Harvill Secker | June 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Purchased

First of all, I want to thank Lark (Lark Writes...on books and life) for reading this book with me and it's been fun doing this buddy reading and comparing notes with her. (I'm definitely looking forward to our next buddy reading, Lark!) Without further ado, here's my review of The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. 

For seventeen years, Isa, Kate, Thea and Fatima are each occupied with their own life after leaving Salten in Reach, except for Kate. After all, Kate lives there all her life with her late father, Ambrose and her stepbrother, Luc. The old mill house by the marsh once brought these girls, who are now women, many unforgettable teenage memories. They are close like sisters, and they enjoyed their countless Lying Games which had fooled so many of their peers and adults alike but one thing is clear, which is no lying to each other. Their high school days at Salten House are full of scandals, and people steered clear of them, knowing they are liars and not to be trusted. The lies they weaved varies from harmless to shockingly ones, until an incident surrounding a mysterious death had them leave the school and they never looked back since. 

Now Isa, Thea and Fatima have put their days at Salten far behind after they left Reach, until they received a text that said "I need you" from Kate. They don't use that three little words except in direness situations, so they knew in their heart something have happened and they have to go back to Salten and to Kate to confront their past. It turns out that a human bone was found, and the police is investigating it. What really happened in Salten? And why does Kate needs them now after all those years of silence?  

If you are a fan of Ruth Ware, you would know that she has a way of building the suspense and intensity from the beginning until the truth is revealed. Though The Lying Game still has that aura of mystery and suspense, the attention here focuses more on the characters development and the tight-knit relationship and trust among the four women. It also has a strong sense of parenting love and this often shows on Isa's fussing over her six-month old baby (which I found to be a bit overwhelming at times.) 
While the pacing was a tad slow (until towards the last third of the book) and different from Ware's previous two books (In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10), the surprise at the end still threw me off and that was a good thing. Overall it was a good read and I can't wait to hear what the author has in store for her next book. 

Before ending this review, Lark and I asked each other two questions and here's my answers to her questions:

1. What did you think about this Lying Game that the girls played, and would you have played it when you were their age?
There are two forms of lies - one with an intention to deceive/harm others while the other with a well-intention purpose. And then there are some who think lying is fun, to gain attention and to see how a person would react to their false statement. Our four characters here belong to the last but they didn't realise that the lies they spun could sometimes hurt a person's reputation and worse, has led to a huge consequences. And I think they've gone too far if someone was hurt because of it. 

Truth be told, I was quite an introverted person when I was their age. Telling small lies, such as forgotten to bring our homework etc might have worked at times but I doubt we could get away if we spread something outrageous and malicious in school (during our secondary school days, everyone almost "knew" everyone on the same class level and bad news always spread the fastest, not that someone had done something really bad then.) So while telling small lies are inevitable at times (e.g. "inventing" anything to distract my daughters), I don't have the mind (or guts anyway, present or past) to play something outrageous or malicious that would hurt a person. 

2. And what makes Woman in Cabin 10 your favorite Ruth Ware novel?
I always have a thing for locked-room mystery. Woman in Cabin 10 satisfied all my reading expectations of a psychological suspense thriller. It has an unreliable character who thinks there's a murderer on board on their exclusive small cruise liner and that claustrophobic feeling with nowhere-to-run was such a thrill to read. I felt that the plot was well crafted too, and it kept me on edge throughout my reading journey. 

Please visit Lark's blog to read about her thoughts on this book and her answers to my questions. 

© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
8 Responses
  1. This sounds intriguing. I fell into the "good girl" category during my teens, my focus being on my schoolwork mostly. I really liked In a Dark, Dark Wood, but haven't read anything else by Ware yet. I really want to read Woman in Cabin 10.

  2. Marce Says:

    I enjoyed Woman in Cabin 10 overall but I haven't decided if I wanted to read more or not. Lying Game sounds intriguing though. Sounds like fun having a reading buddy for a book. I do not like lying, this would not have been a game I played, especially if people get hurt.

    I am watching Pretty Little Liars with my daughter and it makes me so angry with some of the lies. If you enjoy tv series, you might like this one.

  3. Lark Says:

    Great review, Melody! That motherly fussing thing with Isa bugged me, too. :D
    I'll email you some possible books that we can read together soonly. 'Cause this was a lot of fun. We definitely need to do it again.

  4. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It was an intriguing read but for readers who love a fast-paced book I think they'd be slightly disappointed. However this is a Ruth Ware book so I still enjoyed it despite the slow pace. That surprise ending made up for it and I'm glad. :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Marce - I haven't done this buddy reading for a long time! I enjoy the feeling of reading it together with a friend and comparing notes. :)

    I'm not familiar with that TV series but I've definitely heard of the books version. Not sure if I'll read them though.

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - Thanks, Lark! I'm looking forward to your books list. :D

  7. jenclair Says:

    OK--it is a boarding school story and Ruth Ware. I'm in!

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - :) Hope you enjoy it!

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