The Game
A game turns deadly with a killer who picks his victims one by one, letter by letter.Every year the senior class at Lincoln High plays assassin. Lia Prince has been planning her strategy for years and she's psyched that not only does she finally get to play, she's on a team with Devon Diaz. But this year, the game isn't any fun--it's real. Abby Ascher, Ben Barnard, and Cassidy Clarke have all turned up . . . dead. Can Lia stop the ABC killer before he reaches D?

The Game Details

TitleThe Game
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 4th, 2020
PublisherUnderlined
ISBN-139780593179789
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction, Suspense, Horror, LGBT

The Game Review

  • Nenia ☀️ My Snark Is Worse Than My Bite ☀️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE DEADLY GAMES OMG(in books, not irl lol)
  • Linsey Miller
    January 1, 1970
    Hello all!This is not a review. This is just going to be a quick note about the content warnings for THE GAME, and I hope it helps. While this book has moments of humor and romance, it is still a murder mystery at its heart. It contains scenes of funerals, panic attacks, and parental neglect, and there are several graphic depictions of violence and death.If you need clarification for any of these or a page number, I am happy to provide it. Also, if there's anything you might think I missed and w Hello all!This is not a review. This is just going to be a quick note about the content warnings for THE GAME, and I hope it helps. While this book has moments of humor and romance, it is still a murder mystery at its heart. It contains scenes of funerals, panic attacks, and parental neglect, and there are several graphic depictions of violence and death.If you need clarification for any of these or a page number, I am happy to provide it. Also, if there's anything you might think I missed and want to know about, please let me know.Best,Linsey ♥⚔️♥
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  • Angela Staudt
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.The Game is an event that seniors in high school play as their last hoorah before adulthood. You get teamed with a couple other students and have to assassinate your classmates one by one with water guns. Lia, the main character, has been waiting for this game since ninth grade. She wants to prove to everyone that she is good at something. While this game is mischievous, no harm is to be done to any of the clas Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.The Game is an event that seniors in high school play as their last hoorah before adulthood. You get teamed with a couple other students and have to assassinate your classmates one by one with water guns. Lia, the main character, has been waiting for this game since ninth grade. She wants to prove to everyone that she is good at something. While this game is mischievous, no harm is to be done to any of the classmates, but one by one they are getting murdered.I really wanted to love this, the synopsis sounded amazing and of course I wanted American Horror Story: 1982 vibes. It just felt quite childish to me, like the characters didn’t act like seniors. I was intrigued throughout the book to find out what was really going on, and Lia is not a reliable character which made it all the better. It just ended in a very bland kind of way, I figured out who the killer was pretty easily and the ending just happened and that was it. I really think if this was a more drawn out book with fleshed out characters it could have been fantastic. The author has a solid storyline it just needed some work with the mystery aspect and thrill. Having an assassination game go wrong and a killer on the loose sounds so good and that’s what this book could have been. All in all, I was intrigued throughout the book, but ended up disappointed at the end.
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  • Lu
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you, Random House Children's and Underlined for the chance to read this book.Every year in Lincoln High, the senior class plays Assassin. In teams, they have a target to eliminate, with water guns, until the next target and next and the next. Lia Prince is determined to win. She has been planning her strategy for years and she wants to be recognized. Not only now she will play, but she's in the team with her crush, Devon I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you, Random House Children's and Underlined for the chance to read this book.Every year in Lincoln High, the senior class plays Assassin. In teams, they have a target to eliminate, with water guns, until the next target and next and the next. Lia Prince is determined to win. She has been planning her strategy for years and she wants to be recognized. Not only now she will play, but she's in the team with her crush, Devon Diaz and her best friend, Gem. But slowly they start to realize this year the game isn't a game anymore when the targets are killed and somehow Lia seems to be the common denominator. Who is the killer? Why is he/she/they blaming Lia? What would she do to protect her friends and herself?The game is a very interesting and eerie novel, with well written characters and a captivating plot, full of twists and discoveries until the end.Lia is a young woman, who is been struggling all her life to be seen and recognized. Underestimated and in conflict with her parents, who don't understand her passion for games and prefer her older brother, Lia is convinced to be mediocre and she's determined to prove them and herself wrong by winning the game. She's stubborn, a bit obsessive and smart, focused on what she and her friends have to do to win the game and then, to catch the killer. The romance is a sweet and cute one and I like her relationship with Devon, their flirting and joking and Lia's relationship with her best friend, Gem. Set in an high school and in small community where everyone knows everyone,the story has crushes, high school homework, college applications, jokes, friendships, fights with parents and friends and so on. It's a really nice book and I recommend it to those who wants a gripping thriller, interesting characters and a game that slowly becomes deadly.
