The Lying Game (Lying Game Series #1)

The Lying Game (Lying Game Series #1)

4.5 1381
by Sara Shepard

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I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.

I may not remember much, but I know I led a charmed life. Even in death I’m getting something no one else does: an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never got to meet. Now, in order to figure out what happened to me, Emma needs to become me. But can she laugh at inside

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I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.

I may not remember much, but I know I led a charmed life. Even in death I’m getting something no one else does: an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never got to meet. Now, in order to figure out what happened to me, Emma needs to become me. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Hug my parents good night like she’s their daughter? And can she keep up the charade even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

Let the lying game begin.

Editorial Reviews

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)
“The Lying Game is a stay–up–past–your–bedtime type of thriller…full of amazingly believable plot twists and turns.”
VOYA - C. Clark
Abandoned by her mother and raised in foster homes, Emma has no connection to family until she sees a disturbing Internet video featuring a girl who looks exactly like her. Realizing the girl has to be her twin, Emma travels cross-country to meet her. When she arrives, however, she discovers that her sister, Sutton, is missing, and even more disconcerting, Sutton's friends and family mistake Emma for Sutton. As Emma is thrust into her sister's privileged life, she finds out that Sutton is truly a force to be reckoned with. The queen of mean, Sutton is the leader of a clique of girls notorious for their cruel pranks. What is the truth behind Sutton's disappearance? Is she hiding out, or did someone hate her enough to exact the ultimate revenge? The Lying Game is a stay-up-past-your-bedtime type of thriller. The tension is palatable as Emma investigates her sister's disappearance and realizes that there could be a killer lurking behind any of the faces of Sutton's so-called friends. But the novel's real edginess comes from Emma's discovery of the extent of her sister's callousness. The one oddity is the appearance of Sutton's ghost, which seems more a plot device than an integral part of the story. Luckily, most readers will be too absorbed by the mystery to care, and their only real complaint will be that the killer is not revealed by the last page. Let's hope the sequel is as rewarding as the first. Reviewer: C. Clark
VOYA - Erica Alexander
This book is a very engaging read, full of amazingly believable plot twists and turns. Emma's struggle to find out who killed her sister will keep readers hooked and guessing until the final page. This reviewer recommends this book to anyone who appreciates a refreshingly unique and exceptional teen murder mystery. 4Q, 5P. Reviewer: Erica Alexander, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In foster care for most of her childhood, Emma aches to belong to a family. She gets that chance when her foster brother frames her for theft and discredits her with a disturbing snuff film on the Internet that reveals a potential sibling. As a result, she is forced to leave her foster home. Emma immediately sets out to meet the mysterious star of the film only to be plunged into assuming the role of her popular and privileged dead twin sister, Sutton Mercer. Readers might initially balk at the easy acceptance of Emma playing the role of her twin. However, Sutton's friends are just shallow enough to barely notice the difference between mean-girl Sutton and introspective Emma. In fact, Sutton's friends appear to be her enemies as Emma works to uncover the truth about the girl's death. As she searches for answers, she learns about the Lying Game, a group of teens, including Sutton and her friends, whose object is to humiliate and frighten the students and parents in their community. The suspense reaches a dangerous frenzy as Emma gets closer to finding the identity of her sister's killer. The first in a projected series, this is a thrilling mystery with just the right doses of romance and danger. Readers will race to the end, hoping to reveal the truth behind the incidents surrounding Sutton's death, only to find themselves simultaneously frustrated by the lack of closure and eager for the sequel.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
Kirkus Reviews

