by Cylin Busby
Source: eARC provided for review. Thank you!
My Rating: 4 stars
When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical—where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . .
I didn’t know much about this book when I read it. I never read a review and I didn’t remember the synopsis, so everything I found there was surprising.
For starters, The Stranger Game is based in a real-life story. I can’t tell you which one, in case you know it, because it would ruin the plot twist. And believe me; the title of this book was really important when it finally made sense.
I liked how The Stranger Game is a story about sisters. There’s no guy involved, there’s no romance. It’s told from the POV of Nico, the main character, with a smaller POV of Sarah, the missing sister.
I don’t know if it was supposed to be a thriller or a mystery, but it was fast paced and I read it in two days even though I was reading slowly. It got me on the edge of my seat trying to know what happened the day Sarah disappeared.
Like I said, this is a story about sisters and the relationship between them. Sarah was the bad sister and used to bully Nico when she was a kid, so it’s a bit surprising that the summary mentioned beforehand that Nico was relieved for her disappearance, when in the book you only know that halfway through.
What I was not expecting is how Sarah’s POV changed everything. I wasn’t able to connect with Nico, but with Sarah everything was different. She had the answers, she has the most horrific and gut wrenching story and she reveals the most important mystery of the book.
I wish I could tell you more, but there’s some heavy stuff I was not expecting. The ending was unexpected, too, but in a “hmmmm” way. The “big” reveal about what happened to Sarah was a little confusing to me and it’s the weakest part of the story, because I saw that coming.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it if you like fast-paced mysteries. However, I don’t recommend it if you are sensitive about abuse, mental and sexual.