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  • Kelsea
    January 1, 1970
    It's a little tough to sort out how to review this book. First of all, the premise was brilliant! A game of Assassin that turns deadly & Agatha Christie mashup? YESSSSSSSSSS. !!!The mystery aspect was fun. A bit campy? Sure. But fun nonetheless, for readers willing to suspend their disbelief. I loved that Lia, the main character, was really into board games, and how that translated to her own obsession with winning the game of Assassin.Now, the writing style is where this book really gets me. It It's a little tough to sort out how to review this book. First of all, the premise was brilliant! A game of Assassin that turns deadly & Agatha Christie mashup? YESSSSSSSSSS. !!!The mystery aspect was fun. A bit campy? Sure. But fun nonetheless, for readers willing to suspend their disbelief. I loved that Lia, the main character, was really into board games, and how that translated to her own obsession with winning the game of Assassin.Now, the writing style is where this book really gets me. It's... strangely distanced (even more than in Agatha Christie novels) and took a lot of getting used to. But I found that it kinda grew on me. It allowed for some wry humor and observations about the characters that made me laugh aloud quite a few times. So, even though it was jarring at first, by the end I found myself really drawn to the style.The characters are a bit flat and the relationships never felt quite real. But I found myself never entirely minding about that either?This review is shaping up to be pretty confusing, probably because my own reading experience feels muddled. I enjoyed this odd story overall, despite it having some elements that would usually bug me. I guess I liked how different it was from the usual YA thrillers out there, even while the story maintains a very high school feel.Thank you to Get Underlined via Netgalley for an advanced e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like this book succeeded in setting up an unreliable narrator but never managed to hook me with anything else. “The Game” is a assassin themed event for seniors before they graduate and find themselves entering adulthood and for Lia it’s her chance to prove that’s she’s good at something other than just quietly existing in her brothers shadow but when some of the targets wind up dead Lia can’t escape the attention and time is running out to prove who the real murderer is. For me the set u I feel like this book succeeded in setting up an unreliable narrator but never managed to hook me with anything else. “The Game” is a assassin themed event for seniors before they graduate and find themselves entering adulthood and for Lia it’s her chance to prove that’s she’s good at something other than just quietly existing in her brothers shadow but when some of the targets wind up dead Lia can’t escape the attention and time is running out to prove who the real murderer is. For me the set up of the game itself was a little reminiscent to a similar game that was played in The Society on Netflix where the kids were running wild and the key to success was to be a little creepy and managing everyone’s schedules to isolate the target so that was fun and even the set up of Lia being 100% in it to win it despite the very real consequences but it never managed to fully deliver. This sets up a good unreliable narrator and I was really hooked into that even if it has become a bit of a cliché but there were just enough small details that led you to believe that maybe someone could take this game a little too seriously but the final reveal fell flat for me as the motive was a little too simple to justify that much death. I think with a little more time or even pages added this might have been able to work but it feels like things were wrapped up a little too quickly and the characters, who at times had their moments, never managed to become fully realized beings outside of Lia which made it hard for me to remember who was who and as a result I glossed over plot points because I didn’t care enough to separate the characters. Not bad but not great which is a shame. **special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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  • iam
    January 1, 1970
    Exiting thriller with nuanced discussions about parental pressure and value only being put on academic achievements, though it has an unfortunate spoiler-y blurb. Read the full review on the blog!Content warnings include: murder, graphic descriptions of gore and death, violence, funerals, panic attacks, parental neglect.I guess the spoilery blurb isn’t too bad, but it gives away the victims and the modus operandi of the killer, most of which isn’t revealed until very late in the book and is used Exiting thriller with nuanced discussions about parental pressure and value only being put on academic achievements, though it has an unfortunate spoiler-y blurb. Read the full review on the blog!Content warnings include: murder, graphic descriptions of gore and death, violence, funerals, panic attacks, parental neglect.I guess the spoilery blurb isn’t too bad, but it gives away the victims and the modus operandi of the killer, most of which isn’t revealed until very late in the book and is used to solve the whodunnit, which I find unfortunate, because those are the things that kept up the suspension of the plot.The book is quite diverse, although I’m not sure about the protagonist, Lia, herself. However, there are several PoC and queer side characters.Almost as important as the whole murder plot was conversations about parental pressure and how today’s society only values academic or otherwise measurable achievements and productivity. It was handled in a nuanced manner, and I liked how it was tied to the murder plot by observing how the victims were reduced to their school or sports performance, and questioning if the reactions would have been the same had they not been so good at either.While the murder mystery wasn’t unsolvable, it was exciting to read. I loved all the hints to the killer and such that are clearly recognizable in hindsight, and I delighted in those details.Speaking of atmosphere: it was great!!! Chills crept down my back several times, and not only when the murders happened – several small side things were clearly recognizable to the reader but not to the characters which was great to create tension.Overall a great thriller that I enjoyed a lot, that handles important topics outside of the murder-mystery.….I also kinda of want to play Assassins now. Just, you know, without the murderer. I received an ARC and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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  • 여리고
    January 1, 1970
    This is quite reminiscent of the book I'd read prior to my having a GR profile. (I Am Number Four series) This is quite reminiscent of the book I'd read prior to my having a GR profile. (I Am Number Four series)
  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    I'm sorry, but this was a DNF for me. The book reads extremely young - not YA, more like MG. The characters definitely don't seem like seniors in high school and at 41%, I'm still waiting for this to be like Riverdale or AHS or Agatha Christie.
