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

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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 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

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)
HL700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Adele Griffin’s critically acclaimed novels include The Other Shepards, Amandine and National Book Award Finalist Sons of Liberty. Her numerous awards and accolades include ALA Best Book for Young Adults,ALA Notable, CCBC Choice, IRA-CBC Children's Choice and Bank Street Book of the Year. She lives in New York City.

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The Julian Game 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Jaidis More than 1 year ago
I think it is safe to say that high school is tough and that nobody makes it out unscathed. The same thing goes for The Julian Game by Adele Griffin. We meet Raye who is your stereotypical good girl. She is the recipient of a full scholarship, gets all A’s in her courses, prefers to spend her time studying and tries to remain invisible. But just as we all long to be accepted, so does Raye and she creates a fake profile on Facebook so that she can have some contact with the popular kids even if it just online. Her plan changes when the leader of ‘The Group’, aka…popular mean girls, Ella finds out about the profile and Raye will do anything just to have some sort of friendship with Ella. Raye finds herself going along with Ella’s plan to grab the attention of Julian, a popular boy who broke Ella’s heart, until she realizes that she likes Julian herself. When she comes clean to Julian about the fake profile, he seems interested in her. All in all this was an okay read. Just by reading the blurb I knew that it would be just like watching Mean Girls and I was right. The Julian Game also reminded me of the movie John Tucker Must Die because in my opinion it has the same type of characters and story line as both of those movies combined. I debated giving this book a 2 rating because at times it was a bit unbelievable. Some of the behavior and situations just didn’t seem to flow and wouldn’t be things that normal teenagers would do. Ultimately I decided on a 3 because I do think the message the book is trying to say is good. That it is so easy to hide behind a fake persona online but when it comes down to it, we shouldn’t try being something that we aren’t. Just being ourselves and telling the truth is the best way to go.
bookishgirl735 More than 1 year ago
While the characterization was well done and the plot had potential, the story was underdeveloped and lacked closure. The ending felt as if the author ran out of ideas and decided to just end the story. I kept expecting the story to improve, but it just went down hill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As Adele Griffin put in her book there is a lot of social netwook bullying im glad she pionted this out. Of course the entil plot was sort of falling apart. Dont get me wrong i love the ideas and i loved the book when i was younger it just didnt work out right in my brain this time. C-
dholland08 More than 1 year ago
The Julian Game had the potetial to be good. Adele Griffin is a good author and one I usually like, so I was surprised with how bad this one was. There was a major hole in the plot and I thought that Griffin's attitidue toward cyber-bullying was shockingly cavalier considering what a big issue it is and how it's resulted in suicide recently. The novel began well. Raye, a likable protaganist is the narrator of the story. She is a scholarship student at Fulton Prep, an elite private girls' school. She and her best friend Natalya are low on the social radar and popularity pyramid, but they're happy. Or that's what Raye thought. When Ella, one of the most popular girls at school takes a special interest in her, Raye is thrilled. She jumps at the oppurtunity to hang out with Ella, even though her new friend displays some neurotic quirks and a vicious willingness to cut down anyone in her path. Ella gets Raye to use a fake facebook page with her to lure in Ella's ex Julian and then leave him high and dry. It's all fun and games until Raye finds herself falling hard for Julian online. When she makes a connection with Julian when they finally meet in person, she has to juggle the lies she's told him on facebook and the very scary reality of being the focus of Ella's revenge. Raye utlimately becomes the victim of cyber-bullying. I thought this was a good topic for a young adult book since it's such an important topic for teens today. There have been several cases of cyber-bullying in the news and schools are raising awareness about it. But instead of sending the message that cyber-bullying should be prevented and talked about, Griffin had there be no consequences for it. The antagonists got away scot-free and Raye kept it a secret, not alerting any adults or educators about the situation. When such a prevalent issue as bullying gets shoved aside as something that can be ignored, I think there's a problem. If bullies' behavior isn't addressed it can lead to permanent damage to a person's self esteem, psyche, and mental health. As the media has been frequently reminding us, it can lead to suicide. So why did Adele Griffin not address this issue in a story supposedly about bullying? The story could have taken a second path. There was an oppurtunity when Raye could have dealt with the bullies herself by getting revenge. This would have saved the story, lending it a plot if not the handling the issue in the best way. But Adele Griffin avoided that route too. I can honestly say there was no climax to the novel and no resolution. The Julian Game left me feeling unsettled and disappointed. In the end it left me wondering what the point was. And then I realized: there was no point. I wouldn't recommend this book.
