The Julian Game

The Julian Game

2.7 18
by Adele Griffin
     
 

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Never part of the in crowd, Raye is thrilled when popular girl Ella Parker starts to show interest in her. So when Ella proposes an online prank on her ex, Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than happy to play along. Together they develop an online persona and use it to "friend" him. But then things go a bit too far. And when Ella learns that Raye has been flirting with… See more details below

Overview

Never part of the in crowd, Raye is thrilled when popular girl Ella Parker starts to show interest in her. So when Ella proposes an online prank on her ex, Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than happy to play along. Together they develop an online persona and use it to "friend" him. But then things go a bit too far. And when Ella learns that Raye has been flirting with Julian face-to-face, things really escalate. Soon, what Raye thought was just some innocent online fun turns into a vicious smear campaign - against Raye herself!

"Griffin elevates the mean girl plot with spot-on insights into teen social politics and quirky, multidimensional characters." - Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
National Book Award-finalist (Where I Want To Be) Griffin starts her perceptive novel when Raye and her best friend, Natalya, two "pretty much invisible" sophomores at their elite all-girls school, create a fictional Facebook persona, Elizabeth, who is sexy, bold, and quickly popular online with the boys coveted by the Group, the popular girls at school. When Raye tries to ingratiate herself with Ella, a member of the Group, she gets enlisted in a revenge plot against Ella's ex, Julian. By acting as Elizabeth, Raye gets close to Julian and ends up confessing that Elizabeth is an invention, which brings them closer but turns Raye into Ella's enemy. Ella's revenge is fierce, and when Julian refuses to stand by her, Raye is left to see who her true friends are and what she is made of. Canny use of details makes Griffin's characters fully realized and believable; Ella, for instance, pairs a stereotypical mean girl personality with obsessive-compulsive quirks, an uneasy combination that underscores her unpredictability. There are darker, more powerful stories of cyber-bullying out there, but strong pacing and a sympathetic protagonist ought to keep readers hooked. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Sherry Rampey
It all started as a harmless prank. Raye and her best friend, Natalya, create a fabulous, albeit fake, personality, whom they call Elizabeth. Elizabeth is fun, sexy, and mysterious. She is "friended" as soon as her profile hits Facebook. When Raye is befriended by the most popular girl at school, Ella Parker, she is beyond ecstatic—Raye finally gets to be a part of the "it" crowd. Raye divulges the secret truth about Elizabeth to Ella, and that is when Ella starts to use the online fake identity to destroy her ex-boyfriend's reputation and get Raye into some serious trouble. Griffin creates a fast-paced read that will likely entice the young adult who wants a quick read. Although the characters are not quite as tortuous as those in Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010), Griffin does alert the young adult reader to the reality and consequences of creating and using something that is fake. The plot is fairly straightforward, but Griffin could have expanded more on the issue of cyberbullying. It also would have been nice to see more character development, especially among the secondary characters, who were merely shadows. While this was a good read, and recommended for general purpose selection, there are other titles that go into more depth on the issue of cyberbullies. Reviewer: Sherry Rampey
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
"Ripped from the headlines" might be an apt way to describe this book. While the media hasn't reported a story quite like main character Raye's—yet—it seems there is a new report about the cruelty of bullying, the popularity of social networking, and the merging of the two. When Raye wins a scholarship to the prestigious, all-girl Fulton, she is eager to fit in. That's not as easy as she had hoped; sure, she has Natalya, a brainy and geeky but devoted friend. However, the popular Group scorns outsiders, and Raye doesn't have an "in." Until, that is, she creates Elizabeth. Sure, Elizabeth isn't real—she's just Raye's exotic and fictitious Facebook persona—but through her, Raye can communicate with her peers free from her "scholarship kid" reputation. Even the students at all-boy McArthur are receptive to Elizabeth, including hunky and aloof Julian Kilgarry. Then Elizabeth seems to be the key of entry to the group; Raye shares her secret with popular, powerful Ella. As could be expected, the situation is soon out of control. By the book's end, Raye's learned some important lessons about friendship, popularity, viral media, bullying, and strength. Will readers learn the same messages? Or will they create "Elizabeths" of their own? With its easy, feel-good resolution, this book provides more a voyeuristic look at teen networking than a cautionary tale about bullying. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Raye Archer, a scholarship student at the prestigious Fulton School, can't say no when popular girl Ella Parker approaches her for help with Mandarin. But what starts as peer tutoring turns into quasi-friendship when Raye offers Ella access to her secret weapon: a Facebook profile for gorgeous but imaginary Elizabeth Lavenzck, connected to the hot guys at MacArthur school, created with the help of her friend Natalya. When Ella wields Elizabeth for revenge on MacArthur heartthrob Julian, using Raye to pose for revealing candid shots of Elizabeth, she doesn't anticipate that Julian might just fall for Raye. Griffin mines familiar territory—cyberbullying and mean girls—in a novel brimming with deception and manipulation. Readers will relate to Raye's outsider status and sympathize with her as she becomes the new target for Ella's revenge. While Raye's friendship with Natalya at times seems underdeveloped and convenient, the book is tightly written and plotted, and its clever cover will help sell it to readers. While the mean girl behavior doesn't approach that in Courtney Summers's Some Girls Are (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010), Griffin's novel has much to offer readers looking for a twist on the typical prep school coming-of-age story.—Jennifer Barnes, formerly at Homewood Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Out of boredom, Raye and her best friend Natalya create a phony Facebook profile for a college freshman named Elizabeth Lavenzck. Elizabeth becomes Raye's way into the in-crowd when Raye is recruited to tutor the popular, beautiful Ella Parker in Mandarin. Ella plans to use Elizabeth's profile to trap and humiliate hottie Julian Kilgarry, who two-timed her at a party. Raye is thrilled to be a part of Ella's queen-bee group, but she's faced with making a decision between Julian and her social standing when she falls for him, especially since Julian seems to reciprocate her feelings. After Ella makes Raye's life hell, Natalya gives Raye the key to bringing Ella down, a key Raye isn't sure she wants to use. Themes of cyberbullying and social manipulation are made all the more sinister. Ella's complete lack of conscience combines with her beauty and charisma to make it easy for readers to understand how she came to be feared as well as popular. Griffin portrays Raye's soul-searching convincingly; readers will identify with her acute consciousness of her outsider status, which makes her inner struggle both compelling and sympathetic. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142419731
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/15/2011
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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