This first in an intriguing new series reunites long-lost twins, but only after one has been murdered. Emma, the living sister, has been raised in foster care and learns of her wealthy twin just as Emma's kicked out of her last home. Sutton realizes she's dead, but she can't remember much of her life. She attaches her ghostly self, undetected, to Emma and reads Emma's thoughts, giving the novel a compelling first-/third-person point of view. Both twins want to solve the murder, even as Emma almost inadvertently takes Sutton's place at her home, where no one knows she's dead. However, a good twin/bad twin scenario emerges, as Emma learns that Sutton and her friends enjoy playing cruel pranks. But could one of Sutton's friends, or even someone closer, be the murderer? Shepard keeps the action rolling and the clues confusing as she spends this installment uncovering the twins' characters but not solving the murder yet. Naturally, boys and fashion also figure into the story, fleshing out a distinctive scenario that should appeal to many teen girls. (Paranormal chick lit. 14 & up)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Lying Game Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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The Lying Game (Lying Game Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1381 reviews.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
The Lying Game was the first book I read by Sara Shepard. it was excellent and I can only recommend it. It has a story that will keep you entertained for hours.
ReadingAngel002 More than 1 year ago
The Lying Game was a mystery, wrapped in drama, wrapped in a mystery. Every time I would think I had some small piece of it figured out, it would all get twisted around all over again. There was always a new curve-ball being thrown, and a new discovery being unveiled. The whole book is narrated by the ghost of Sutton. Problem is, even ghosty Sutton doesn't remember what happened to her. This really helped to give this book a unique voice that I really enjoyed. Emma's character was great. She grew up in the foster care system, so getting thrown into the life of Sutton, and her seemingly loving family, was a new experience for her, and it was a lot of fun to see how she felt. There were moments that would be a little too unbelievable for me and pull me out of the story for a minute, but it didn't take long to pull me back in. While the whole situation is, of course, really out there, Sara did a good job of making it come to life. There were just small moments that I would scream at the character about how she could have proven who she was, etc. Overall, this was a super quick and fun read. I loved that it kept me guessing from the beginning. Actually, I'm still guessing since this is only the start to the series, and we still haven't discovered what really happened. I've never read Pretty Little Liars, but this book makes me want to go get the first one and see how they compare!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!!!! I could read it over and over again but I want to read the whole series!!! I recommend this book for ages 12 and up. HAPPY READING!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great, spooky, and interesting book. I recomend this book for ages 13 and up. For this book you have to stay on track, in the begining of the book it may have been confusing because sometimes one girl was talking, and sometimes they were talking about the other girl. But you get use to it by the first couple chapters. Since I mentioned chapters, the chapters in this book are not long, but not short, so they are at the most 9 pages at the least 4 pages. Well, to figure out what this spooky story is about, you have to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As soon as Emma heads south to Tucson in search of Sutton, everything begins to goes down hill. Let's start with the obvious and glaring problem: Sutton doesn't show. Emma is kidnapped by Sutton's friends and her belongings are stolen. What does she do? She decides to impersonate her sister at a cool party, meet a hot guy or two, and then for bonus points, break into her sibling's house and pretend she is Sutton there as well. True, she doesn't learn about it her sister's death until the next morning, but the point is: Most of the time, no one in the book, including Emma and Sutton seem to even care that Sutton is dead. When Emma tries to tell the police and her parent's who she is, they all laugh it off and everyone moves on. And suddenly it's a story about a pretty girl, trying to fit in at a new school where everyone thinks she's someone else. The Lying Game is by the author of Pretty Little Liars which is one of the novels that has been packaged by HarperTeen for multiple media distribution. The book reads like a TV show (and the TV show is already in pre-production) and is a very entertaining and fast read. The mystery is intriguing but does not resolve at the end of the book (all of the characters are still suspects) there is a bit of resolution regarding a clue but the reader is still left a bit unsatisfied with the ending. The back cover (of my ARC) presents the novel as part Pretty Little Liars and part Lovely bones and honestly that's giving far more credit than the novel should get. The book is fun and trashy but can't be compared with a novel like The Lovely Bones (although if you can use this to convince your child that she should read The Lovely Bones then go for it). I am sure if your a fan of Pretty Little Liars then you will probably like The Lying Game. I would recommend it to those who like books like this. I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would and can't wait for the next book to come out.    
