The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: August 26, 2010
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.
The Julian Game was a unique and intriguing look at how far some people will go to extract revenge. Raye Archer is the new girl and just wants one thing- to fit in with "The Group". A clique of cold, beautiful girls so perfect and untouchable that no one would ever dare try to bring them down. When one of "The Group" Ella Parker reaches out to Raye for help- Raye is overjoyed. Together Raye and Ella help bring Elizabeth (a fake Facebook identity created by Raye and her best friend) to life. Ella wants Elizabeth, with Raye behind her, to bring down her ex-boyfriend Julian. But things get a lot more complicated than Raye ever imagined.
The plot was really original and completely different than anything I've read before. Watching Raye get roped into Ella's devious scheme was frightening. Ella was practically controlling Raye's every move. The idea of Elizabeth was definitely unique and it was scary to see how far some people will go to get revenge on the people that wronged them. As Raye realized Ella was taking the Elizabeth thing a little too far, she decides to take action. Unfortunately she starts to fall for the very person she's supposed to be destroying- Julian.
Raye was at first a desperate and sheltered character who didn't really know what was happening to her by getting involved with Ella. I really liked Raye and while at times I couldn't believe she was being fooled by the worst people, she was truly good at heart. Raye wasn't the only good character- I really liked her best friend and was glad when they worked things out. Natalya was a sweet, strong girl who was a great friend to Raye. Adele Griffin really knows how to create the nastiest characters! Ella was determined, frightening, and stealthy. She would take down anyone that got in her way and wouldn't think twice about it. As the revenge on Julian got more and more convoluted, Ella's true colors were really starting to show. I was glad when Raye stood up for herself, but, unfortunately, this made things even worse for herself.
The romantic interest, Julian, wasn't always who he appeared either. At times he seemed like the innocent victim, but as the novel progressed he turned out to be very different than I originally thought.
When Ella launches her second revenge plan- this time on Raye- I began to wonder: How far will she go? After compromising pictures go up and slandering rumors, Raye's life is getting really tangled up. She not only has to deal with Ella and Julian, but now the whole school as well.
Overall, The Julian Game was a complex and original novel that shows the dangers of sites like Facebook and how lies and deceit can come back to haunt you. It's an intriguing and different read that you can finish within a few hours. The Julian Game was a little difficult to review because so much was going on and there were a lot of twists and turns (I don't want to spoil anything!) but I definitely recommend checking it out!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars