Everyone always jokes about having a long lost twin, but Emma Paxton is about to find out that she really does have one—or at least she did. When Emma discovers a disturbing online video which stars someone who looks exactly like her, but couldn’t possibly be, she realizes that she must have a twin somewhere. She leaves her foster home in search of Sutton Mercer, but instead of finding her sister, she discovers a complicated web of lies and secrets. Sutton seems to be missing, but no one else thinks so—because everyone thinks that Emma is Sutton. At first this isn’t so bad, because Sutton has a charmed life a foster kid like Emma never thought she’d experience, but when it becomes apparent that Sutton is gone for good, Emma realizes that she needs some answers fast. Where is Sutton Mercer? What happened to her? And what does Emma do if the culprits are Sutton’s own friends?
Sara Shepard is probably most known in the young adult world for her prolific and very drawn out Pretty Little Liars series. I was hoping that The Lying Game would distinguish itself from Pretty Little Liars, but this only succeeded halfway, especially because all of these books are essentially a murder mystery with petty vendettas, dangerous secrets, and somewhat misguided investigations. The major differences are in the somewhat more minor details, which include the fact that the mystery in The Lying Game centers on twin sisters while Pretty Little Liars focuses on an elite clique. I was really torn by the fact that Sutton’s killer is not revealed at the end of this novel. On the one hand, I didn’t really expect this to happen, and when I was only halfway into the book, this frustrated me, because I felt that Shepard was planning to drag this story on too long, as she does in the Pretty Little Liars series. However, as the story progressed, I saw real development particularly in Emma’s character and real potential for a fascinating and complex story. The Lying Game is a fast paced guilty pleasure mystery book, and I look forward to the sequel if only to learn more about Sutton’s murder and history.
The Lying Game will be enjoyed by fans of Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series and All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab.
Review copy from NetGalley