Luv_My_Nook More than 1 year ago
This was another great book by a fun author! I read it in one evening because I couldn't put it down! There were quite a few editing issues though in the e-book version wherewordsran together likethis. i loved the story and the suspense in this book! Shepherd has done it again! I can't wait to get my hands onthe next book in this great new series!
DebsyN More than 1 year ago
I loved the book and wanted to read after watching the show. Though the show and the book are drastically different, I enjoyed both. My daughter (11) started to read the series too. Great way for her to get into read. The book is an easy read and flows nicely. I couldn't wait to get the second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emma Paxton's life wasn't anywhere near normal. She was a teenage girl with the whole foster stuff piled on her. But when her foster brother finds a video of "Emma" being strangled and choked, she investigates- to find that she has a twin named Sutton Mercer, a spunky girl who is the extreme daredevil in a group game name The Lying Game. Emma goes to Arizona to meet Sutton, but Sutton isn't there. As Emma is threatened to live Suttons life by Sutton's murderer, Emma will find herself in the most important stage of her life: finding out who killed Sutton. This book was the ultimate page-turner for me and had the cliffhangers we all want. It was very fascinating to imagine Emma put into this gradual and hectic journey to find Suttons murderer. By TheBombJD Find Me on Words With Friends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Make a longer sample. That is all i have to say
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read Sara Shepard's other series "Pretty Little Liars" and I could not put the books down because they were just so intersting and then I saw " The Lying Game" and knew it was going to be good and it was great. At the beginning it will start off calm then start to be suspensful/exciting but like any series, the end might have unanwsered questions and that's when you need to get the second book " Never Have I Ever". And the T.V shows for both these series are amazing but if you seen the series and want to read the books, the books are a bit different but you should totally read this book.
bobbbbbbbbbbb More than 1 year ago
The Lying Game This book is a must read! At the end of every chapter it leaves you in suspense. When a girl has a choice of to take over her twins place or die nothing goes good. Especially when her twin's killer is watching every step she makes. You can't skip The Lying Game if you like a lot of suspense, lies, secrets, and all of the things for an awesome book! Also you can watch the show, of the book, and picture those characters in the show in the book as you read. That is what I like about books that have shows, too. You can also compare the book to the show. (I like the book better but the show has only had one season so far.)
EmieLee More than 1 year ago
I literally could not put it down! I bought it yesterday, and I finished it long time aago. I must say, the PLL first book was okay, but this series opener was 10x better! It wont dissappoint and keeps you guessing! I love Ethans character and I can definitely see his and Emma's relationship developing! You develop love/hate relationships for some characters and they are NOT predictable, which I enjoy. This was one of the best books I've read in a long time!
sara runde More than 1 year ago
Okay, so i first started reading this book and after 10 pages i got hooked. I kept telling myself 10 more minutes and the minutes turned into hours and before i knew it i finished the book!! Awesome read, i reccomend this book to anyone.
Mosstralia More than 1 year ago
Sara Shepard does a great job of keeping your attention and the book is very fast paced. It's told in the point of view of the dead sister (Sutton) who's observing everything that the living sister (Emma) is doing; hanging out with Sutton's friends, kissing her boyfriend, fighting with her enemies etc. Emma gets in tricky situations because she's never met Sutton, has no idea what she's like and they have VERY different personalities. The mystery element is wonderful and at some points the book was so intense I was scared to turn the page! There's also a little love story mixed in! (Lets cross our fingers and hope Emma's love interest isn't her sister's killer!) This is the first in a series, so don't expect a finite ending to this book, I thought the ending was sweet and enough was answered/resolved to hold me over till August when book 2 "Never have I ever" comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Lying Game is an amzing story! Emma Paxton is a foster child. She has lived in foster homes since she was five, passed