Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1695
Gripping mystery
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Nico Morris thought her sister, Sarah, was gone for good. Years passed since her disappearance, and all the leads have run cold. While Nico’s parents struggle, she can’t help being a little relived to be free of her sister’s torments. Suddenly, after four years, Sarah is miraculously found. Almost as shocking, she’s no longer cruel…or competitive, or brash, or anything she used to be. Amnesia has created vast holes in her memory, but Nico and her family know someone out there must know what happened…and they’re planning to find out the truth.

Cylin Busby’s THE STRANGER GAME is an exciting mystery, perfect for readers who love a good unreliable narrator, especially in the style of Amanda Pantich. The novel focuses around the relationship between Nico and Sarah, both past and present versions. Readers will see a stark contrast between the effects of abuse and the shaky hope of kindness as the sisters’ relationship changes. While Nico gets the bulk of the narrative, Sarah does get several chapters of her own, recounting some of her time while she was missing. The secondary characters are fairly flat, but given the focus on the sisters, that isn’t unexpected.

The mystery keeps readers on their toes and is full of twists. Around halfway, I thought I had the story figured out, but Busby uses red herrings well, and the ending is full of surprises.

Those who prefer not to give the main character their full trust should be on the lookout for Cylin Busby’s latest, THE STRANGER GAME. The gripping mystery and complex sibling relationship make this a quick, engaging read.
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