Review Detail

3.3 1
Young Adult Fiction 1367
Interesting, but weird.
Overall rating
Writing Style
The Believing Game is another book that I went into with no expectations at all. I just happened to have a copy, so I read it without knowing much about it or reading any reviews. I know I’ve said thrillers and suspense aren’t really by thing, but I did like this one. Greer is sent away to a boarding school (of course!) for troubled teens. She’s a bit of a klepto with an eating disorder, with promiscuity on top. Then she meets Addison and starts making changes for the better, until his sponsor, Joshua, gets in the way.

My immediate impression of Joshua was that this man is freaking cuckoo bananas! He doesn’t do anything particularly strange at first. In fact, he presents himself as a very nice man, but some of the things he says are unsettling. It’s clear from the very beginning that something is not quite right about Joshua, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. It’s actually scary how he has the ability to twist what people are saying, but in a way that still makes perfect sense and makes them question themselves. It’s easy to see how he’s able to draw people to him. I also feel like this is how cults get started.

This is by no means an action packed book. I’d classify The Believing Game as a subtle psychological thriller, and I think it would probably make a good movie. Joshua is extremely charismatic, and is able to get his way in every situation. There’s this uneasy feeling in the background from the moment we meet him, but there are absolutely no clues as to what he’s up to. I think this makes the story even creepier (not in a monster with a chain saw jumping out from behind a bush scary way).

About halfway through, The Believing Game started to feel like The Waiting Game. I was waiting for Greer to start finding out the truth about Joshua. It comes little by little, and a bit too slowly for my liking. However, the situation does get really strange really fast, so I kept flipping pages. Dinosaurs, Jesus, and pig blood! Oh my! Yeah, it’s weird. There’s no big reveal, and the dramatic ending isn’t very dramatic. I wanted to know why Joshua ended up doing what he did, and more of the effect it had on the teens. The ending was a little unsatisfying, and that epilogue was really unnecessary. Overall, it was an interesting read though.
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