Publication Date: August 26, 2010
Book Acquisition: received an ARC from the author
My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
New girl Raye Archer is desperate for a way into the In crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker chooses 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 as “Elizabeth” so that she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. While a fun and dangerous thrill at first, what Raye hadn’t counted on was 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. Now it’s Raye who falls victim, as Ella creates 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 my opinion, the synopsis of this book doesn't do it justice. Some might see a silly high school tabloid-like novel full of shallow characters in unbelievable situations. Not at all what The Julian Game is all about.
The main thing that got me about this one was how real it was. When I was in high school, Facebook didn't exist. My friends and I didn't chat online with each other - most of us had pagers instead of cell phones. (hey, I'm not that old! Technology just moves fast, ok :) BUT if we did have Facebook, or online chatting, or text messaging? High school would have been a whole different game for me. Raye, Ella and Julian reminded me a lot of some people I knew way back when. They weren't really trouble makers, no one was that malicious or nasty to each other but, the potential was there.
The Julian Game is such a good example of what could happen if you let peer pressure get to you. If being liked by the right people is more important to you then making and keeping true friends. Raye doesn't want things to get out of hand but they do. Does she learn her lessons? Yeah, she does - and that's why this is such a great book. It doesn't gloss over the aftermath. Raye endures and in the end, she's stronger for it.
The Julian Game is also a fun read - a quick witty glimpse into the lives of technology driven teenagers today. I very much enjoyed it and will be passing along my copy to my 14 year old sister. She's starting high school in the fall and while I know she is level headed, I also want her to realize how much of your life you are really giving to people when you post online.
My second read by Adele and I'm looking forward to more!
Penguin for Young Readers