Rating: 3 stars

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does–an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me–to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

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

Let the lying game begin.

This book is an interesting read, good at keeping the reader guessing at every turn. However, I sometimes found the storyline to be completely unrealistic and silly due to the nature of these characters and their lives. 

The main storyline of this book is about a girl named Emma, whose twin sister Sutton is dead. Emma knows completely nothing about her and doesn’t even know she has a twin until one day she sees a video of a girl being choked on the internet. She then searches for her sister, hoping to meet with her and maybe become a family. Instead, she finds herself having to take her sister’s place if she wants to live, quickly realizing there’s more to her twin than she realizes. Meanwhile, Sutton is watching all of this unfold and there’s nothing she can do to interfere. Her memories of her family and friends are completely blank and there’s nothing she can do to fill in the pieces and help Emma find her killer. 

What I enjoyed about this story was the dynamic between the sisters. Emma grew up in a completely different environment than Sutton, yet seems to be the one who truly has her head on her shoulders. Yet, Sutton is the one who had a much better life, but from what the reader learns of her character she isn’t really that great of a person. But you sympathize with her anyway because she’s dead and doesn’t remember what she was like when she was alive. I find it interesting that they have these two different dynamics because the reader is given the chance to see a different side of Sutton’s character. I also found myself emphasizing with Emma too because she’s put in a difficult predicament. She’s always wanted a family, yet the one time she’s given that opportunity is snatched away from her with the discovery that her twin sister is dead. Instead of spending time with her twin getting to know her better, she’s busy trying to find her killer. You sympathize with her because you want things in her life to go right for once. 

I also enjoyed this read because of Sutton’s perspective. She’s dead, yet she’s with Emma the whole time, trying to help find her killer. She can’t talk to Emma or communicate with her in any way, but is able to follow her around and see everything she does. I found it interesting that they had her character like this because they made her different than when she was alive. I also feel like it adds more to the story, because it feels like there’s something she’s not telling you. At the same time, I find it too convenient that she doesn’t remember anything. I know she’s dead and that probably has her memory wiped clean. But I feel like she has so many secrets already that I wouldn’t be too surprised about her lying either. 

However, while the mystery surrounding Sutton’s death makes for an interesting read, there are some things with The Lying Game I just don’t like. For one, I feel like Sutton’s character is a cliché. The popular girl dying just seems like something that happens in a lot of novels. Especially when it’s a popular girl who acts like a complete bitch, both towards her friends and those she’s not close with. I know it’s done with the purpose of making it that much harder to find her killer, since even her own friends could’ve done it, but to me it’s a really silly way to go about this story. It makes it harder for the reader to sympathize with her death and enjoy the story because even her friends become a cliché too. 

And I think they are because I’m surprised they haven’t figured out Emma yet. I think that’s one of the things I find unrealistic about this story, because Sutton is their friend. So they should be able to tell Emma doesn’t act like her even though they’re twins. Then again, if they’re responsible for her death, they wouldn’t act any differently. But I still find it hard that if they aren’t involved they don’t notice her acting differently than usual. Especially with the amount of time they’ve been friends with each other. 

Either way, The Lying Game is an interesting read. While I don’t know if I’ll stick with the series completely, I want to try and give it a chance by reading the second book and see.