Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?


Song For This Book: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees
Why? Everybody is constantly talking in this book, about everyone else’s business.


I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn’t read anything by Ruth Ware prior to this book, but something about this book caught my attention. Boarding schools, games that revolved around lies, family drama, and isolated communities all sounded fascinating, and I couldn’t wait to give this book a go.

Thrillers can be hit or miss, because the author has to have to have perfect timing for each reveal so that the reader is kept hooked until the big ending. And this actually wasn’t half bad. Ware did a good job of keep you interested and curious, dropping new hints and reveals just as you started to wonder if you were never going to find out who was at fault.

The Good Points of The Lying Game:

The timing in this book is so good. As mentioned already, every time I thought I was just about to get annoyed or bored with the book, something else would happen that would keep me hooked in, trying to figure out what had really happened and what had been just a lie.

I loved the cast of characters in this book. Each of the four girls were so interested and complex, and they really made the story with how they reacted and interacted with each other and the other people in the story. How they each viewed and grew up from their school games was also fascinating.

The simplicity but ongoing consequences of the friends’ lying game was brilliant. The game is nothing more than it sounds, but the way the lies have woven themselves into the future, and the way each of the friends have seen the game as they’ve grow into adults was brilliantly done.

The Downsides of The Lying Game:

The first half of this book dragged like nobody’s business. Stuff was happening, but when people are just panicking for chapter after chapter, it gets old and dull pretty quick. It did pick up after the second half of the book, and it started getting more interesting. But it would have been better if more had happened earlier in the story, and there were more dynamics amongst the characters.

While I enjoyed the cast as a general, Isa drove me bonkers. I can see why she would want to help her own friends, but she kept putting herself and her baby in awful situations, and then panicking when her baby was in danger. What did you think was going to happen? As well, I think Isa could have gotten more into it everything if she didn’t have the baby constantly tagging along.

I did like the ending and I think it fit the rest of the book really well, but after so much build up, I had been hoping for something more exciting. After spending the whole thing panicking and wondering, I had my hopes up for a little more.

All in all, I did enjoy The Lying Game. It’s a fun, addictive book with some great relationship studies and a whole lot of drama. If you enjoy thrillers, boarding school stories, or some crazy friendships, you should definitely give this book a go.

Find The Lying Game on Book Depository

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

  1. Hello. I have been going back and forth on getting this book and still haven’t decided. I read her book The Woman in Cabin 10 and it was a great thriller keeping me wondering and on the edge of my seat from the start. I think one of the things I like about the author is that she has great character development which is what keeps me interested. Thanks for the review.


    Liked by 1 person

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