Author: Lindsey Miller
Rated G because it’s only just a game, right?
Every year, they play the game.
The end of the school year is coming which means the game is on at Lincoln High. Every year, the senior class celebrates and gets one last hurrah with the yearly game, Assassins. Lia has been preparing for this since she was a freshman. While she hasn’t done well in school regardless of how hard she tries, she knows she’ll dominate this game. It’ll put her in the history books. But the game takes a turn. On one hand, she gets paired up with her longtime crush, Devon. On the other, classmates begin to turn up dead. Not only worried that that those closest to her could end up dead, but that the game will get cancelled. Somebody in Lia’s class is a killer, and she’s determined to figure out who.
I picked this up when I also picked up Escape Room by Maren Stoffels. After reading Escape Room, I wasn’t sure how I going to feel about this one, but I really liked it! Attention grabbing, cute, and I was constantly left guessing. Totally fun and a quick read. And with the way the book ended, there could definitely be a sequel.
Lia and Devon were so adorable. They definitely shared in the kind of flirting that’s a dance. Granted, there were times I was extremely suspicious of Devon. Miller really got sneaky with his character. She made him suspicious and then she made everybody suspicious! It was epic!
And then there’s Gem. I must say, this was the first time that I’ve read a book that showed and embraced a non-binary character. And, let me tell you, I was beyond thrilled and overjoyed. It was absolutely phenomenal to see such involvement.
As in love with Lia and Daniel as I was, I was left aghast with Lia’s parents. They seemed to live in some sort of bubble where they only thought they could have the shell of their daughter and not deal with the person inside of her. The relationship between them was heartbreaking and at time infuriating. A true example of parents not listening to their children’s wants AND needs, both of which are incredibly important. Instead, when it came to Lia’s future and life, it was all about them. Their son, first born, was the golden child, and Lia was left in the dark. That kind of feeling, the worthlessness, can destroy a person.
While the world in this book was just a small town, so much was inside of it. It’s that place where everyone knows everyone, and the wishes and qualms bubbled to the surface. That uncertainty of a future after high school is stressful, especially these days and that’s well highlighted. For some like Lia, this game was a chance to make a mark. For others, it was a chance to open up and feel a sense of freedom. Then of course, there’s that one that goes too far and begins offing people. Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling that for you. LOL.
Still, the coming-of-age feel of that unbelievable stress about where to go and what to do after high school was heavy. It’s sad that it’s realistic and relatable rather than fiction. Tragic almost, with a mix of sweetness—yes, I’m talking about Lia and Devon because I can’t help it. Finding out who the actual assassin was in this game wasn’t the only slow burn in this book.
Though this novella was a quick read, it was very involving with its characters and arc. Though the plot came off as something so simple, it expanded into something so much more. I’m still surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Enjoyable and spectacular writing. I found this one-shot to be more than just what was on the back of the book. Relatable and intense. I’m suggesting it, guys.
“She wanted to be noticed. God, no one realized how much invisibility her. If she were a terrible daughter, at least her parents might pay attention to her, but being mediocre was worse. Too good to need help, too bad to need attention. Her parents, her teachers, her friends—no one ever paid attention to just her.” (p. 164)
More to come soon…
Song Today? Running Out by Matoma & Astrid S.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!