  • Rishika Aggarwal
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If death were a planet, Abby’s and Ben’s families were rings. Lia and Gem were distant moons or cold, observant stars. A high school game of water gun assassination turns into real murder, leaving protagonist Lia Prince and the rest of her team in the game - her best friend Gem and crush Devon - to investigate and find the culprit before Devon becomes the killer's fourth victim. The murder mystery was a fun little plot, especially woven in as it was with the I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If death were a planet, Abby’s and Ben’s families were rings. Lia and Gem were distant moons or cold, observant stars. A high school game of water gun assassination turns into real murder, leaving protagonist Lia Prince and the rest of her team in the game - her best friend Gem and crush Devon - to investigate and find the culprit before Devon becomes the killer's fourth victim. The murder mystery was a fun little plot, especially woven in as it was with the game of Assassins. it's a fascinating mystery to try and unspool, and while it became obvious to me closer to the reveal, realising just how many little hints there were leading up to it was fun! So too was the series of 'coincidences' which were obviously more than that, but were easily - and understandably - brushed away by the characters. “You know there’s a planet we can’t see but is there,” she said slowly...“We only know it’s there because everything we can see reacts to it in some way. Invisible but consequential. I feel like that sometimes.” That said, where this book really shines is in the characterizations, IMO. I found myself invested in all of them, especially Lia. The book deals with some very important conversations about parental and academic pressure, and how easy it is to feel less than when it seems like the world around you is passing you by. LM handles these conversations with nuance and empathy, and what I found to be a genuine understanding of the emotions that arise when you're the one going through those things. Lia was a well-created character because of that addition, and it was one that made her obsession with Assassins understandable in a way that wouldn't have been otherwise. Devon and Gem may not have been as developed as Lia, but they were likeable characters nonetheless. Gem's loyalty to Lia and the growing relationship between Devon and Lia were both a delight to read. “You’ll win.” He laced his fingers with hers and helped her up. “I believe in you.”And as much as she loved the words, they hurt. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had.” My only quibble with this book is that I found the ending a tad too rushed. A little more development there - maybe another 30-50 pages or so - would have ronded the book out perfectly.That aside, however, this was a solid YA mystery, and a very fun ride. Also, THAT ENDING. I now need a sequel or I riot with El.3.5/5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars, for meINSTAGRAM
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    Intriguing and fun read!I enjoyed this story, I would love to play a huge assassin game and take out targets with water guns. I liked how seriously Lia took it, following people to get their schedules, writing down their fears, allergies, and other assorted information. Her friendship with Gem was cute too and I loved that Gem being non-binary just was, without any conversations or making it a big deal. Then the game turns deadly and everything gets pretty crazy. The pacing was well done and I d Intriguing and fun read!I enjoyed this story, I would love to play a huge assassin game and take out targets with water guns. I liked how seriously Lia took it, following people to get their schedules, writing down their fears, allergies, and other assorted information. Her friendship with Gem was cute too and I loved that Gem being non-binary just was, without any conversations or making it a big deal. Then the game turns deadly and everything gets pretty crazy. The pacing was well done and I didn't feel like it dragged anywhere. I was proud of myself for guessing who the killer was, but it was still fun seeing everything unravel. The alphabet aspect didn't play as big of a role and I was expecting and I was a little disappointed, but overall I had a great time reading this!I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    You had me at AHS: 1984 and Agatha Christie.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest You had me at AHS: 1984 and Agatha Christie.Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
  • Kaya
    January 1, 1970
    i guessed the killer but this was actually pretty engrossing! full rtc :)a huge thank you to the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I really thought I would like this book. The murder game aspect seemed like it would really be a mystery but the plot seemed dull and the killer was incredibly easy to find out. I didn't like the main character at all and the secondary characters weren't developed enough for me to really have an opinion. The book overall seemed messy and only half planned. I really liked the concept of this book but the way it was written didn't interest me like I had hoped it would.*I received an eARC of this b I really thought I would like this book. The murder game aspect seemed like it would really be a mystery but the plot seemed dull and the killer was incredibly easy to find out. I didn't like the main character at all and the secondary characters weren't developed enough for me to really have an opinion. The book overall seemed messy and only half planned. I really liked the concept of this book but the way it was written didn't interest me like I had hoped it would.*I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*Full review: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word...