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thebookscoop More than 1 year ago
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I thought Griffin did a fantastic job of sucking me into her world and making me care for her characters, the only drawback was that I didn't end up caring for the main characters but the secondary characters. There were more than a couple of times that I wished Natalya played a bigger role or that Henry would hurry up and make another appearance. It was the secondary characters that pulled me through this book. I ended up liking Rae at the end but it was Natalya and Henry that I LOVED! Would I recommend this book? Yep, I think YA lovers will enjoy it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
New girl, Raye, doesn't know where she fits in at school. She has one friend, Tal. Together one night, they create a fake social networking profile for Elizabeth. Together, they create a girl they both secretly wish they could be. They even friend the popular crowd. While everyone accepted their friend request, the experiment fizzled - until Raye shares their profile with Ella. Everyone wants to be friends with Ella. Sure, she has her quirks, but she also wields power. Soon, the unlikely duo use Elizabeth as a revenge mechanism against a boy who wronged Ella. At first, they just have Elizabeth talk to him. Soon, Raye's become addicted to her chats with Julian. When circumstances spiral out of control, she knows she's in way over her head. Raye has to decide who is more important in her life...Julian or Ella. THE JULIAN GAME presents bullying in the form of a game through social networking sites. With all her quirks, it's hard to believe that Ella is part of the popular crowd. She has a vicious streak in her; thankfully, Raye discovers her mean streak and how to stand on her own two feet. After a slow start, the games start taking over the book, drawing in readers.
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Burg More than 1 year ago
I first need to give it up to the marketing genius' behind this book. The cover was engaging and drew me in right away and when I read the summary write up on the back of the book I was hooked; I just had to read it so I begged to be on this tour. With the actual book itself, I admit that I was just a little disappointed. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting or hoping that it would be. While I still think the premise and overall idea seem quirky and fun, I don't really think the book lived up to all the hype for me. There were some traditional characters in this book that all readers will recognize right off the bat. We've got the popular girls who are catty and mean (yet everyone wants to be them), the super cute high school boy all the girls drool over, gossip about and pine for, the straight A student who wants more of a social life, and we can't forget her one true and loyal friend who is happy with who she is and where she ranks on the social hierarchy. Rae makes the mistake of telling uber-popular Ella about her little scheme on facebook and from there the drama takes off and turns into a wicked tail spin of events. I felt kind of bad for Julian (the object of said scheme) at times and sometimes I thought he was a jerk who deserved what he was getting. But overall I thought the scheme would have been bigger, a little juicier, but it just wasn't in my opinion. I didn't find myself relating to these characters and for that reason maybe I just didn't give the book enough of a chance? I'm unsure why, but this one just wasn't for me.
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
THE JULIAN GAME, by Adele Griffin, takes a harsh and truthful look at the damage that social networking can create in high school. There was a time when bullying occurred only at school, but with technological advances in social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), malicious teens are able to torture with a single photo or video for all to see over and over again. The internet can be a scary place, especially when situations are exploited one-sidedly. What started off as a fake online identity turned into an insane nightmare for Raye Archer. Raye just wanted to be accepted at her new school and when she got the opportunity to scheme with the popular Ella Parker, she jumped at the chance. Each girl had something she needed from the other, and right from the start I knew that this would not end well. I have to say Ella was probably my favorite character besides the obvious heroine, Raye. Her OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) behaviors were unlike anything I have read in fiction. At times I found it amusing that she just "had" to do these things and there was no question about it from any of her peers. Griffin diversified her "mean girl" and I was happy to read that she was not as perfect as she seemed. I enjoy reading flawed characters because it makes them more relatable, more human. That is also the case for Julian. He was definitely flawed but he was honest, and I appreciated that. Raye learned some valuable lessons about friendship and trust. And through broken hearts and humiliation, she gained perspective on life. The ending of the book was not expected for me but I was very pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to read more from Adele Griffin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A decent book