Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: The Julian Game

All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
What really caught my eye were the bright green gloves and the way the title covers the girl's eyes!

First Thoughts:
This sounds exactly like my school. Exactly.


My Thoughts:
I read a few reviews for this book before I read it, and I have to say that I think some people were taking the promise of action in this story much too specifically. Action via the Internet is never all that fast paced in my experience. Although I'll be the first to admit that this book wasn't exactly what I expected it to be, I went into it with an open mind and clean slate and ended up liking it quite a lot!

Now lest this come back to bite me in the hindquarters I will say now that, yes, I do indeed adore Adele Griffin. I find her to be a very witty and amazing author! However that doesn't change the fact that I will always review a book fairly. The review below is all from the heart.

From the very first few pages I fell in love with Raye and Natalya. Here were two very intelligent girls, plotting a social networking scheme simply so that they could talk to boys they were attracted to! Isn't it amazing what the Internet can allow us to do? By taking on the persona of Elizabeth, the girls were able to break out of their shells and become the people that they wished they could be in their own lives. I completely sympathized. When I was in high school all I wanted was to be accepted, and if that meant squashing your actual feelings and needs, well that's what you did. Raye and Natalya remind us that today's generation can lead double lives, all complements of the Internet.

Does this mean that I think what the girls did was right? Not by any means. Still I think it their plot was ultimately fairly pure until it was soiled by the evil Ella. Oh Ella. I will say right now, I despised Ella with a passion. Ella is the girl who bats her eyelashes and gets what she wants. The girl who says one thing and means another. The one who gets away with bullying because she will later "apologize" to you. Why? Well that's because she is popular. I was upset with Raye for falling in with Ella, I really was. I thought she would be smarter than that. I had to remind myself that Raye was only human, and sometimes it's hard to ignore the call of the popular crowd.

Julian, oh yes Julian. He was the one character that completely tore my heart in half. I cannot say too much, as I don't want to spoil the plot line for all you readers out there, but I was fuming as I read. I applaud Raye for making such smart decisions regarding him, even if it did take her a while to do it. Smart girl. On the topic of the Internet, I thought The Julian Game touched on cyber bullying in a perfect manner. It puts the concept out there for discussion, but doesn't shove a moral down your throat in capsule form.

Are you intrigued my friends? Good! Go get a copy of the book and give it a try. You know you want to!

Before I ramble on too much further, I'll simply say that I really did enjoy this book. Although it wasn't a perfect ten for me, it did hold my attention quite well and I felt invested in the characters. Whether I was loving them or despising them didn't matter, I knew enough about them to care. I also loved how Facebook and social networking in general were so seamlessly brought into the story.  I was impressed with Raye's story. I'm sure this book will resonate strongly with the social networking generation, and I hope it will also speak to them about reconsidering what should take preference in their lives.

Book Details
Title: The Julian Game
Author: Adele Griffin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: Hardcover; 208
Source: Around the World Tours

Final Rating 4 Keys to My Heart

[+/-] Click to see Rating.


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