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  • Farren
    January 1, 1970
    A book about students pretend killing each other that turns into really killing each other? Sounds fun, right?Where do I even begin with this book?My main issue was that the writing and the demographic didn't match up at all. This book felt like it should be middle grade, or specifically in the "teen" section of a bookstore marketed to 15 and under. Yet the characters are about to graduate high school and are facing (or have already made) important decisions about their lives.It seems like a lot A book about students pretend killing each other that turns into really killing each other? Sounds fun, right?Where do I even begin with this book?My main issue was that the writing and the demographic didn't match up at all. This book felt like it should be middle grade, or specifically in the "teen" section of a bookstore marketed to 15 and under. Yet the characters are about to graduate high school and are facing (or have already made) important decisions about their lives.It seems like a lot of people hated Lia, and I can totally understand why. Her obsession with the Game was extreme and the stalking journal she kept was concerning as fuck. But in the beginning I related to her, surrounded by friends that were great at so many things and knew where they wanted to end up in the future. She felt like she was getting left behind, as if there was something wrong with her for never excelling at anything that would help her map out her own future. And here I am, a 33 year old woman, who has spent my entire working life in food service, because I don't like change but boy do I like going home with a lot of cash and I am damn good at my job. So I appreciate the message about not living your life according to other people's timelines, that college isn't for everyone (and I did, for the record, attend college and have an incredibly high GPA, but in Florida I'll still make more money as a server in half the hours and I like immediate rewards 🤷🏻‍♀️), that you shouldn't be resentful of your peers' achievements. Here's where it went from an at-least-I-had-fun-reading-it 3 star rating to a 2 star wouldn't-recommend-wasting-your-time-and-money rating: The killer is so uncomfortably obvious that I spent about two thirds of the book wondering if the author was going to somehow dupe me and blow my mind with a crazy plot twist. But no. It's exactly who you think it is. The motivation and method of victim selection is, again, impossible not to predict. And at the end the reader has to suffer the dreadful villain monologue. I could possibly forgive some of these issues IF the main character didn't declare herself a master puzzle solver and then turn out to be the embodiment of the confused lady surrounded by floating equations meme.I wouldn't recommend this book to older YA readers, but I think if you are, or have a child who is, a high school freshman, this book could be enjoyable and help the reader gain more confidence in themself as a person versus what they have to offer society.*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC for me to review
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  • Vighnesh Muraly
    January 1, 1970
    I really didn’t like this book.I didn’t like the main character at all and all of her motives didn’t really make sense and I don’t think they justified for her actions.The killer was so predictable and I already knew who it was halfway through the book. It was all very straightforward in my opinion and I would have liked a few twists.There wasn’t any thrill reading this book and I was never on the edge of my seat when I read this book.I expected a lot more from this book and I’m highly disappoin I really didn’t like this book.I didn’t like the main character at all and all of her motives didn’t really make sense and I don’t think they justified for her actions.The killer was so predictable and I already knew who it was halfway through the book. It was all very straightforward in my opinion and I would have liked a few twists.There wasn’t any thrill reading this book and I was never on the edge of my seat when I read this book.I expected a lot more from this book and I’m highly disappointed
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  • JoScho
    January 1, 1970
    “If you loved American Horror Story 1984, you'll die for this paperback original thriller mashup of Agatha Christie's The A.B.C. Murders and Riverdale...”Of course that sounds awesome but sadly it didn’t live up to the blurb. I feel like it had a lot of promise-all the seniors play a game called Assassins and need to kill each other (with water guns) and leave one standing. However, there is a real killer playing their own game. I struggled with the dialogue and the motivations of the MC. It did “If you loved American Horror Story 1984, you'll die for this paperback original thriller mashup of Agatha Christie's The A.B.C. Murders and Riverdale...”Of course that sounds awesome but sadly it didn’t live up to the blurb. I feel like it had a lot of promise-all the seniors play a game called Assassins and need to kill each other (with water guns) and leave one standing. However, there is a real killer playing their own game. I struggled with the dialogue and the motivations of the MC. It didn’t feel authentic. 2.5 🌟 rounded up to 3Thanks to Netgalley and Underlined for the arc.
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  • Chad
    January 1, 1970
    Did not love this... character priorities felt all sorts of messed up... the ending felt kind of weak. Sounded like fun but in the end I’m glad it’s over.
