Book: This Gorgeous Game
Author: Donna Freitas
Age: Young Adult (YA)
Release date: May 25th, 2010
Source: Publisher in exchange for review
Olivia Peters is over the moon when her literary idol, the celebrated novelist and muchadored local priest Mark D. Brendan, offers to become her personal writing mentor. But when Father Mark’s enthusiasm for Olivia’s prose develops into something more, Olivia’s emotions quickly shift from wonder to confusion to despair. Exactly what game is Father Mark playing, and how on earth can she get out of it?
Review: This Gorgeous Game is simple, and slightly haunting.
When Olivia wins a writing competition, she's honored and excited to be taken under the wing of Father Mark Brendan. The talented writer helps hone her writing skills, and she begins to feel like she's the luckiest person in the world until Father Mark's attentions turn into obsession. He calls too much, writes too much, sends too many packages. Yet the one he wants her to read most of all, a story he's written, Olivia can't bear to read the words because she fears what they will say...
Olivia seemed a bit bland at first, but then I grew to enjoy her narrative more. Father Mark's was especially intriguing, and the pacing with his character and the creepiness was perfect. I really couldn't help but to sympathize with Olivia, considering that she's grown up trusting these priests, letting them act as her own "father" figures, and so it did take her some time before she realized Father Mark's ulterior motive.
With a slight eerie feel, This Gorgeous Game sends a shiver down your spine as the pages turn.
Highlights: The pacing was quick, and the creepy feel of the story grows gradually. I think the author got the eerie feel just right. Olivia's actions at the end were slow coming, but I was pleased with the result.
Lowlights: The plot could have been developed more, and some of the characters seemed underdeveloped as well. A few characters seemed entirely unbelievable. I also really disliked the complete and utter clueless attitudes that all the characters had, and I'm still shocked that no one could have realized this earlier on.