on October 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspence, Young Adult
Pages: 288 pages
Buy: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, Chapters !ndigo
When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.
Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.
But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical—where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . . .
I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to read The Stranger Game after my reread of A Gathering of Shadows because what if I hated it (darn those reading slumps)? I was a bit worried because the premise sounded something I like to pick up every now and then (I.e. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards), but it turns out that I was too intrigued about the novel that it was hard to put down. The Stranger Game gave me the chills throughout the book. My mind kept going I hope that’s not what happened as things began to unfold. It was a bit confusing at first with Sarah’s POV, but when I got near the end it started making sense.
I feel a bit sad about Nico’s and Sarah’s relationship. You’d think that Sarah, being the oldest, would be more protective and loving towards Nico, but instead she’s the opposite. She hits and shoves for no reason, calling her awful names when Nico doesn’t deserve it but I wish that Nico had the guts to tell her parents about Sarah’s abuse despite the fact that they probably would not have believed her. But, when Sarah returns 4 years later her personality seems off to Nico and Sarah’s friends. Her grandmother seems like the only person that saw through all of Sarah’s cruelty and giving her the benefit of the doubt. Though Sarah’s friend also seems to know that something is off as well and begins threatening to expose the truth. I’m not sure if their parents knew about Sarah’s actions towards Nico but just didn’t want to deal with it (you know the whole save face) or is just oblivious because it was never really addressed. Though Sarah did feel like a spoil brat most of the time since she seems to get away with things easily until the accident occurred.
It’s hard to write this review for these types of story line without giving away so much. The story line had a bit of a creepy feeling factor that you just wanted everything to be alright in the end for both sisters, even though like Nico I didn’t like Sarah’s hateful personality. Like her grandmother, I really didn’t want to know the truth if Sarah is the real Sarah because the truth can have devastating effects. It’s strange that while I can see that Nico right away knows Sarah’s not herself and is suspicious of her actions, her parents doesn’t seem surprise at all by her change of heart. It’s true that 4 years is a long time to change and become a better person, but as they say old habits die hard and Nico doesn’t find it believing that her sister change to be more supportive and thoughtful. If she changed her ways because of her accident it’s kind of a too good to be true situation because here we have Nico wishing that she had a more loving sister and 4 years down the road when she gets her sister back her wish is granted. There wasn’t any romance except for Sarah and her boyfriend (ex?) and while I’m a hopeless romantic, I felt that it was perfect without romance involved.