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The Stranger Game


The Stranger Game

Cylin Busby is an author who has written numerous young adult and children’s novels including the memoir THE YEAR WE DISAPPEARED and the young adult romance BLINK ONCE. THE STRANGER GAME is her latest novel published October 25, 2016. This novel is a mixture of young adult mystery and thriller. It is very dark and suspenseful.     

Four years ago Nico’s sister, Sarah, disappeared. Her life has been totally flipped since her sister went missing. After many false leads for about two years, Nico’s family did not hear much about Sarah’s disappearance for another two years. Until now.

"This book is perfect for fans of WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. If you are looking for a book to thrill you, shock you or blow your mind than this novel is the perfect fit."

Sarah Morris is found at a children’s center in Florida. Nico’s family claims Sarah and goes home. They’re elated to have their Sarah back. But, she seems different. She has gotten much older and has amnesia. She does not seem to remember much and acts completely different. Sarah is not the perfect popular girl she used to be. She is no longer strong and athletic. She is actually much nicer than before, treating Nico much better than she did before her disappearance. She comes home with a broken arm, burns on her back and no memory of how those things happened. No one really knows what happened to her while she was gone or who was involved. Although Nico and her parents are very happy to have Sarah home, she is not the same. She is practically a stranger.

I enjoyed this book very much. It started out slowly, but was still very interesting. It seems like more of a mystery until toward the end where it becomes much more fast-paced and thrilling. This book has a very mysterious vibe. It leaves the reader questioning until they find out the truth. My curiosity was always peaked and I always wanted to keep reading. There were many surprising twists that I loved and that really caught me off guard. I liked the characters as well and they seemed believable. I really liked Sarah after she returned home. I enjoyed the family dynamic and the sisterly bond that developed between Sarah and Nico. I found myself relating to them as I have a sister myself and we are very close.

Although I enjoyed the plotline and characters very much, I did have one minor problem with the book. I was left with a couple unanswered questions about the novel after I finished. Not many, but there is a big one that bothers me because I would really like to know the answer. I suppose it can be up to the reader's interpretation.

Overall, I really liked this novel so I did not knock off any stars for my own questions. I think Cylin Busby definitely achieved what she wanted to with this novel. It is very dark and creepy, but still very entertaining and enjoyable. It has twists that are sure to shock her readers. I could not stop thinking about the book after I finished it. I think this book will stick with me for a very long time.

I recommend THE STRANGER GAME for mature teenagers who are looking to be thrilled and are not scared very easily. Be aware that this novel contains some strong language and scary situations. The book is recommended for teenagers ages 13 and up. This book is perfect for fans of WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. If you are looking for a book to thrill you, shock you or blow your mind than this novel is the perfect fit. If you are looking for a dark suspenseful young adult thriller then this is perfect for you as well. I really liked this book and recommend it to anyone looking to be thrilled.

Reviewed by Shannon Cody on January 26, 2018

The Stranger Game
by Cylin Busby