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) First off, the full synopsis is such a spoiler, I didn't read it before the book began and neither should you. Just know that The Game is about a high school senior class playing Assassin that takes a dangerous and real turn when students begin dying. Growing up watching my friends play Assassin, but being too scared to play myself, reading The Game was nostalgic in the best way. Run (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) First off, the full synopsis is such a spoiler, I didn't read it before the book began and neither should you. Just know that The Game is about a high school senior class playing Assassin that takes a dangerous and real turn when students begin dying. Growing up watching my friends play Assassin, but being too scared to play myself, reading The Game was nostalgic in the best way. Running through yards in the night, teams with rivalries that made it to the classroom the next day.The Game is a thriller which introduces an unreliable narrator and even until the end you don't know quite what is going on. I felt like there was enough action, but the pacing was incredibly fast and I didn't feel like I had enough time to savor the tension, fear, and mystery. The plot had a few surprises, even if I figured it out (which I never do in stories!), but what I appreciated was the way Miller talks about the pressures of high schoolers with college.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Kait Goodwin ★Kait Plus Books★
    January 1, 1970
    Edit after second read: OH MY GOD I FORGOT THAT ENDED ON A CLIFFHANGER WHYYYYYYWhatTheActual FuckOkay, so I was right about who the killer was, but then... that ending??????????Someone PLEASE come talk to me as soon as you finish this book because OH MY GOD I need to talk to someone about this!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    Whew! That was a game turned nightmare! I went into this wondering how exactly a high school game turned real life murder mystery was going to turn out... and while I think that the author somehow pulled it off, there were still some parts that didn’t seem quite as genuine as I was hoping. I knew that my biggest problem was going to be having the young high schoolers deal with a very mature topic such as the deaths and murders of their friends and classmates. And to be honest I think that’s exac Whew! That was a game turned nightmare! I went into this wondering how exactly a high school game turned real life murder mystery was going to turn out... and while I think that the author somehow pulled it off, there were still some parts that didn’t seem quite as genuine as I was hoping. I knew that my biggest problem was going to be having the young high schoolers deal with a very mature topic such as the deaths and murders of their friends and classmates. And to be honest I think that’s exactly where my issues lie. While I was really into the assassins game, and the whodunnit aspect, it also felt awful knowing that even though kids are dying right and left I didn’t want the game to end. And to me that kind of puts a red flag on the way my thoughts were pulling when you could care less that kids are actually dying just to continue a silly high school senior tradition. I also felt like these kids felt soooo young. Like almost too young to be dealing with death when they’re still trying to get their first kiss? I mean, I felt like I could live on my own and conquer the world by 18 and these kids are barely even ready to move on from their parents homes. It just felt like they were very young and sheltered. Maybe I’m too used to reading fantasy fiction where characters are saving the world at age 17. So these characters felt a little naive and less equipped to deal with such huge topics of the real world. I did find it intriguing enough to want know how it ended. I actually read most of the last 70% in one sitting because once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down! The pacing is fast and hooks you into the story. I like the subtleties that once you know who the Killer is, you start to realize all the little hints that were dropped along the way. I did guess the correct killer a little early on but it didn’t take away from the ah ha moment once it all comes together. I have had to DNF another book by this author a while ago so I was happy to see that I liked this book enough to continue on to the end. Still, I’m not sure I would put this in my favorite reads of 2020 by any means. A fun and interesting read though, and worth the short amount of time it took to read it!
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  • Kendra Ivery
    January 1, 1970
    The Game by Linsey Miller follows a group of high school seniors who are playing a game of assassin. The game becomes literally deadly when students start being suspiciously murdered. Based on the synopsis, I thought this would be an amateur sleuth about Lia, the main character, trying to uncover the identity of the killer. Instead, Lia is determined to continue the original game that isn't the slightest bit exciting. If that isn't bad enough, Lia is also intent on stalking every member of her s The Game by Linsey Miller follows a group of high school seniors who are playing a game of assassin. The game becomes literally deadly when students start being suspiciously murdered. Based on the synopsis, I thought this would be an amateur sleuth about Lia, the main character, trying to uncover the identity of the killer. Instead, Lia is determined to continue the original game that isn't the slightest bit exciting. If that isn't bad enough, Lia is also intent on stalking every member of her senior class even after they start dying. It doesn't concern her in the least that this is highly suspicious behavior to law enforcement. There were other elements of the plot that annoyed me, but I don't want to spoil what little there is in this short book. The character development in this book was also nonexistent. Lia is such a neurotic main character. But, I almost can't blame her given the way the adults in her household and school pit the children against each other. Lia's friends all sit back and watch her make increasingly poor decisions. The Audiobook: If you're thinking about reading this on audiobook, I would not recommend it unless it is your only option. The narrator managed to take away any additional enjoyment I could have gained from listening. The performance is very weak and the narration is extremely raspy and hoarse. If you're looking for a mystery/thriller for a younger reader who doesn't want anything too intense or intricate, this may be a hit. But the story as a whole is lackluster so they will most likely be disappointed. As always with negative reviews, just because I did not like the book doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. These thoughts are my own opinions and should not affect your enjoyment of the work. If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, please read it and support the author. Hopefully, you will have a better experience than I did.
