The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
G.P. Putnam, 2010
Raye is a scholarship student at Fulton, an exclusive all-girls school. Fellow sophomore and "it" girl Ella discovers that Raye has created a fake Facebook page and decides to pull the ultimate prank on her ex, Julian. Raye, eager to be a part of the popular crowd, squelches her misgivings and agrees to go along with the plan. Until she (as fake Elizabeth) starts chatting with Julian online and realizes the two have much in common. Ella is not one to be crossed, however...can Raye survive the game?
I've read several reviews on this novel, and put it on my to-read list so I could form my own opinion. Turns out I had more than a few problems with this novel. First of all, the flap describes Raye as "the new girl" at Fulton. She might be relatively new compared to other students who have been classmates since kindergarten, but the novel doesn't open with Raye being a new student. Instead, the novel opens with Raye hanging out at Natalya's house, like she always does. And there are several instance throughout the book where Raye refers to something "always" being done this way. It was just deceptively misleading, I think.
I also felt that the characters were a little underdeveloped. Ella was definitely an evil girl, although I find it hard to believe that so few people were aware of her obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The girls of Fulton are well-attuned to pick up on classmates' quirks and exploit them ruthlessly. Instead, Raye and Tal were the only characters to note Ella's compulsive tendencies.
And to be honest, I find it hard to read a novel when I can't sympathize at least somewhat with the main character. I've read novels with serial killer narrators and I could at least understand what they were going through. Raye, she just did nothing for me. Her desire to be part of the Group was never really established (except in that way that we'd all like to be in the Group). Raye ditches her best friend for an evil one and then ditches the evil one for a hottie (who used to date the evil one!). I just didn't care about her at all.
Thought the cover was pretty interesting, though.
Enjoy your reading!