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The Lying Game
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is the first book in a series written by the same author who penned Pretty Little Liars. Like that series, this one features a group of rich, popular, label-loving Mean Girls who backstab each other and pull pranks. At the heart of this book is the murder of a teen girl -- and her twin is in constant danger as she tries to solve the crime, suspecting Sutton's sister, friends, and more. Emma is a bit of an outsider, and is shocked by the girl's behavior, providing readers with a more relatable narrator than many of these kinds of books -- but the pranks are intense enough that the author includes a plea to her readers to "please don't try any of these Lying Game pranks at home."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A mistreated foster girl learns that she has an identical twin living a privileged, popular girl's life not far away -- then discovers Sutton's been secretly murdered. Assuming her identity, Emma is soon living a life of luxury, but is being threatened by her twin's killer. Soon, she starts suspecting everyone in her twin's prank-playing clique, including Sutton's own younger sister. The book is narrated by the dead Sutton, who admits she is the \"trickiest member of The Lying Game by far.\"
Is it any good?
The suspense here is really pretty good; readers will suspect everyone that Emma does as she goes from one precarious situation to another. Not much new ground is covered here -- and nothing is tied up at the end -- but readers who like these kinds of books will find this to be fluffy fun.
Readers familiar with the genre should know what to expect: The girls in Sutton's clique shop, throw elaborate parties, steal boyfriends, and plan mean pranks. Emma is an outsider -- she shops at second-hand stores! -- and is shocked by the girls' pranks, calling the clique's Lying Game "scary and intense and way too dangerous." This makes her a bit more relatable narrator than many of these kinds of books.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of the clique lit series. Why do you think books like the Gossip Girl books and The Clique series are so popular with readers? Are these just guilty pleasures -- or do readers learn something from these books?
Emma learns about her long-lost twin after seeing a video of her posted on YouTube. Parents may want to check out Common Sense Media's YouTube advice for parents, and take this opportunity to discuss their own house rules with kids.
For kids who love mystery and suspense
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.