Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings


the lying game

Book Review: Never Have I Ever (The Lying Game #2)

Rating: 4 stars

My perfect life was a lie.

Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.

Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone–that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.

And my killer is watching her every move.

I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games–games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . .. anyone could want me–and now Emma–dead.

When I finished reading The Lying Game, I initially wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue reading this series or not. But after reading Never Have I Ever, I realized this is a story I want to continue. 
This book is so much better than its predecessor for a number of reasons. For one, the story telling has drastically improved, almost as if Sara Shepard already had a plan in motion of what she wanted her characters to do next. I found myself following Emma and Sutton along on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. 

The characters are another reason I want to continue reading this series. In The Lying Game, Shepard did a horrible job at developing them in a way that made me want to learn more about them. However, in Never Have I Ever, she truly brings the characters to life via Emma’s dialogue with Sutton’s friends. In this book, I felt like Shepard did a really good job of making these characters more relatable to where I understood their problems and wished I could comfort them. She made me feel really sympathetic to them, which made me want to continue reading. 

The mystery surrounding Sutton’s death also drew me further into the story. I felt like the flashbacks Sutton experienced helped better understand her character while also helping eliminate potential suspects to her murder. So far, every person Emma suspects killed her twin has been proven wrong, making you want to continue reading to find out who her killer could be. 

What also makes me interested in wanting to continue reading this series is the amazing progress Shepard has made in moving the plot of the story along. A lot happened to Emma in this book than in the first one that added excitement to the story. The amount of conflict that occurs really spices things up, to where you think you have it figured out, but then another suspect is eliminated. This all makes you wonder whose going to appear in this series next, which is both exciting and annoying.

The reason I find this annoying is because there are so many people who could’ve killed Sutton. While I find it nice Emma has been able to eliminate some people as being her sister’s killer, I feel like we still aren’t anywhere close to getting the right suspect. This worries me because I’m concerned that this could drag the series on in a way to where I’m not going to want to read it anymore. I also think that even though she’s been able to eliminate some people, she should still be suspicious of them anyway, because they still have a motive, even if Emma and Sutton don’t see it that way anymore. 

Another thing I don’t like is how this book ended. I hate that she ended this book with a cliff hanger, because now I feel like I need to know what happens next. 

But despite these two things, I really enjoyed reading Never Have I Ever  much better than The Lying Game. I hope the next book in this series is just as good because I can’t wait to read it. 

Book Review: The Lying Game (The Lying Game #1) 

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. 

If We Were Having Coffee: Recovering From the Spring 

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a good day today. I know I haven’t made a coffee post in awhile. I’m sorry about that. I actually got sick so I’ve been doing the best to recover before writing another one of these. I hope all of you are doing well today. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve been quite the busy girl before I’d gotten sick. The weekend before I was sick, I went to a park with one of my friends. It was really nice, a perfect day to be outside and walk around. I think we walked two miles or so while we were there and it was a park we hadn’t gone to together before. It was nice though, one of the national parks in our area. I actually took quite a bit of pictures, some of which I’ll include below. 

In this picture, you can see some of the seating areas, along with the tree’s reflection through the water.

This picture is probably one of my favorites of the little stream we passed as we walked. 

I really like this picture because you can see the sun shining through the trees.

When we were there, I was joking with my friend about trying one of these canoes out. But he told me there was no way he was going to get into one of them.  

While these aren’t necessarily all of the pictures I’d taken while we were there, they are some of my best shots that I really enjoyed taking. This park was just such a beautiful sight to see and I can’t wait to go there again and take some more amazing pictures and walk among all the trees. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that even though I’ve been sick, I’ve still managed to keep myself busy. I’ve mostly been at work, but when I wasn’t working, I was at home, reading or getting back into watching Criminal Minds again. I also had the amazing opportunity to go to Dave & Buster’s for Valentine’s Day, which was quite a lot of fun.

The books I’ve read since I last did one of these posts are Crown of Midnight, the second book in the Throne of Glass series and The Girl On the Train. I just started reading The Lying Game on Friday, which so far is an okay read. I’ll talk more about it on here once I’ve finished reading it completely.

Other than that, I really haven’t been up to too much. Spring is finally upon us, which is probably why I wasn’t feeling quite so well for the past week. Luckily, I’m doing much better now so I can actually get back to doing some more writing in the near future. Also, this upcoming week is Spring Break at my college, which means I don’t have work this upcoming week! So I’m really excited to have a break from there. Trust me, it’s really much needed. 

Speaking of which, before I end this post, I have something exciting to share with you. One of my friends from college, who also has a WordPress blog I follow, has asked me to write a post for her blog. On her blog, she talks about psychology related stuff, with a focus on mental health. So with the post I’m doing for her blog, I decided to focus on my own mental illness journey and how reading has played an important role in it. With this post, I’ll be talking about a lot of personal stuff that I haven’t shared with any of you, but that has had a major impact on my life. It’s stuff I usually have a hard time talking about, but I’ve lately found myself more open to talk about lately. Anyway, she’s going to be posting it on her blog Tuesday, which when she does I’ll write my own post here about it. But if your curious and want to check out her blog, here is the link to it. She has a lot of good information regarding mental health so I highly recommend checking her out whenever you get the chance. 

Other than that, there really isn’t too much more left for me to say. I just returned home from a baby shower a couple minutes ago. One of my Mom’s friends adopted a baby completely out of the blue so we wanted to be at the shower to congratulate her and wish her well. But that’s petty much it for me. I hope you all are doing well today and having a fabulous weekend so far. I know I’m definitely looking forward to this time off. 

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