The Rumor Game / Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra / Book Review


Everything changed for Bryn after the accident. She lost her friends, lost her boyfriend. She's going to lose her role as class president if the special election her classmates are calling for goes through. But Bryn has a plan to change all of that.

For Georgie, things are different. She's got friends now, new friends, and she's getting attention like she hasn't ever before. That might be thanks to all the weight she lost over the summer.

When rumors start circulating about Cora's boyfriend and Georgie, Cora isn't sure what to believe. And without her best friend Bryn in the social good graces, she doesn't know where to turn when jealousy starts getting the best of her.



As much as I wanted to like it, this book was ultimately bland and forgettable. Sure, there will be people who like it. There's nothing wrong with it. It just isn't a piece that stands out. It's simply "meh" at the end of the day.


Body Fixation There is a lot of body fixation in this book, something that's not uncommon in contemporary YA. What makes this book stand out is the particularly negative effects of this body fixation. This book isn't afraid to tackle the significant problems with hyper fixation on the body, both internally and externally, from crippling self-doubt to the unwanted attention a body might get when it fits the right standard. This book really examines the hoops women are encouraged to jump through and the unfortunate situations they can end up in because of this cultural (as well as personal) focus on the physical body.

Invasive Media Format Not only does social media--and online bullying--play an important and pervasive role in the lives of the girls in this book, but it also makes an impact on the book itself. Just as the girls get flooded with social media comments, this book does, too. Regular chapters are broken up with the posts, the comments, the texts and messages that come flooding in. This book embraces this newer medium of communication and transforms traditional print into a whole new format to fit. That embrace of new media definitely stands out. The pages here are teeming with internet gossip, and it feels like you could just keep scrolling...

Shifting Loyalties This is a book where readers can never be quite sure who to root for--in a good way. The characters shift loyalties as more and more information comes to light, and the readers must accordingly shift sides. This gradual unveiling and changing of sides causes tension and does a great job of raising the interpersonal stakes.


I don't mind a book that's purely contemporary, a book that's not the least bit genre. But this book felt like it was perfectly set up to be a bit more on the thriller side of things. It's got the voice. It's got the drama and interpersonal stakes. And because that's how it was set up, it felt ultimately and unexpectedly bland in the end. Pure Contemporary

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really hate books (and movies and tv shows) where girls are constantly at odds with each other. Just for once, I would like to see a group of girls who are positive toward each other and build each other up. Such friend groups really do exist, and it's a shame that we can only have mean, cat-fighting girls in our media. What does it say about us that we can't even write girls who are nice to each other in fiction? What kind of standard and precedent does that set? I'm tired of it. Mean Girls

This is a book where multiple points-of-view really does the story justice. I mean, each of our girls here has her own story, a story that she has the right to tell all on her own. So the fact that we switch POVs is really good--in concept. The execution, however, wasn't stellar. Their voices all sound very similar. If you don't read the heading to let you know who is talking, it can get very confusing to keep track. Their stories are different, sure, but their narrative styles? Not so much. And that's a disappointment, especially when more than one author contributed here. Similar Voices



Those looking for a deep-dive into high school politics after Natalie Walton's Revenge of the Sluts will like this book. Fans of Kyra Leigh's It Will End Like This will appreciate the spiraling paranoia in these pages as well.


Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date: March 1, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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