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  • Haley Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t really know where to start with this review. I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t love it either – even though I really wanted to! The comparisons made in the synopsis were so exciting. I mean, who doesn’t want a great mashup of AHS, Agatha Christie, and Riverdale?? Unfortunately, I just didn’t see the parallels or feel the connection.I think my main issue with this is the writing style. It’s marketed as teen/YA and I think it fell more into the teen category. It just felt a bit disjoint I don’t really know where to start with this review. I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t love it either – even though I really wanted to! The comparisons made in the synopsis were so exciting. I mean, who doesn’t want a great mashup of AHS, Agatha Christie, and Riverdale?? Unfortunately, I just didn’t see the parallels or feel the connection.I think my main issue with this is the writing style. It’s marketed as teen/YA and I think it fell more into the teen category. It just felt a bit disjointed and the phrasing felt off. There were several sentences I had to reread a couple times they didn’t make sense. It honestly made the story hard to read and the characters difficult to connect with.Speaking of characters, I didn’t love our MC. Lia comes across incredibly insensitive. Real murders are taking place and her only focus is winning a juvenile game. She has spent all her free time following and spying on her classmates, keeping a journal of their whereabouts and routines all in order to win the game. It comes across super creepy and weird, as everyone reminds her far too frequently. And her only real motivation for winning the game is so her parents will finally see some sort of value in her. For a bunch of high school seniors, they acted very juvenile and their characters were pretty unbelievable.The plot twists could be seen a mile away, and one of them is even in the synopsis of the book. Seems a bit spoilery to me. For a murder mystery, there didn’t seem to be much mystery to it. The killer is predictable and the killer’s motivation is, again, a bit unbelievable.The game itself is really interesting and the synopsis was intriguing, but unfortunately this one fell flat for me. There are several really good reviews for it on Goodreads, so if this is a book that sounds interesting to you, I’d say check it out! I never want to be the cause of someone not reading something.
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  • Kaitlyn Carpenter
    January 1, 1970
    This modern YA thriller will end up pretty popular. It reminded me a lot of other successful YA thrillers like Pretty Little Liars, One of Us is Lying, and #MurderTrending.The premise of a school/community wide game of Assassins going wrong and murderous was very intriguing. Linsey Miller does this idea justice. This story follows Lia who is obsessed with the Senior year game of Assassins- as she is a big gamer, and doesn't feel like she is particularly good at anything else. She is good but not This modern YA thriller will end up pretty popular. It reminded me a lot of other successful YA thrillers like Pretty Little Liars, One of Us is Lying, and #MurderTrending.The premise of a school/community wide game of Assassins going wrong and murderous was very intriguing. Linsey Miller does this idea justice. This story follows Lia who is obsessed with the Senior year game of Assassins- as she is a big gamer, and doesn't feel like she is particularly good at anything else. She is good but not great at anything except gaming- escape rooms, board games, etc. She has been preparing for this game for a whole year - listening and observing all of her classmates. It is one benefit of being relatively invisible, no one notices when you follow them/listen and take notes. This was a fun read and I would definitely read it again. The murderer was a bit expected as I had suspected the person for a large portion of the novel. I particularly love mystery and thriller novels, so this isn't completely unexpected. I still liked the novel and it left off on enough of a cliff hanger for Linsey Miller to write a sequel or series on the premise. I think I have plenty of students who would enjoy this book. In comparision to other YA novels in this genre it is measures up pretty well, but is not as complex of a mystery as some others that have come out. I look forward to see how my students react to The Game when it comes out August 2020!http://kaitlynrcarpenter.weebly.com/b...
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  • Laura (crofteereader)
    January 1, 1970
    A short read, THE GAME felt, initially, like a more modern version of Lauren Oliver's PANIC (small town puts high school seniors through an annual challenge and things go awry) but lacked the grit and desperation that PANIC really excelled at. Lia is the invisible girl - which is a valid if not particularly compelling identity - overshadowed by her successful older brother. Her ticket to success? Winning the game Assassin's. She's armed with Intel that she gathered over the course of a year. But A short read, THE GAME felt, initially, like a more modern version of Lauren Oliver's PANIC (small town puts high school seniors through an annual challenge and things go awry) but lacked the grit and desperation that PANIC really excelled at. Lia is the invisible girl - which is a valid if not particularly compelling identity - overshadowed by her successful older brother. Her ticket to success? Winning the game Assassin's. She's armed with Intel that she gathered over the course of a year. But things go wrong when students around her start dying.There were a couple of weird things. A bunch of characters had alliterative names. (view spoiler)[Like... Even before they became victims, (hide spoiler)]I thought that was weird and it stuck in my brain. The way our crew catches the killer was... Weird. Really out there and kind of unbelievable. Also, the police investigation felt really distant and more like "I don't know how police investigations work" than "I want to draw your attention to something else instead"One thing that Miller always does very well is casually include gender/sexual/racial diversity in her main cast. Gem was nonbinary/gender-nonconforming and both Gem and Devon were dark-skinned. I'm pretty sure Ben and May had two dads (though that may have been a typo because I read an arc and it was only mentioned once in passing).I read the book pretty much in one sitting, though, so it's definitely great for that kind of experience!{Thank you Underlined and NetGalley for the advanced copy; all thoughts and opinions are my own}
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  • RE Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, I enjoyed this. However, I did end up skimming the middle portion because the pacing (which started out strong) started lagging a bit, and I didn't have the patience to weed through chapters which seemed a little repetitive.What I liked:~ the interesting premise (interestingly enough, my daughter says they have a similar 'game' at her high school -- though not nearly as tightly organized nor deadly, thankfully)~ the mystery (though I think part of the reason it started lagging in the mi Overall, I enjoyed this. However, I did end up skimming the middle portion because the pacing (which started out strong) started lagging a bit, and I didn't have the patience to weed through chapters which seemed a little repetitive.What I liked:~ the interesting premise (interestingly enough, my daughter says they have a similar 'game' at her high school -- though not nearly as tightly organized nor deadly, thankfully)~ the mystery (though I think part of the reason it started lagging in the middle is because I was pretty sure who did it, and it began to feel a little obvious)~ the clues (even though I figured it out, I liked that the clues were there *for* me to figure out; I'm not a fan of mysteries that can't possibly be solved by the reader because the perpetrator comes out of left field)~ the developing relationships (these aren't the strongest parts of the book, but they were still enjoyable)What wasn't as strong for me:~ the relationships (yes, I enjoyed them, but they were a bit simplistic)~ the narrator (honestly, I think using Lia as the narrator weakened this tale by a fair amount; she was simply too detached and too unavailable for my taste, and because of that, I didn't really care by the end)So a mixed bag ... obviously there are plans for a sequel, and I might pick that up, but it's not a guarantee (though if it has a different narrator, I'd be more likely to read the next one).
