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The Lying Game #2: Never Have I Ever

Review

The Lying Game #2: Never Have I Ever

After foster child Emma Paxton reaches out on Facebook to connect with her long-lost twin sister, Sutton Mercer, someone posing as Sutton sets up a visit. The imposter convinces Emma to travel from Las Vegas to Tucson to meet up with her twin. Upon Emma's arrival, Sutton's friends mistake Emma for her sister and invite her to a party, where Emma receives a note saying that Sutton is dead. It warns her that if she doesn't continue pretending to be Sutton, or if she tells anyone who she really is, she will be dead, too.

Despite her death, Sutton remains connected with Emma, whom she wishes she had gotten to know. Sutton is aware that someone is watching her twin, but is unable to warn her. Through Emma, Sutton has been given a chance to find out what happened before she died. Her memory is sketchy, though, and she only gets flashes and flickers of images and recollections of her final days.

Emma is not alone in her quest to find Sutton's murderer. Her confidant, Ethan Landry, has secretly joined her efforts to uncover the truth, but someone is watching her every move. As Emma investigates, Sutton experiences her life through her twin. The more Sutton discovers about the kind of person she was and the secrets she kept, the more she realizes the number of enemies she had and how much danger Emma is in.

The list of possible killers and people wanting revenge against Sutton is long. Her friends, Charlotte Chamberlain and Madeline Vega, have been involved in some nasty pranks and dangerous games with Sutton. Madeline's brother, Thayer, who has disappeared, has a past with Sutton. While Sutton was adopted into a loving family, could her younger, non-adopted sister, Laurel, have harbored bitterness or jealousy? The Twitter Sisters, Gabby and Lilli, are on the suspect list after a dangerous session of The Lying Game gets off track and one of the girls ends up in the hospital. Then there's Sutton's ex-boyfriend, Garrett, who is none too pleased with the way Sutton ran out on him.

As Emma tries to piece together the last days of her twin's life, she jeopardizes her own safety, going to extraordinary lengths to expose Sutton's killer.

NEVER HAVE I EVER is the second book in Sara Shepard's The Lying Game series. This edgy thriller has a lot going for it: high fashion, high-stakes games and high-energy characters. Shepard does a fantastic job writing from two points of view --- Sutton, the dead twin seeing her life through her long-lost sister, and Emma, the alive twin who risks everything to find the truth. The author also deftly weaves in a subtle message of second chances and the realization of regret for past mistakes. Nicely done.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on August 2, 2011

The Lying Game #2: Never Have I Ever
by Sara Shepard

  • Publication Date: July 31, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0061869732
  • ISBN-13: 9780061869730