I’m just going to hop into my review because I don’t know where to start. Crystal is a very unlikable character. She’s a pretty terrible person without the major storyline happening, and it baffles me that she has such a close-knit group of friends who put up with her. Things that seem so painfully obvious elude her. Any other 16-year-old would see right through most of these things. The level of cluelessness was astounding. You don’t have to like a character to like a book in most instances, especially if the story is written well.
But, I think the problem I have with this book is that so many things don’t work. For example, there would be no need for someone to wear a wire in a police station, one-way mirror or not. If they have a visual, they have audio, and the wire would be moot. Other things just ticked me off, like Crystal declaring Zoey had PTSD with no evidence to it. I loathe when authors throw mental health issues into a book and then treat it blase doing no research or forethought to who they are harming by throwing such terms around. Last, the ending isn’t feasible. It just cannot work, and in the real world, it wouldn’t.
This book may hold appeal for some readers. It tries to keep the reader guessing, and it tests the levels of “how much can I get away with before readers call shenanigans on me?” I think we bypassed that level fairly early on, and if this weren’t an ARC, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. It’s not a horrible book, but it’s just not the book for me. Thank you, St. Martin’s, for sending this along.
These Deadly Games is available for preorder on Amazon, Bookshop, and B&N, it releases February 1st.
About the Book:
Let’s play a game.
You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.
Are you ready?
When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.
But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt–and kill–her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…
As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.
One thought on “These Deadly Games, Diana Urban”
Oh boy! I wasn’t going to read this book anyway, as I don’t normally read thrillers, but, after reading your review, no way! I loved this line from your review “it tests the levels of “how much can I get away with before readers call shenanigans on me?” ” It’s such a descriptive way of saying what you disliked about the book.
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