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  • N7 Space Trash
    January 1, 1970
    I'd like to begin by thanking NetGalley and Underlined Paperbacks. I was provided an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Game should have been right up my alley. 1 part Battle Royale, 2 parts whodunit. Shake well. Serve cold. I was enticed by the blurb on the jacket, and the campy, bright color scheme of the cover, reminiscent of 1980's slashers. Unfortunately, far from being a high octane thriller (I'd have settled for a campy romp,) The Game suffers from an unimaginative plot, slow paci I'd like to begin by thanking NetGalley and Underlined Paperbacks. I was provided an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Game should have been right up my alley. 1 part Battle Royale, 2 parts whodunit. Shake well. Serve cold. I was enticed by the blurb on the jacket, and the campy, bright color scheme of the cover, reminiscent of 1980's slashers. Unfortunately, far from being a high octane thriller (I'd have settled for a campy romp,) The Game suffers from an unimaginative plot, slow pacing, and predictable tropes.If lackluster scream queens, Scooby Doo style villain monologues, and whitewashed happy endings are your thing, then The Game is a solid read. As it stands, however, the sense of deja vu (that you've read this before, in this case,) was too strong to warrant a game saving score. Writing quality/readability - 3/5 Scoring on a purely technical standpoint. It seems to be a common trend in YA to omit as much description and detail from the writing as possible. While I can certainly see the appeal for those who struggle to focus on more descriptive narrative, it makes for a bland read. In this case, it made it difficult to distinguish characters; it also made it impossible to determine time transitions. I often had the impression that the action was occurring later that day, only to be informed that an entire day had passed. The writing was bland, and suffered heavily from poor pacing. However, the writing itself is clear to understand, and appropriate for younger readers, in terms of simple sentence structure and vocabulary. Plot - 1/5 The Game isn't particularly original, despite its interesting premise. The plot centers around Lia, a bland protagonist, and her senior year of high school. Lia is a repetitive narrator, with a frustrating habit of reminding the reader that she's not like other girls perfectly average. Average in looks, average in grades, average in her ambitions. Her one ambition is to win Assassins - a popular game played by each graduating high school class - in order to feel less set apart from her peers. And that's it. That's the plot. Most of it revolves around Lia's constant feelings of inadequacy, her resentment towards her classmate's achievements, and a competitive drive that borders on obsessive. The plot doesn't pick up until halfway through the book. The identity of the killer was, admittedly, one of the few genuinely unpredictable and surprising twists. For the most part, however, the plot was highly a pioneer in the YA thriller genre. Most of the plot twists were predictable, and the plot itself was over-saturated with common high school tropes. The reaction of the handful of adult characters was offputtingly unrealistic, to the point where it took me out of the narrative completely. (Particularly the police station interrogation scene. It's clear the author took her inspiration from far too many dramatized true crime television specials.) Don't get me started on the "t'was I all along!" villain monologue towards the climax; it felt stilted and was so unrealistic, it was hard not to have secondhand embarrassment.There was no real character growth by the end of the novel. Overall, the lack of development or growth for any of the characters left me feeling played, alright.Characterization - 0/5 It's rare for a novel to fail so spectacularly at what it sets out to accomplish, that I have to score under 1. This, unfortunately, is one of those times. The characters felt flat. They were undeveloped to the extent that I struggled to keep track of who was who. Physical characteristics are not a stand in for a personality, and unfortunately, the majority of the characters were about as riveting as mayonnaise, and just as bland. In many cases, the characters felt interchangeable. There was nothing to distinguish them or set them apart, outside of their names. The vague exception to this is Lia's obsession with the game. Her lack of empathy and extreme focus on the game unwittingly gave her traits in line with sociopathic behavior. This would have been a unique twist, and absolutely something to applaud, if it had been the author's intent. Unfortunately, I doubt that was the intent; it was just a misguided attempt to make Lia seem driven/quirky. Overall, this book narrowly avoided being a DNF on more than one occasion. Between the predictable plot, poor pacing, and characters who failed to be engaging or earn my sympathy, The Game was an entertaining time waster, and little else.