Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sisters, Strangulation and Shoes

Summer is here again. Which means I have more time to read and criticize (mostly the latter). I went to one of my favorite websites the other day - www.readanybook.com to take a look at the popular reads section. I like to keep an eye on what the kids are reading nowadays. Unfortunately the list seems to be shorter than it was when I was a kid (and with that, I've become my mother grandmother), but I digress. I selected a novel called The Lying Game. Next to the other novels listed (Man's Search for Meaning, Vampire Academy, and Before I Fall), lying sounded the least dull and whiny and the most likely to have shenanigans ensue. With this flawless reasoning, I dove in.

We are first presented to the heroine, Sutton Mercer, passed out in a bathtub in a frat house. Ahhh a girl after my own heart. I fondly recall the mornings of smeared mascara and missing purses while stumbling to put my pumps back on and muttering about needing better friends. Classic. In the midst of regaining her composure, Sutton is interrupted by another girl stumbling in to the bathroom to rub the shame off herself with lavender lotion. Now this is where the plot gets tricky and a bit less relate able - Sutton can not be seen or heard, and therefore she assumes she must be invisible..wait the girl looks like her...wait her memories are blurry (it's called a hangover sweetheart)...wait she's DEAD! As Ron Burgundy says:

We learn that Sutton has no choice but to follow her twin - Emma - around, and can oversee her life like a creepier, more manicured version of Casper. What we don't learn though, is how Sutton can hear Emma's thoughts. It just sort of happens and the reader must then infer on their own how this worked out (I must admit...I reread the first scene in which this happened 3 times before resigning to the fact that the author wasn't going to tell us the reasoning behind this). Which made me think - can all ghosts hear our thoughts or is it just some twinsy connection? Oh god... has ghost grandma heard my thoughts when I'm watching a Colin Farrell movie? Oh god porn...all the porn.

There is a strong "boy who cried wolf" theme in The Lying Game - except it's more of a "bratty rich bitch who cried LOVE ME". Although she seemingly can't remember, Sutton was clearly the absolute worst when she was alive. Think Regina George, but without the fabulousness.

The words raging bitch come to mind, which is a stark contrast to Emma's genuine and seemingly gentle spirit. She does seem to adapt to Sutton's life and snarky remarks pretty quickly though.

We don't learn why the book is called The Lying Game until the last half of the novel. Kind of annoying. A lot annoying. Just straight up annoying really. But once I learned what the lying game was, I loved it. It's cruel, it's awful, and it's thoroughly entertaining. No spoilers here, but it's every High School girl's combined dream and nightmare (depending on what side you're on). Sutton and her game make Chris Hargensen's antics look like fucking amateur hour.

What gets me, is how simple it could have been for Emma to prove she's not Sutton - DNA test? Anybody? Anyone? No? No? Oh okay. When she's at the police station, clearly Queen S has quite the record and I'm sure has been fingerprinted, so why not ask the cops to spend 2 minutes to fingerprint her to prove she's not the same person? Oh right because of the big mansion and her new daddy's wallet. I'd keep my pie hole shut too. Cha ching!

As far as teen mysteries go, The Lying Game does have me guessing. But be prepared though- not everything gets solved at the end - again, annoying. But still. An easy quick read, and an interesting combination of Mean Girls, and The Lovely Bones. Four bloodied Prada purses out of five.

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