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Monday, April 25, 2011

YA Review: The Julian Game

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Published: August 26th, 2010 by Putnam
Genre: YA Contemporary
Binding: ARC (Yes. This is a horribly late review. I suck.)
Page Count: 201 in my ARC.
Part of a series? No, I don't think so.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage.

As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter.

Review: So. I have this unfortunate habit of putting off reading books that I end up really enjoying because I'm not "in the mood" to read them. Somebody oughta smack this habit out of me because it really is one of my worst. I absolutely love Adele Griffin, and while The Julian Game wasn't my favourite of her books, I very much enjoyed it. It was a little predictable, but it had a lot of unique elements and Adele's writing is beautiful.

Characters: Raye was a quiet, smart less-than-rich new girl at a prestigious public school on a scholarship. Her best friend, Natalya, was a science-fiction enthusiast with a quirky family. Raye was befriended by rich, mean, popular Ella, to get revenge on the popular, gorgeous Julian. Julian, while perfect on the outside, was not quite what he seemed.

At first glance, they seem like the same characters you find in every book with this basic plotline. But Ella? She was a special dose of crazy. And I loved that Raye doesn't spend the whole book under Ella's thumb like in a lot of books like this.

Plus there was a certain character I LOVED. *coughcoughcoughHenryHenrycough*

Plot: This is a plot I've seen in at least three books and one movie. Smart girl who doesn't fit in gets used by popular, rich, mean girl. Smart girl ends up over her head. Mean girl does something to ruin smart girl's social standing. Smart girl recomnnects with her old friends and comes out the better for it.

No surprises here. I probably couldn't spoil this one for you guys if I tried. But the writing is gorgeous and that's where the book's strength lies.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I wished that the book was a tad longer to develop some of the characters more, and some of the characters were, as stated above, somewhat predictable, but horribly so. I didn't have any real complaints with this one at all.

PG-13 stuff: No language, nothing super graphic, but some older content. Blah blah blah, I feel like a movie rating system.

Cover comments: I love the cover. Both the wigs and gloves have significance in the book, and I love that. If you look really close on the cover, though, (on the ARC) you can see where the hairline is shopped on, but I saw earlier versions of the this where the girl was blonde. I'm really rather impressed by that, and it's just something I notice, not necessarily a bad thing. Plus I think they might have blended it a bit better on the finished cover.

Conclusion: I finished The Julian Game in just a few hours, I loved that it had different elements from other books with similar plots, I ADORED the ending, and I think Adele Griffin's writing is awesome. But this wasn't a five-star for me because of the predictability. But I do recommend this one to any contemporary fans out there and I feel kind of awful for not falling more in love with it. I'm going to give it a high three and a half and you guys really need to read it, because I do love Adele Griffin. So, yeah, like I said high three and a half.

Other notes:

I actually didn't have any other notes for this one. So that's it!

Peace and cookies,


  1. Ooh I really like this cover. I actually had this on a list somewhere (I have dozens of lists, but hardly ever go back to look at them) to read, but I forgot about it until your review of it came up. I'm kinda a sucker for those sort of stories, so I think I'll definitely be checking it out. Thanks! :)

  2. Oh, sheesh, ANOTHER book I want to read! I *really* need to pay off my library fines. >.<

  3. Isa: Where was it... here! http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com/2010/05/cover-evolution-julian-game.html

    See, I knew she was blonde in one version... anyways, hope you enjoy it!!

    Jenna: *snorks* You do :P Library fines help contribute to buying new books for the library, electronics, people like ME, that kind of thing. Plus you could prolly set up a payment plan. Ours does that.


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