’s conniving foster-brother, more than a few questions come to mind. For instance, who is that girl being choked to death, and why does she look exactly like Emma? Doing a little Internet sleuthing herself, Emma’s “revelation” changes more than she could have ever imagined. Emma has a long-lost twin sister, Sutton, and she wants to meet up. There’s only one problem, and the witty narrator, Sutton, will be the first to tell you, the invite did not come from her… Sutton is dead.Torn away from home, just a few months away from the freedom of her eighteenth birthday, innocent Emma is dragged into a life far from her own. Impersonating a privileged girl, wealthy and popular, doesn’t seem like a bad place to be at. However, the situation is dramatically changed when there are secrets, murder and betrayal involved. The new question becomes, can Emma survive the Lying Game? Or will she have the same fate as Sutton, dead without a trace?I would recommend this novel five times over. I would say anyone thirteen and up who likes suspenseful, dramatic fiction would love The Lying Game. It could fall under a few different words; amazing, astonishing, remarkable, wonderful, incredible, mind-boggling and surprising. Not predictable at all, you will be consumed by the pages and guessing till the very last word. By the end there is only one thing you will know for sure; the sequel couldn’t seem further away.
  • (5/5)
    Book review by Ashley L., posted by CA Library:"The Lying Game by Sara Shepard is told in an interesting way. The narrator is Sutton Mercer and also her point of view and her past memories. The book is fiction, but told like it were nonfiction.Spoiler Alert: The story starts with Sutton waking up in a bathroom. Emma Paxton walks in, and Sutton tries to reach out to her. Sutton is completely ignored. She starts to realize that she died and is now a ghost. She now follows around Emma in hope of finding out how she died and why she is still here.Emma is shown a video with Sutton in it, and notices that they look exactly alike. She goes onto Facebook and messages Sutton that they should meet. Sutton replies that they should and gives Emma her address. But Sutton knows she didn’t send the message. On her way to meet Sutton, she is kidnapped by Sutton’s friends and taken to a party. Emma doesn’t stay at the party too long, before she is taken by to Sutton’s house. The next morning she finds a note telling her that Sutton is dead, and she has to continue pretending to be Sutton or else.I loved this book and am excited to read the rest of the series. There is a cliff hanger at the end that will make the reader want to read more of the series. Overall, I give this 5 out of 5 stars."
  • (5/5)
    Sara Shepard shows once again that she is capable of producing an astounding plot line in The Lying Game, making fans of her previous series Pretty Little Liars proud. Readers follow foster child Emma as she goes on a journey to meet her long-lost twin sister Sutton. After seeing a startling video of her twin online, Emma sends her a message and soon gets a response inviting her to come to Arizona. Once there, Emma is thrust into a confusing and complex web of deceit and lies when Sutton never shows up. Emma discovers that Sutton has been murdered and is herself being threatened by the killer that she must stay and pretend to be her sister, or risk a similar fate. As the story develops Emma begins to believe that Sutton’s murderer may be right beside her, one of Sutton’s closest friends or even her sister. She believes the key to figuring everything out is to learn what exactly the girls’ Lying Game is all about, trying to keep herself alive long enough to find the answers.Shepard’s language is perfect for the story, very trendy and relatable to her teen audience, with a good deal of pop culture references thrown in. While some characters in the story seem a bit unnecessary and distracting, Shepard’s ability to compose such a complex plot with that much ease and grace is a testament to her writing abilities. She paints each scene perfectly and emanates the fear and confusion that Emma feels flawlessly, allowing readers to submerge right into the story, anxiously waiting to uncover more clues in this gripping mystery.Paige
  • (5/5)
    The perfect combination of suspense and humor. I loved the twin-switch, murder mystery element to this plotline. Surpasses Pretty Little Liars by far!
  • (4/5)
    Wow. Not totally sure what to make of this book. I definitely cannot give it my "average" marker of three stars. It's either above average or below average... not sure which. I can see why this is popular, but can't decide if I like it or not. Bizarre for certain. Narrated by the dead twin who doesn't know herself who her killer is. Not original... Lovely Bones did something similar... For certain it leaves you wanting more. Whether you love it or you hate it, you want to know the truth behind all the lies. For this reason, I'm almost tempted (but still undecided) to read the sequel.The themes in this book are common to so many popular teen books--catty, fighting best friends. Girl who is thrust into the limelight as the "it" girl... But it's definitely original, as well.
  • (3/5)
    Pro: Heathers/Jawbreaker for the preppy set.
    Con: YA that's very heavy on the Y

    Pro: Starts with a murder
    Con: Narrator is the dead girl which leads to some jarring 1st/3rd switches.

