I picked up The Lying Game from the store, not really expecting much. I wanted to choose a second book to read and the store was about to close, so I just grabbed it and checked out. I'm glad I did.
The Lying Game is about two long lost twins. Before you wrinkle your nose, thinking it's a huge cliche, you know you're in for a new twist on the cliche when Sara Shepard makes fun of it through the characters. I found this a nice little detail in an already great story.
The Lying Game follows the story of Emma and Sutton, as they try to piece together what happened before Sutton was killed and whodunnit. Only Emma can't hear or see Sutton, which I found actually kind of relieving. That would have been a whole other cliche. Instead, you feel Sutton's desperation as she realizes no one can see or hear her. This plays out rather badly as Sutton can only watch Emma, following her like a lost puppy wherever she goes, seeing only when Emma can see. I felt anxious for Sutton and Emma because at first, Emma doesn't know Sutton is dead. Emma thinks her twin is inviting her out to Arizona to reunite.
Emma then gets trapped in pretending to be Sutton, threatened by an unknown enemy that if she doesn't, there'll be severe consequences. The rest of the story slowly unfolds new memories for an amnesiac Sutton and new revelations for a terrified Emma. Emma finds out her twin wasn't what she hoped she'd be. She was actually kind of a witch.
Sutton was part of The Lying Game, a clique of four girls that got giggles from pranking people. Only they weren't your harmless jump-out-from-behind-something-and-go-boo! kind. They were far more harmful than that. But of course they had the code phrase 'Cross my heart, hope to die,' meant to be said if someone ever took the joke too far. So no one would ever take the joke too far.. right?
Overall, I found most of the characters felt quite real most of the time. Of course some parts of the book felt like filler, but I have yet to come across a book that doesn't have one single filler moment. The only characters that could have had a little more depth were the Twitter Twins and Garrett, although Garrett did grow a little throughout the story. There were also times that I wanted to reach in the book and smack Emma for not doing something I would have done. There were also some parts that didn't feel like they would play out quite like Sara Shepard wrote them.
All in all, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment of what seems like a great book series. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Never Have I Ever and will definitely buy it when it comes out. If you enjoyed Pretty Little Liars or like books with catty girls, secrets, and lies, then I'd highly recommend this book as an addition to your collection.