Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 2012
Acquisition: I received a free e-galley for review from NetGalley
A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man's calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood.But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua's influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua's circle. And swiftly, she discovers it's not safe there. (from Goodreads)
I have to come right out and say it - I did not like this book. There isn't any one thing fundamentally wrong with it but overall, I can't say that I very much enjoyed reading it.
Everything about this story and it's characters are, for lack of a better term, messed up. The kids have issues, the adults have issues, the setting is just strange and the things that happen are beyond dysfunctional. Nothing makes much sense, the storyline moved at a snail's pace until the end where everything happens at once. It all doesn't amount to much of anything and the epilogue was a little ridiculous.
Maybe it's important to note that at no time did I consider not finishing this one. I think I kept waiting for something. Not sure what it was but for me at least, it never came. You might have a different experience though.
By the end of The Believing Game I had a pretty nasty taste in my mouth. I felt like I should have been wowed by the psychological what-the-f-ery of the story but unfortunately I wasn't. I felt nothing for these characters and the absolute ridiculousness of the situation was just too over the top.
Not a book I could in good conscience recommend to fans of contemporary thriller stories, which is what this book is intended to be, I think? Still not totally sure what I was suppose to take away from this one but I don't think my feelings will chance over time. A disappointing read overall.
2 / 5 Stars