“A juicy, elegant, absolutely flawless thriller with a twist. It’s the diverse Gossip Girl we’ve been waiting for!” —Tiffany D. Jackson, New York Times best-selling author of Grown and White Smoke
“Explosive.” —Entertainment Weekly
All it takes is one spark to start a blaze.
At Foxham Prep, a posh private school for the children of DC’s elite, a single rumor has the power to ruin a life.
Nobody knows that better than Bryn. She used to have it all—the perfect boyfriend, a bright future in politics, and even popularity thanks to her best friend, cheer captain Cora. Then one mistake sparked a scandal that burned it all to the ground.
Now it’s the start of a new school year and the spotlight has shifted: It’s geeky Georgie, newly hot after a summer makeover, whose name is on everyone’s lips. When a rumor ignites, Georgie rockets up the school’s social hierarchy, pitting her and Cora against each other. It grants her Foxham stardom . . . but it also makes her a target.
As the rumors grow and morph, blazing like wildfire through the school’s social media, all three girls’ lives begin to unravel. But one person close to the drama has the power to stop the gossip in its tracks. The question is—do they even want to?
From Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, authors of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (now a Netflix series), comes another edge-of-your-seat social thriller perfect for fans of We Were Liars and Cruel Summer.
High school drama has never been so dramatic. When a scandal hits an elite DC private school, no one is safe. Three daughters of some of the most powerful people in Washington become embroiled in a dangerous game of rumors and online bullying that goes beyond just out of control into a careening disaster with victims well beyond the prep schoolers. Senior Bryn has a shattered reputation after she let her anger at her cheating boyfriend take control of her actions, even unintentionally. Now, trying to reclaim her spot as the queen bee, she elicits the help of her shy, Desi neighbor, Georgie. But Georgie has massive issues of her own, so when the rumors start swirling around her, she turns to Bryn’s ex-BFF, super popular, Cora, to out the perps and regain control of her life. With so many behind-the-scenes maneuvering and games being played with peoples lives at stake, the fallout will be wide and detrimental.
The plot was interesting with several unexpected twists. It centers on the rumors swirling around campus and online. The comments are brutal and they impact all three girls’ lives. The whispers, stares, and snide comments in the hallways at school means the online rumors don’t stay online. So even if they wanted to delete their social apps to escape the bullying, they really can’t. It’s a well-written story of how cyberbullying can take a toll on even the strongest individuals and tear their lives apart.
The characters were absolutely the best part of this story. All three main characters are really well developed, deeply flawed, and worthy of the way we come to care about them.
What I Enjoyed About THE RUMOR GAME
1. Own Voices. The authors helped bring their diverse characters to vivid life the way only #ownvoices authors can.
2. Fighting Back. I love stories where victims turn the tables on their bullies, but this had a twist that made it more realistic than just a feel good kind of story. Because even when you fight back with good intentions, you can leave unintended damage in your wake.
3. Consequences. The consequences for all were the natural fallout of bad behavior and I felt like everyone more or less got what they deserved.
4. Indian Food. Georgie has an interesting relationship with her food, but the way she described it all in detail left me salivating for some samosas and biryani.
5. Baez. Cora’s long-term childhood friend turned boyfriend was as loyal as they come. I hated that he got caught up in all the drama, but he remained so devoted to Cora, it was heartwarming.
An intense look at the devastation wrought by online bullying among teens, told with heart and grace.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: THE RUMOR GAME
Authors: Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Disney Hyperion
About Dhonielle Clayton
Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Dhonielle spent much of her childhood hiding beneath her grandmother’s dining table with a stack of books. As an English teacher at a ballet academy, Clayton rediscovered her passion for children’s and young adult literature. To ground herself in the canon, she pursued her Masters in Children’s Literature from Hollins University before receiving her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. She is a former middle school librarian, where she pestered children to read and curated a diverse collection. An avid traveler, Dhonielle’s lived in several foreign countries, but she’s now settled in Harlem, where you’ll find her writing late into the night, lurking in libraries, and hunting for the best slice of New York pizza. She is the COO of We Need Diverse Books and the co-founder of Cake Literary. The co-author of the dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces, as well as the upcoming Rumor Game, Dhonielle is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA fantasy series The Belles. Find her on the web at DhonielleClayton.com or on Twitter @brownbookworm..
About Sona Charaipotra
The author of the YA doc dramedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak, SONA CHARAIPOTRA is not a doctor — much to her pediatrician parents’ chagrin. They were really hoping she’d grow up to take over their practice one day.
Instead, she became a writer, working first as a celebrity reporter at People and (the dearly departed) TeenPeople magazines, and more recently contributing to publications from the New York Times to TeenVogue. She was also the editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen blog. These days, she uses her Masters in screenwriting from NYU and her MFA in creative writing from the New School to poke plot holes in her favorite teen TV shows — for work of course. She’s the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent, and the co-author of the YA dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces (now a Netflix original series!), as well as the upcoming psychological thriller Rumor Game. Her follow-up to Symptoms will be the YA contemporary romp How Maya Got Fierce, which draws on her magazine world experience and is pitched as the Bold Type meets Younger. She’s a former We Need Diverse Books board member. Find her sharing pictures of her kids and her chai on Instagram @sonesone2, talking writing and books on Twitter @sona_c, or pinning gorgeous lenghas and her favorite Indian food on Pinterest...