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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
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  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Thursday, May 12, 2011

ARC Review: The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

I'll be honest with you guys. What made me want to read this book at first was the title. Because "The Julian Game" reminds me of my real name (and my twin brother's) so I guess I was naturally curious to know what it is about.

I should be thankful for that because this is a read that is so worthwhile if it didn't land in your re-read list, you just passed up the opportunity to have a great read.

Title: The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Pages: 200
Release Date: August 26th 2010
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Precious!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

In Raye's attempt to fit in, she found herself under the scrutinizing gaze of the meanest girl in school, Ella Parker, and in her quest to be part of the "in" crowd, she agreed to get back on the popular Julian Kilgarry, using a fake online identity. What she didn't count on was that the real Raye will fall in love with the guy she was supposed to take revenge on.

Let me just say that I was never one for bullying. My high school life was pretty complicated, and I was a bit popular but I don't think I have encountered girls as terrible as the ones in this book. Instead of hating Ella, despite her outrageous behavior, I generally feel pity towards her. Her sister and her mother walks all over her at home, and so in her efforts to be "at the top" and in control, she becomes this manipulative, vindictive, cruel teenager who gets a kick out of bullying unsuspecting teens like Raye.

The internet can be such a scary place. You can be anyone you like, or be yourself, its your choice. Raye learned her lessons the hard way when her "make believe" online identity who was supposed to make Julian fall for her (and then dump him) created a mess that almost ruined her high school life. Raye wasn't exactly a "good girl", but no one deserves to be in her position when she incurred the wrath of Ella. I can't say that I pity her for what happened in the process but a guy like Julian is not worth doing anything for, let alone spend time plotting ways to destroy him. It was a matter of doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons for the wrong guy.

Despite all the things she had done, it was very nice to see Raye growing up, gaining wisdom and getting through a tough part in her life, painfully but gradually with the help of Natalia and all the realizations she had about Ella, and especially about Julian were sad, but it was a necessary wake up call. I'm glad she saw him for what he really was.

The Julian Game is as real as it gets. Adele Griffin wrote a book that discusses themes like bullying, yet it wasn't written to be preachy, but mainly to show to the readers how cyber bullying can affect someone. The message was clear in those 200 pages, and it couldn't be more honest and true than what Raye has experienced in the hands of Ella.

I recommend The Julian Game to teens who would like to read a witty, interesting novel that discusses important topics teens should be aware of. Especially on this day and age where technology is everywhere, and where everyone is on Facebook, readers can all learn a thing or two in this edgy YA novel.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

Don't you just love the electric blue wig? I do!

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