Emma Paxton has a lousy life. Abandoned by her mother so many years ago, she's constantly drifting between foster homes and finally ends up with a family where the light-fingered, pot-smoking son enjoys getting her into trouble. His latest attempt really captures her attention though when he shows her foster mother a video in which it appears Emma is being strangled to death.
Emma realizes that the girl in the video can only be her twin sister and tracks her down on Facebook. With only a couple of weeks to go before she turns eighteen, Emma is delighted to receive an invite from her sister, Sutton. With a wonderful family, money, popularity, and a gorgeous boyfriend, Sutton has everything she could ever need - except a pulse.
When Emma arrives in town, she is quickly mistaken for Sutton and is pulled into her twin sisters life. No one believes her when she tells them who she really is and now her only choice is to play along, take the role of her sister, and do a little sleuthing in order to find out what really happened to Sutton, and more importantly, who is responsible for it!
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as I haven't read anything by Sara Shepard before though I have heard a lot of good things about the Pretty Little Liar series. This new series is truly amazing though. The author wastes no time in pulling us right into a thick juicy plot right from the very beginning and it only gets better with every page turned. I just couldn't put it down.
The story is narrated jointly, by Emma, and her dead sister Sutton who lingers by Emma constantly. The narration from Sutton is sometimes reminiscent of the style displayed in The Lovely Bones and adds an element to the story which I truly adored. Sutton gets to see from the sidelines what her life was like, what the consequences of her actions have been, and what people really thought of her - leaving her with a sense of longing and regret.
Emma meanwhile has to try and fit into the life of her sister, which is easier said than done. All she has to go on, are the meagre pieces of information she can glean from those around her, and anything she can find in Sutton's room - including information about 'The L Game'. The author has constructed a winner of a book with this novel. The suspense is constantly captivating and it's such a wild ride reading along as Emma frequently believes she is closer to solving this mystery, only to end up each time, no closer to the truth.
Brilliant, frustrating, wistful, exhilarating, thrilling, and exciting are all words I would use with reference to this book. Did I mention brilliant? As soon as I put this book down, I dashed to find the release date for the next installment. I just can't wait. I'm hooked!
Author's website: http://www.prettylittleliars.com/author/