along like an unwanted, overused toy. Her moother had dropped her off at a friend's house and had left a note saying she had gone on a "trip" some trip that was. It hd lasted for thirteen years and counting. Emma is now seventeen and is almost eighteen. Emma lives in Nevada (where I live!). Sutton Mercer is a rich, pretty, popular girl that gets what she wants when she wants it. Over the story, Sutton learns how spoiled she was compared to Emma's screwed up life. Emma Paxton discovers that she has a twin sister-- Sutton Mercer. Meanwhile, Sutton is just realizing that she is dead and has to follow Emma everywhere. Like there's a rope connecting them. Emma's perverted foster brother shows her and her foster mother a video on Youtube. It shows Sutton being strangled. Emma searches her up on Facebook and discovers Sutton Mercer who is almost eighteen like her and has the same chestnut brown hair and cornflower blue eyes. But, she lives in Tuscon, Arizona. Emma messages her telling her about herself and asks her some questions about herself. She tells her that she is a foster child and asks her if she one also. Sutton messages back immediately asking Emma to meet her at Tuscon. There's only one problem-- the person who messaged her isn't Sutton. Emma takes a Grayhound bus there but doesn't find Sutton. Sutton's friends Charlotte Chamberlain, Madeline Vega, and Gabby and Lily Forelli (or something-- I always forget their last names) mistake her for Sutton. Emma is dragged along into Sutton's life and meets her family: Her parents Kristen and Ted Mercer and her younger sister Laurel. Emma recieves a note saying, "Sutton is dead. Play along or you will be too," or something along those lines. Emma meets her boyfriend Garret and struggles to fit into Sutton's "perfect" life. She soon learns the popular girl has a ton of secrets.Emma meets Ethan, a guy who helps her and soon learns Emma's burden of a secret: Sutton is dead. Emma tries escaping back to Las Vegas with Laurel's car but gets caught. She comes back. This story is action packed and you will love it if you like drama, mysterey, adventure, and teenage problems all wrapped into one! Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only got to read the sample but so far it seems so interesting and you just want to keep on reading! Although i have seen the shows and their AWESOME!!! I recomend this book for everyone else to read! I think everyone can really appeal to this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lie lie lie... sounds fun:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was probably my most favorite of the hole series I red every book in the trilogy and I half to say that The Lying Game was my most favorite!!!!!!!!! Just the whole fact that Sutton was strangled to death by her best friends and sister. But then for Emma to come in and take her long lost sisters place without anyone knowing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent gotten a chance to read the books yet but i did watch the TV 'The Lying Game' with my best friend. Its set up a bit differently than the book though it seems. In the show, rich and privilged Sutton discovers her missing poor under privilged twin Emma in foster care in Arizona. Sutton wants to go on a search for their birth mother, so she brings Emma up to replace her as Dutton hoping no one would find out givin they're identical. But Suttons secret boyfriend Ethan knows better, once he kisses Emma he knows its not Sutton. As Ethan and Emma work together to let Emma's true identity remain a secret, they will soon discover that sutton isnt as inosent as she seems behind closed doors, and turn against her. Sutton has sex with another guy while searching for her birth mother and Ethan finds out and ends things between them. Ethan and Emma then fall in love with each other and make their relationship public, which is not OK with Sutton givin it's her life the are exposing this in. Sutton finds out that Emma is begininng to take her role as Sutton too far and Sutton wants her life back. She begins with ethan, she tricks him into having sex with her at his fathers ranch house and when emma finds out she's heartbroken.... If i tell you anymore I will give it all away! Watch the show!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing! It had a very straightforward, action packed plot. Always kept me interested. Can't wait to read the next books in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author of this book did a great job creating mystery and clues througout the book. Seriously... you gotta read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I read the lying game because I had nothing else to read. Then as I was reading it got more and more intesting. Sara made the story feel real. Every time I open the book I get pulled into the story. It feels like i'm next to Sutton. Watching Emma's ever move. This has to be the best book EVER!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!!!!..just wonder why the storyline in the show is so different. Regardless, I'm hooked! Can't wait to start the next one. BTW, Why isnt this book Lend Me capable??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An explosive new series by Sara Shepard, the lying game is fantastic!!