When Jenny buys a game for her boyfriend, Tom, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the guy behind the counter. There is something mysteriously alluring about Julian's pale eyes and bleached-blond hair. And when he places the Game into her hands, she knows their connection is something deeper.
But as Jenny and her six friends begin to play the Game at Tom's birthday celebration, a night of friends and fun quickly turns into a night of terror and obsessive love. Because the Game isn't just a game-it's the seven friends' new reality, where Julian reigns as the Prince of the Shadows.
One by one the friends must confront their phobias to win the Game. To lose the Game is to lose their lives. And that is only the beginning...
L.J. Smith has written another amazing work. Sure it was written two years before I was born, but I hold nothing against the books publishing date. I actually think it's for the better. This book gives me a slightly larger view on books older than I am, sure the cover may have been redone to speak to the younger audience, but the writing is that of the nineties. I have to say, Smith's works may be older compared to some of the newer story, but it has no effect on the storyline or my outlook. And people say older isn't still cool.
The Characters: Jenny, Zach, Tom, Summer, Dee, Audrey, Michael, and Julian, they all have a certain feel to them. The Three Books In One: Makes you read them all at the same time, but sets them apart. The Setting: Changes with each book, but all make their way back to the new reality, they seem to be trapped in. The Boys: You have the bad boy, the good guy, the artsy guy, and the one who's not perfect for anyone but his girlfriend. So you have Julian, Tom, Zach, and Michael. All of them are nice guys, with the exception of Julian, though he has his moments. Tom is Jenny's boyfriend, a nice guy who's been in love with Jenny since they were both young. Zach is Jenny's cousin, has been really close to Jenny, and is a major photographer. Michael is Audrey's boyfriend, he's far from perfect, but he's sweet and really nice. Julian is our designated bad guy, he's dark and mysterious, mean and cruel, but he's in love with Jenny and will do anything to win her heart. The Girl Friends: There is the 'helpless' blond, the city-chic party girl, the courageous, strong, ruthless, fearless one; which brings us to Summer, Audrey, and Dee. They all hold Jenny together, and help her through rough times, and they all rely on Jenny too. Audrey, the newest member to the pack of friends, though new she gets along with everyone, but Dee. Summer is the sweet, innocent, pack-rat. She's always dressed to impress, and she always has a smile for you. Dee isn't a girly-girl, but not a tom-boy either; she's her own person who's into mystery and philosophy. She thinks brawn over brain, though her brain is just as powerful as her brawn.
Everyone together brings perfection into the group as a whole. They work together and overcome problems, they're wonderful. The things they go through are horrible nightmares, and yet they all overcome them. With each person comes a flaw, and that makes them all the more realistic.
At first read I had thought I was absolutely in love with this book, but when I started writing this review, I found I couldn't find the right words to describe how much I loved it...I then realized that I wasn't into the book one hundred percent. Though it was a great book, and well written there were it's downfalls, and I mainly found it in the characters; one in particular...Jenny. L.J. Smith wrote her fine, but I, as a person, did not like her; she annoyed me, and made me utterly upset with her decisions. She played Julian, made Tom depressed, hurt all her loved ones, made promises she did not or could not keep, and she was plain back-and-forth between 'Julian's not to bad, and It's to bad we can't get along' and 'I Hate Him, and I'll show him'. She doesn't actually say those words per say, but she is indecisive over to like or hate Julian. In the end she made a good choice, but it's the overall feeling I'm talking about.
My Personal Favourites
I Loved the characters Julian and Zach. Julian was described as beautiful, and he was beautifully described. Zach wasn't described as well, and being Jenny's cousin he wasn't talked about in the same way as Julian or Tom was, he was talked about as a family member, where as Julian and Tom were talked about in adoration...or in Juian's case utter hatred.
Overall Outlook On The Book: Great not perfect, but great... 4/5 stars