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Review: The Lying Game

Review: The Lying Game

The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
July 25, 2017
3 Stars

I liked “In A Dark, Dark Wood” and really enjoyed “The Woman in Cabin 10” so I was excited to learn that there was another Ruth Ware novel for me to pick up.

I thought “The Lying Game” did a good job of highlighting the kind of intense, fast friendships that burn so bright when girls are young teenagers. And though I’ve never been a mother myself, I felt like Ware captured the complicated duality of the intense love a new mother feels for her baby, while also feeling like she’s lost all autonomy.

What didn’t work for me is how brief everything is. The glimpses into the girls’ past and the formation of their friendship is brief. Learning about the character whose death is at the heart of the story is brief, what we’re given to understand Isa and Owen’s relationship is brief, and frankly even the time of these four girls playing “the lying game’ is brief, though that did have ramifications for years to come, regardless.

There was some very lovely writing where I could see and smell every detail of the setting, but overall it felt like too much of the story was built on the idea that vagueness builds intrigue.
By the time the little puzzles were teased out I still questioned some of the character’s motivations, or the believability of them- especially Ambrose’s.
And the ending made me feel like it was constructed out of convenience, rather than good plotting.

Overall it was a mildly interesting read with a superficial level of storytelling and a truly unfortunate mystery at the center of it all.

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