The Lying Game
By Sara Shepard
HarperTeen, 2010. 307 pgs. Young Adult
Emma is a foster care kid about to be kicked out of her foster home when she finds a girl on Facebook who looks just like her. Wondering if she has a long-lost twin, Emma contacts her ad the girls arrange to meet. However, her twin, Sutton, never shows up, and Emma gets sucked into Sutton's life, with everyone thinking she's Sutton. However, Emma realizes that Sutton is actually dead, and someone is using Emma to cover up that very fact. This whole mess is complicated by the fact that Sutton and her friends like to play a game called the Lying Game, where they mastermind horrific pranks, and are adept at lying--and at invoking the wrath of others. Emma tries to figure out what happened to the sister she never met--and to keep herself from being the next victim.
This book is an interesting addition to the teen mystery genre; it's a bit difficult to explain, with all its many plot twists, but it's definitely worth picking up. It's the first book in a series and nothing is resolved, but many readers will be hooked by this one and eagerly await the next. The style can be a little bit confusing, since Sutton, who is indeed dead, is the first-person narrator, but she can only see through Emma, so a lot of the book is told through Emma's point of view, as interpreted by Sutton. However, the plot is enough to drive the book, and Emma is a nice girl that will draw readers in as they hope she can outwit whoever is after her. A little bit of language, but otherwise, a clean read.