    Pro: Light, easy reading
    Con: Heavy focus on brand names rather than descriptions -- especially early on.

    I don't sleep very well, which leads to a lot of late night Netflix watching. Recently, I burned through the first season of "The Lying Game." I was surprised at how different the mystery was from the TV show, but it's nice to read a different story.

    This book really reminds me of the Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, and Lois Duncan novels of my youth.
  • (3/5)
    Odd as this sounds, I heard about The Lying Game before I heard about Pretty Little Liars. I was impatient to read this book, but when I couldn't find it, I picked up the first PLL novel, and watched the TV show.Shepard does some really interesting twists with POV. Emma, the living sister, is told in third person, while her sister Sutton, chimes in from a first person perspective, occasionally shouting unheard at Emma.The mystery was very similar to the PLL series, except Emma feels she's all alone, trying to figure out who her enemy or enemies are. Sutton remains on Earth to settle her unfinished business: find her murderer. Through her, we see flashbacks explaining some of the reasons people are hostile towards her. Emma sees enemies everywhere, because even Sutton's friends were the butt of Sutton's pranks. Everyone's a potential killer, and there's several motives for everyone Emma is suspicious of, even those she chooses to trust. I would recommend The Lying Game to anyone who enjoyed Pretty Little Liars or enjoys a mystery series.
  • (4/5)
    Emma has just discovered she has a long-lost twin sister. An Identical twin sister. An Identical twin sister, Sutton, who appears to have disappeared – or been killed. Now Emma is trapped playing Sutton to solve the mystery of her sister’s disappearance. But when your sister was the head of The Lying Game, truth and fiction blur, leaving Emma with no idea who to trust.

    The Lying Game sets us up for a new series from Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars series), one that is bound to give twists, thrills and chills if the first book is any indication. While I had a few problems with the set-up of the story, The Lying Game was intriguing and left me with so many questions – which is always good with the first book in a mystery series.
  • (5/5)
    I am a fan of the Pretty Little Liars series on TV and didn't want to start that series because I didn't want it to ruin the suspense of watching the show but when I saw Sara Shepard was starting a new series I jumped into it right after it was published. I am a huge fan of PLL but I find this plot much more intriguing. The idea of having a twin you don't know about until your late teenage years and innocently trying to meet her for the first time and being swept up into a mystery surrounding your twins death is an interesting idea. Shepard does an excellent job of making Emma and Sutton relatable to. You may not be able to relate personally to Sutton's cruelness and Queen of the school personality but you can relate to knowing someone like that in your own school and even if you can't personally relate to being in Emma's exact position, jumping from foster home to foster home, you can probably relate to her feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem. The rest of the characters can be a bit confusing at times, Shepard often refers to twins Gabriella and Liliana as the twitter twins and uses the names interchangeably which along with twins Emma and Sutton can get a little bit confusing to keep the whole group of friends straight from one another. It was dissapointing that there were no major plot twists but the cliff hanger ending has kept me on the edge of my seat and I can't wait for the next book in the series to be published!
  • (3/5)
    I don't normally read these types of books, so the fact that I didn't like it much doesn't mean that others won't either. Emma lives in foster homes, but learns that she has a long-lost twin sister who she tries to meet. However, it turns out that her sister, Sutton, has disappeared but no one knows it. Everyone thinks Emma actually is Sutton. Things get really strange from there. Sutton appears to be dead (and her ghost follows Emma around but only the reader is aware of her and she has very little information to add) and Emma is trapped, not knowing who killed her sister. The ending leaves things completely up in the air.