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Even in the deliciously campy world of young adult murder mysteries, even there, the plot has to make a resemblance of sense.The premise for this book is fun. Not mindblowing, but cool enough to write a nice little story. However, its a no from me dawg The writing is okay! It is exactly the type of prose you'd expect from this genre, and it is absolutely fine. The problem lied with how much the author underestimated the readers, and instead of "showing not telling", she told and told again and t Even in the deliciously campy world of young adult murder mysteries, even there, the plot has to make a resemblance of sense.The premise for this book is fun. Not mindblowing, but cool enough to write a nice little story. However, its a no from me dawg The writing is okay! It is exactly the type of prose you'd expect from this genre, and it is absolutely fine. The problem lied with how much the author underestimated the readers, and instead of "showing not telling", she told and told again and told again. Every chapter contained some variation of the main character saying how she wasn't really smart. Every chapter. But she was still in AP classes, but she is not smart. She is a master puzzle solver (lol mood) but she osn't smart. Like seriously! And the thing about the killer is that.... They name drop a bunch of students and develop zero of them. You can guess the motive and the killer if only due to the fact that the killer is the one other character with a meaningful conversation. When they revealed the name I was just.... ok but who is that?? Also you don't get to call your book an "ABC murders" and then NOT USE the marvelous twist that book contains. Anyway, this was infuriating and I genuinely don't know what is worse: if a sequel to this trainwreck is a plan, or if they just intend to leave at that, just, a random message that makes no sense. Lol.
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  • Brandy Michelle Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    The Game by Linsey Miller is a fun and harmless cat and mouse game that soon turns more sinister.In her senior year of high school, we follow the main character, Lia, as she enters a fake Battle Royale like-game with other kids in her class. What should only be a fun, carefree water tag game with fantastic bragging rights, turns deadly when someone takes the game and puts in their own, murderous, rules. Lia finds that the antagonist is stalking her, and her teammates, to potentially frame her to The Game by Linsey Miller is a fun and harmless cat and mouse game that soon turns more sinister.In her senior year of high school, we follow the main character, Lia, as she enters a fake Battle Royale like-game with other kids in her class. What should only be a fun, carefree water tag game with fantastic bragging rights, turns deadly when someone takes the game and puts in their own, murderous, rules. Lia finds that the antagonist is stalking her, and her teammates, to potentially frame her to take the fall.This book was a super-fast easy read, and to be honest, it had a good concept but felt like the execution missed the mark. I saw a lot of the twists coming before they occurred. I didn’t find any surprises with this story as it all felt very predictable and not very fleshed out. The writing was just okay, as it felt like this was the first story the author had ever written. Which, don’t get me wrong, is not a bad thing, but read like a first draft to a level that could have been better as it read too matter of fact like and didn’t flow well.The story was okay as it didn’t do anything to wow me. I have read other books and watched movies that are similar to this story and were much better. I feel Miller just needed more guidance from her publisher, and maybe she could have had a better novel in The Game. This writer, and book, deserved better. I am sorry to say; I just was not impressed. 
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  • Megan Houde
    January 1, 1970
    I love these kind of cat and mouse books, where you hunt to find the killer while they’re sitting you up. In this story we have 3 main characters who sign up for Assassin’s. It’s a game seniors play where you have targets you shoot with a water gun and can’t be found. The winner gets a scholarship prize and it’s something competitive and fun to do while in your last year. That is until a student ends up dead. Made to look like an accident, players keep playing until another student is killed. N I love these kind of cat and mouse books, where you hunt to find the killer while they’re sitting you up. In this story we have 3 main characters who sign up for Assassin’s. It’s a game seniors play where you have targets you shoot with a water gun and can’t be found. The winner gets a scholarship prize and it’s something competitive and fun to do while in your last year. That is until a student ends up dead. Made to look like an accident, players keep playing until another student is killed. Now fingers are pointing at one of the main characters, Lia, as she’s made a list of fellow students and their activities. Sure she’s meticulous and wants to win that money, who wouldn’t, but is she losing her mind and killing others to get it or is someone else setting her up. One thing that jumped out to me from the get go was the address used by “the council” to contact the assassin’s, it was in the form of an ISBN address. It didn’t take me long to put that together and I instantly went to Amazon to see what book it belonged to. And funny enough it belonged to Agatha Christie’s “The A.B.C Murders.” How fitting for this book. That made me giggle and wonder if anyone else has or will notice. I loved the concept of the book and about 60% in I figured out the killer. It’s a fun who-done-it YA book!
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