The Lying Game by Sara Shepard | Book Review

(The Lying Game #1)

Published: December 7th 2010


I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does–an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me–to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.

The Lying Game_bookcover
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My Rating: 4 stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre(s): Thriller/Mystery, Romance, Young-adult

Page Count: 307

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 0061869708

This was used for the Popsugar challenge: A book based on or turned into a TV show.

This book was positively addicting! The only thing that prevented me from reading this in one sitting is that I didn’t have enough time. It did give me some PLL vibes at first, but overall it was its own story that I really enjoyed!

Quick Summary

Emma Paxton finds out she has a long-lost twin sister (named Sutton Mercer) and is excited to go meet her. The problem? She can’t meet her. Because Sutton is dead.
Now Emma is stepping into her twin’s life, and it seems no one knows that Emma isn’t really Sutton. Emma has to figure out who killed her twin before it’s too late…


The plot was so addicting. It was the perfect combination of mystery and action with a bit of romance and humour, paired with a storyline about secrets, lies, murder and bitchy best friends. How could I resist? What I loved most about it, obviously, was the suspense and thriller aspect of the whole book. Sara Shepard, like with her Pretty Little Liars series, created an opening for a great mystery, and throughout the book I was constantly holding my breath, flipping the pages rapidly, anticipating whatever will happen next. By the end I was still full of too many questions and too little answers, leaving me wanting more and slightly disappointed, but still excited to read the next book. Every time I though I knew something for sure, there’s another rock on the road and I’m back where I started. Loved the plot!


I really liked the whole twin thing that was going on, although I kind of found it hard to believe at first.  It was quite interesting to see Emma, a ‘good girl’, try to impersonate Sutton, your resident bitchy mean girl (if you pardon the language). I really liked Emma, she didn’t get on my nerves that much, and it was great following her as she tried to solve the mystery. As she did so, I also found out more about Sutton, and although there is a part of me that is shaking her head and despising Sutton for the cruel and sick game she plays with her friends, a lot of me is feeling sorry for Sutton, sympathizing with her. As I delve deeper into the story, I find out what Sutton’s like based on what her friends say about her, how her friends act, what she’s done in the past, how people act around her and by the things she’s expected to do, etc. instead of being told right away what Sutton’s like, and that was nice too.

Apart from that, I also really liked the side characters. I loved how while being secondary characters, they were still very well-developed, yet so mysterious at the same time. (They being Sutton’s friends like Madeline, Charlotte, Laurel and the love interests; Ethan, Garrett, etc.) I was constantly second-guessing everyone, suspecting basically all the characters. I think I would’ve liked it more though if I had seen more of Nisha, Sutton’s arch-enemy. I didn’t really get why they were angry with her and things and wish I could’ve seen more of her. I know there is more to her than what meets the eye though, so maybe in the next books? Also, Ethan (Emma’s love interest) is so cute with Emma! I was really rooting for him, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of his and Emma’s interactions.

Writing Style

The writing style was great! It was very mysterious, and had me immersed into the book whenever I read it. I loved how Sara Shepard had Sutton (as a ghost, basically) in 1st person, and Emma in third person. It was very unique, and surprisingly not confusing! I loved getting Sutton’s commentary on things that Emma did or said, or things she found out. Also, not only was her POV interesting to read about, it was also necessary as Sutton occasionally gets flashbacks of something that happened when she was alive. It really spiced things up a bit and sets it apart from both Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, as well as other books. All in all, the writing style was very unique and great to read!


This was a great first book in The Lying Game series! It started off to me as similar to PLL, but it’s its own story which I really enjoyed. I was hooked from start to finish and it was always with deep difficulty that I took a break from reading it. The plot was full of mystery, and the characters were great! I really sympathized with them and cared about them. The writing was an added bonus, it was unique and interesting, without getting to be confusing with its style. I would definitely recommend this to those of you who are looking to give Sara Shepard a try, or are looking for a thriller/mystery with a dash of romance and even a little bit of humour. This book will keep you at the tip of your toes and begging for more!

Want to eat this? It’s great, I’m not lying! It’s not just a game. (wink, wink)

Analee 10


16 thoughts on “The Lying Game by Sara Shepard | Book Review

  1. The story reminds me of a show called Ringer that aired way back in 2011 and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar. She plays twins, one is pretty bitchy one is not & then the bitchy one dies. So, the other one decides to assume her identity & live her life to find out how she died/ disappeared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched the television series The Lying Game on Netflix and loved it. The plot of the book seems so different. The characters’ names seem to be the only thing that is the same. I do want to read these books because I love the show PLL and TLG, but have not read any of the books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great to hear! I really want to give the TV show a try. 🙂 I love the Pretty Little Liars show, and I’m really enjoying TLG books, so I’m intrigued to see what the TV show’s like. You should definitely read The Lying Game books, they’re so good! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw I was so looking forward to your review of this book! What I really enjoyed about this book is how fast-paced and unpredictable it is, it’s a real page-turner. If I had to choose, I’d say I prefer the book from the TV show (obviously, haha), but I have to say, the TV show was really well-done, I hope you’ll watch it, I really would love to know your opinion about it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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